When Princeton beat UNLV 69-57 in the first round of the 1998 NCAA Tournament, a player named Mitch Henderson scored 19 points and dished out six assists for the Tigers. Almost 25 years to the day, the Tigers finally won another game in the Big Dance as No. 15 seed Princeton turned into March Madness’ best story Thursday with a stunning 59-55 defeat of No. 2 seed Arizona.
Princeton’s coach today? Mitch Henderson. Now 47 and a Princeton basketball institution, Henderson out-dueled one of the sport’s rising stars on the opposite sideline in Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd as Princeton held the Wildcats to a season-low in points and made 3-pointers. The outcome marked the third straight season in which a No. 15 seed has defeated a No. 2.
“We ran into a good team today that made the right plays at the right time,” Lloyd said. “We weren’t able to separate from them enough when we had opportunities. That’s what happens when you’re able to stick around a basketball game. They made enough plays down the stretch and we didn’t. I’ll tip my hat to them. They’re a hard team to play against. I knew it was going to be a tough game. I know that program has a ton of pride. They’re well-coached, have great fundamentals. That showed today.”
The Princeton-Arizona game was just one of 16 games on Thursday as the first round of the NCAA Tournament began with upsets, mayhem and plenty of moments that will appear in the “One Shining Moment” montage once a champion is crowned on April 3.
Here is the full rundown of all the winners and losers from the day.
Losers: Virginia’s NCAA Tournament woes continue
No. 4 seed Virginia’s stunning 68-67 loss to Furman was made all the more confounding because of the late turnover leading to Furman’s go-ahead 3-pointer from JP Pegues with 2.2 seconds left. Fifth-year senior point guard Kihei Clark committed a bewildering turnover while trapped in the corner with under 10 seconds left, which set up the Paladins’ go-ahead basket. Clark was a key piece of UVa’s 2019 national title team and has been a steadying presence for the Cavaliers for a half-decade. But as he departs, he will do so with some painful memories to go along with glory of the 2019 triumph.
The loss dropped Virginia’s record against double-digit seeds to just 3-4 over its last seven opportunities, a stretch which includes the program’s historic 2018 loss to No. 16 seed UMBC and marked the fourth time in…
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