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Underdog Saint Peter’s ends unprecedented March Madness run with Elite Eight loss

(PHILADELPHIA) — The underdog Saint Peter’s University basketball squad ended its unprecedented March Madness run Sunday afternoon with a loss to the University of North Carolina.

The Peacocks were aiming to do what no 15th seed team has done before — make it to the Final Four of the men’s NCAA Tournament.

But after the matchup against the No. 8 seed Tar Heels in Philadelphia, the team heads home with a 69-49 loss.

Saint Peter’s was already the first No. 15 seed ever to make the Elite Eight in the annual tournament’s 83-year history.

The Peacocks on Friday went into a Sweet 16 game against the No. 3 seed Purdue Boilermakers as a 13-point underdog and secured a 67-64 victory, the latest in a string of wins over top-seeded teams.

This was only Saint Peter’s fourth appearance in the tournament, its first since 2011, when Purdue knocked them out in the first round.

But this year has been like no other for the team from Jersey City, New Jersey.

In the first round, they shocked No. 2 seed Kentucky with an 85-79 overtime victory despite the Wildcats being favored by 18.5 points. They were an eight-point underdog to No. 7 seed Murray State but pulled off a 70-60 second-round win.

The University of North Carolina, which has won the NCAA men’s basketball tournament six times, entered Sunday’s game as an 8.5-point favorite over the Peacocks. The Tar Heels upset No. 4 UCLA to make it to the Elite Eight after knocking off top-seed Baylor in the second-round play.

The Tar Heels will next face archrival No. 2-seeded Duke next Saturday.

“I got guys from New Jersey and New York City. You think we’re scared of anything?” Saint Peter’s coach Shaheen Holloway said during a post-game press conference following the Murray State win.

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