The Nets may be going through their own March Madness, but the story of Saint Peter’s run to the Sweet 16 hasn’t gone unnoticed.
The 15-seeded Saint Peter’s Peacocks have captured the imagination of the country after they knocked off the Kentucky Wildcats in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and then took down Murray State over the weekend to advance to the Sweet 16. The story has taken off in the New York area in particular since Saint Peter’s University is located in Jersey City.
That was something that Nets head coach Steve Nash wasn’t aware of.
“I wasn’t even sure Saint Peter’s was in Newark. Jersey City? Someone told me that,” Nash said. “I didn’t even know so I gotta up-to-date on my universities. Incredible story and exciting. That’s what makes the college game so fun.”
Nash is familiar with upsets in the NCAA tournament. He was part of the Santa Clara team that upset Arizona in the first round of the tournament in 1993, 64-61.
Nash scored 10 points in that game in 30 minutes played off the bench. Unlike Saint Peter’s, Santa Clara was eliminated in its next game by Temple University.
The success of Saint Peter’s and the return of the NCAA tournament experience is something that Andre Drummond has been happy to see. Admittedly he hasn’t been watching the games, but seeing the normality was a positive.
“It’s some good basketball going on,” Drummond said. “Excited for those guys to be in this light and obviously play in front of fans this year, too. During COVID it was difficult for those kids to have that experience. A lot of kids missed out on that March Madness experience the year before so it’s cool to see everybody out there.”
Saint Peter’s will face the winner of the Sunday-night matchup between Texas and Purdue on Friday, March 25.