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If they’d let the Princeton men’s basketball team keep playing forever, if there was no game clock, these Tigers would have never stopped believing that they would eventually pull this one out. And so what if Ryan Kalkbrenner was a little too big or Baylor Scheierman was a little too hot or Creighton was a little too good?
So what? Princeton would have kept believing in each other, kept playing hard, kept thinking that yes, this was the basket that was going to start the big run.
In the end, unfortunately, they only give you 40 minutes, and when the clock hit all zeroes at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, it was Creighton 86, Princeton 75, the Tigers’ magical NCAA run ended in the Sweet 16. It wasn’t for lack of effort, that’s for sure.
Princeton was done in by the 7-1 Kalkbrenner, who scored 22 points on 9 of 12 shooting, and by Scheierman, who added 21 of his own while shooting 5 of 7 from beyond the arc. It’s Creighton who advances to the Elite Eight, where it will face San Diego State Sunday after the Aztecs took down the No. 1 overall seed, Alabama, earlier Friday.
Princeton was trying to add a Big East opponent to the Pac-12 (second seeded Arizona) and SEC (seventh-seeded Missouri) it had beaten a week ago in Sacramento.
The Tigers got 50 of their 75 points from a pair of seniors who did everything they could to keep Princeton’s hopes alive. Ryan Langborg, who had 22 points in the Missouri win, poured in 26 more against Creighton, while Tosan Evbuomwan had 24 points, nine assists and six rebounds while battling second-half foul trouble.
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 25, 2023
The first half was exhilarating, and it ended with Creighton ahead 47-43. The Blue Jays took control at the start of the second half, with a 9-2 run that built a double figure lead at 56-45 and then eventually pushing it out to 16 at 68-52 eight minutes into the second.
Did Princeton quit? No chance. The Tigers cut it to eight three times and eventually seven, at 76-69 with 3:38 to go on two Evbuomwan free throws.
Blake Peters had nine more points for the Tigers, while Matt Allocco had seven points and six rebounds. The Tigers finish their season at 23-9, with an Ivy League championship, an Ivy League tournament championship and two NCAA wins.