Princeton men’s basketball had one shot to tie and another to win in the closing seconds of its NCAA Tournament opener against Notre Dame March 16. Neither shot fell, and the Fighting Irish survived the Tigers’ upset bid, 60-58.
Pete Miller ’17 scored a pair of baskets in the final minute, including a tip-in off a missed 3-pointer by Steven Cook ’17, cutting the Notre Dame lead to one point with 13 seconds left. The Tigers fouled Notre Dame guard Matt Farrell to stop the clock, and Farrell missed the front end of a one-and-one, giving Princeton a chance to take the final shot. Amir Bell ’18 found Devin Cannady ’19, the Tigers’ most prolific 3-point shooter, on the left side of the court. Cannady’s high-arcing shot looked straight and true but sailed a touch long. Princeton managed to foul the rebounder, Steve Vasturia, but with 0.4 seconds on the clock, the Tigers had little chance for even a desperation heave after Vasturia made one of two foul shots.
Princeton played from behind for most of the game, leading only once, midway through the first half. Notre Dame led by as many as 11, but Princeton gradually chipped away at that advantage in the last 13 minutes of the game.
Notre Dame 60, Princeton 58
NCAA Tournament First Round
Cannady hit a 3-pointer, drew a foul, and made the free throw to cut the lead to 50-45 with 8:35 left. Cook also made a key 3-pointer, drawing Princeton to within one, 55-54, with 3:20 left.
Spencer Weisz ’17, the Ivy League Player of the Year, led the Tigers with 15 points on 6-for-11 shooting. He added four assists, five rebounds, and two blocks while playing all 40 minutes.
Notre Dame forward Bonzie Colson caused the most headaches for Princeton, leading the Fighting Irish with 18 points and seven rebounds. But the Tigers managed the pace of the game and held Notre Dame well below its season average of 78 points per game.
Princeton finishes the year with a 23-7 record, including a perfect 16-0 mark in Ivy regular-season and tournament games. The Tigers were playing in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011, when they also lost by two points in the first round, 59-57 to Kentucky.