By R. Behar
More is possible.
Saint Peter's, a small Jesuit university, tucked away in Jersey City was never known for its basketball program. The historically lacklustre Saint Peter Peacocks had only made the NCAA tournament 4 times in the program's history having last made it into the March Madness tournament in 2011. Therefore, it is no surprise that the 15-seed Peacocks were predicted to be a first-round knockout in this year’s tournament. The Peacocks were an unequivocal underdog and that is why they would go on to shock the world.
The unbelievable journey of this batch of players began with what should’ve been a routine victory for the Kentucky Wildcats. However, in a turn of events the result was rather unexpected. Led by Daryl Banks III, who posted 27 points, the team was able to grapple their way into an overtime situation. With the help of Doug Edert, the peacock’s undersized guard, they managed to pull themselves into a 6-point win over the basketball powerhouse that is Kentucky closing the game with a score of 85-79. Saint Peter’s already etched their names in the history books becoming the tenth 15-seeded team to beat a 2-seed.
After obliterating the March Madness brackets of millions of basketball fans across the world, the Peacocks were on to their next challenge; they would soon face Murray State, a solid 7-seed team expected to end the “fluke” that was Saint Peter’s victory over Kentucky. The unity, grit and passion shown by the Peacocks prevailed, however. By the end of the game the discredited and neglected tiny basketball program had shocked the world once again pulling off yet another massive upset over Murray state beating the team 70 - 60. Sure, enough the Peacocks finally began to be recognised by others as real competition.
This would soon show itself as the Peacocks reached the Sweet 16 to face Purdue. To the underfunded and overlooked Saint Peter's team, it seemed their Cinderella run was over as they were about to face a big ten conference powerhouse in Purdue. The likeliness that a 15-seed could reach the elite eight was inconceivable. Yet, the Peacocks somehow stunned their opponents and all of college basketball. In an extremely close game, the Peacocks secured the seemingly distant victory with a score of 67-64. The Peacocks had solidified themselves as a historic team becoming the only 15-seed in the history of college basketball to reach the elite eight.
The team soon adopted the slogan “More is possible” serving as an example to all underdogs that grit, passion, and perseverance can take one a long way. With this mindset the Peacocks would soon face North Carolina royalty in UNC. The stage was set, and the world of basketball watched; could this underfunded team possibly have a chance against the juggernaut of college basketball that is UNC. Unfortunately, the answer was no. Even though the 2022 Saint Peter’s team took over the Basketball world by storm, the elite eight was as far as they would get. Nonetheless this achievement is far from common as the Peacocks broke the boundaries for what basketball fans thought was possible. We can be sure that their example of passion, resilience and perseverance will inspire others to work towards what is seemingly out of reach.