The Saint Peter’s Peacocks are just the tenth team in March Madness history to pull off the upset as the No. 15 seed.
JERSEY CITY, NJ — Everyone was abuzz about little Saint Peter University on Friday after its astonishing upset NCAA Tournament from Kentucky, except maybe Saint Peter University.
Of course, students and staff savored the 85-79 overtime win for the 15th-seeded Peacocks. But Fridays are generally quiet on the campus in Jersey City, New Jersey, and that remained unchanged even after the exploit that destroyed countless tournament brackets showing second-seeded Kentucky in the box. of the winner.
It wasn’t like that Thursday night, when a watch party drew a large crowd, said Kaylie Morris, a junior biology student.
“There were a lot of people and they were supportive, very supportive,” she said. “And it was loud.”
The 150-year-old Jesuit school isn’t generally known as a rabid school of basketball – at least that wasn’t the case as the Peacocks entered their fourth tournament appearance since the 2010-11 season. It was the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champion’s first victory in an NCAA tournament.
“A lot of people doubted. I don’t think anyone believed that a small school in Jersey City would do so well,” said John Johnson Jr., assistant professor of history.
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But Eduardo Pinto, a junior specializing in criminal justice, said he was so confident in Saint-Pierre that he bet with a friend that the team would score over 80 points. “I still have faith in Saint-Pierre. I know a few. They work hard and everything. I knew they were going to beat Kentucky.
New Jersey’s only Jesuit Catholic university has about 3,000 students, including about 2,100 undergraduates and most from New Jersey. Its 30-acre campus is across the Hudson River from New York.
A few dozen students gathered for a cheer rally later Friday ahead of Saturday’s second-round game with the Murray State Racers.
“It puts us on the map,” said student Cliff Achokas. “You know, Jersey City is often overlooked because of its proximity to New York. But I think it’s a great way to make some noise for our city, to let people know who we are and what we do.
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Morris, the Saint Peter biology major, said the university has a lot to do besides basketball. “Classes are really small. It’s very personal. If you need help, you’re not in a big class where the teacher doesn’t even know you.
As for this Peacock mascot, the university’s website indicates that it was the idea of the Reverend Robert Gannon, then dean, who chose it in 1930, symbol of the resurrection in the Catholic tradition.