May 25, 2022
Feel good story of March Madness: St. Peter’s one win away from Final Four
The St. Peter’s University Peacocks’ magical run through college basketball’s postseason came to an end Sunday in Philadelphia.North Carolina punched its ticket to the Final Four with a 69-49 win in Philadelphia over the upstart Peacocks, who captured the imagination of sports fans across America."I mean, during this type of time, it’s always a special…

The St. Peter’s University Peacocks’ magical run through college basketball’s postseason came to an end Sunday in Philadelphia.

North Carolina punched its ticket to the Final Four with a 69-49 win in Philadelphia over the upstart Peacocks, who captured the imagination of sports fans across America.

“I mean, during this type of time, it’s always a special time,” St. Peter’s forward Fousseyni Drame told reporters Saturday. “People always say these are one of those opportunities that you get once in a lifetime, maybe twice if you’re lucky enough.”

Just to arrive at Sunday night’s game, the Peacocks had to score improbable victories over several heavy favorites — eight-time champion Kentucky, Purdue and its dominant 7-foot-4 center, Zach Edey, and Murray State, the alma mater of NBA superstar Ja Morant.

Friday’s win over Purdue coincided with National Peacock Day, and the Kentucky shocker happened on St. Patrick’s Day.

The school boasts a mere 3,009 students (2,134 undergrads) and operates rather anonymously in Jersey City, just across the Hudson River from New York.

Coach Shaheen Holloway said Saturday that he hasn’t been able to fully grasp the immensity of the March Madness run.

“Not yet. No. I’ll say it, man. It’s a dream. I don’t want to wake up, and these guys don’t want to wake up,” he said. “We want to continue living in this dream that we’re in right now.”

While upsets are nothing new to March Madness, the sport could be reaching a new age of parity, with many of the top schools losing players after just one year, losing them to transfers or never even getting them on campus.

Just three tournaments ago, the University of Maryland-Baltimore County became the first No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1, Virginia.

Kansas is the lone No. 1 seed to make it to the Final Four this year. Top seeds Baylor, Gonzaga and Arizona all went down to defeat before Sunday.

David K. Li is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.

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