Princeton stuns Arizona in NCAA
The Manila Times
SACRAMENTO, California: Mitch Henderson’s victory leap that punctuated Princeton’s famed upset over UCLA in 1996 has become an iconic moment. There is a picture of the joyous jump at the school’s practice facility that serves as a constant reminder of what’s possible. Now Henderson’s current players have authored one of their own. Ryan Langborg lifted Princeton to its first lead with 2:03 to play and the Tigers used a late-game run to earn their first NCAA Tournament win in 25 years, topping No. 2 seed Arizona 59-55 on Thursday (Friday in Manila). “Pretty surreal feeling,” guard Matt Allocco said. “To beat a great team like that on this stage is a pretty special feeling. But also I can’t say I’m surprised. This team has been so good all year, so gritty. On paper, it’s going to look like a big upset. But we believe in each other and we think we’re a really good team. When we’re at our best, then I think we can beat anybody in the country.” The 15th-seeded Tigers (22-9) scored the final nine points, holding the Pac-12 Tournament champion scoreless over the final 4:43. Tosan Evbuomwan scored 15 points in Princeton’s first tournament victory since beating UNLV in 1998 when Henderson was a player for the Tigers. Henderson also played on the 1996 team that beat defending champion UCLA in the school’s final tournament under coach Pete Carril, who died in August. This victory fittingly came in Sacramento, where Carril spent time as an NBA assistant after retiring as Tigers coach. Princeton advanced to play seventh-seeded Missouri in the second round of the South Region. The Tigers beat Utah State 76-65.