The final 8 of the NCAA tournament has been finalized and will include several of the top names in the history of college basketball. Duke and North Carolina are there, and so are Kansas and Villanova. But one name, Saint Peter’s University Peacocks has won the tickets to the round of 8, and that is one name few have heard of. But that is about to change soon.
This tiny New Jersey university knocked off Murray State and earlier also scalped Kentucky as they made it to the next round. And their dream run continued as the Peacocks stunned 3rd-seeded Purdue 67-64 before a packed crowd. The win in Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center was historic as it marked the first-ever instance that a team ranked 15 had made it to the last Eight at the NCAA.
The Peacocks overturned the tournament this year. It came alive after being dormant for a couple of years due to the pandemic. The tournament was canceled completely in 2020 while the 2021 tournament was heavily restricted one in 2021, centered in Indianapolis.
Peacocks Made It Despite A Fraction Of The Budget Of The Big Teams
It is back to normal and the crowd is present in full fore again. And this year the focus is on the Peacocks, who are located just across from Lower Manhattan in New York City. Many say that what makes their run most impressive this year is that the Peacocks’ resources and funding are way below teams like Kentucky, whom they upset this year.
For comparison’s sake, just the salary of John Calipari, Kentucky’s coach, at $8.5M, is higher than the total athletic budget of Saint Peter’s, which is $7.5M. And such a minuscule budget affects every aspect, including the recruiting of players and coaches. Most lesser teams, such as the Peacocks, recruit players who are typically ignored by the majors.
But Saint Peter’s have not been awed by reputation. Shaheen Holloway, the Peacocks’ coach says that he recruited players from New York City and New Jersey. The Saint Peter’s Peacocks are next up against North Carolina, seeded eight, and could make it to the East regional finals and the chance to make it to the Final 4 in New Orleans.