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Ryan Langborg had just poured in 22 points to help the Princeton men’s basketball team beat Missouri, 78-63, in the second-round of the NCAA Tournament and his coach had something to say.
Langborg, you see, was left off the All-Ivy League teams.
“This guys wasn’t named to any all-league teams at all, was not voted to any and he was the best player on the floor tonight,” 12th-year coach Mitch Henderson said. “If you want to argue, I’m happy to argue with anybody in here. He was awesome. He’s been awesome for five straight games.”
Langborg hit the go-ahead shot against Arizona in the first-round upset and then came out on fire on Saturday night. He scored 11 of the Tigers’ first 13 points and finished one away from matching a career high.
“It’s always nice to see the ball go in the net, but I got to give credit to these guys next to me,” Langborg said. “Tosan (Evbuomwan) was finding me and I wouldn’t be able to do any of that without them. Shots weren’t going in for any of us the last game and to see the ball go into the net is always a great start to the game.”
Langborg was no stranger to the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento. The San Diego native won a high school state championship with La Jolla Country Day on that floor. In fact, he had 23 points and 17 rebounds in that game.
This one, however, was a little bit sweeter.
“Coming into this tournament, this is what we all wanted and we’re not done yet,” Langborg said. “We’ve got a bunch of games left, hopefully. It’s hard to put into words and we’re all so excited and ready to get after the next one.”
Blake Peters came off the bench and scored all 17 of his points in the second half.
The sophomore from Evanston, Illinois, was 5-for-8 from beyond the arc and hit three treys during Princeton’s 13-2 run in the second half that broke the game open.
“He’s an absolute driller,” Henderson said.
Peters is the microwave guy. He doesn’t need any time to heat up.
“All year I’ve been working on kind of reading Tosan and other guys,” Peters said. “I think I do a good job finding open space when he drives. Missouri kept coming off, so I just tried to find open space.”
Peters has a connection to Missouri since both of his grandparents are graduates of the school.
“They’re very passionate Tiger fans,” Peters said. “But I know they were cheering for their grandson today. That’s what makes things like this so special, is to do it in front of your family here (and) watching back home.”
He also plays the Spanish classical guitar and is nearly fluent in Chinese.
“He wants to be Secretary of State,” Henderson said. “He’s absolutely unflappable. That’s how he is. That’s how he goes about his business.”
New Jersey is once again the talk of the town in March.
Both the Princeton men and women have won NCAA Tournament games in the same season for the first time and Fairleigh Dickinson produced an all-time stunner over No. 1 seed Purdue on Friday.
This is all a year after Saint Peter’s made that incredible run to the Elite Eight.
“I guess there’s something in the water,” Langborg said with a smile. “Something’s helping us. It’s great to represent New Jersey, bring it home for all the people there. We’re over the moon.”
Princeton (23-8) will play on Friday against either No. 3 seed Baylor or No. 6 seed Creighton in the South Region semifinal in Louisville.
San Diego State, the No. 5 seed, has also booked its spot in Louisville for the Sweet 16 and faces either No. 1 seed Alabama or No. 8 seed Maryland
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