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Tosan Evbuomwan has talked a lot in recent weeks about what being part of the Princeton men’s basketball program has meant to him.
Well, Evbuomwan and his teammates delivered the program some March Magic 27 years after its last NCAA Tournament win.
Channeling the spirit of the late Pete Carril and that famous upset over UCLA in 1996, the Tigers did it again. Coached by Mitch Henderson, one of the stars of that team, Princeton leaned on its star Evbuomwan for a stunning, 59-55, victory over Arizona on Thursday afternoon at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.
“We have great confidence,” Evbuomwan said on the TNT broadcast. “We came in wanting to get it done and we did. We have full confidence that we could and we executed really well. We had a great gameplan from the coaches and that gave us confidence to stay composed and do what we need to do.”
The Evbuomwan story is well known by now on Old Nassau. He grew up in Newcastle, England playing everything but basketball and was a late-comer to the sport.
He didn’t begin organized basketball until he was 14, and as he grew taller and taller and dominated the youth competition in the United Kingdom his father, Isaac, and coaches started sending letter to high-academic colleges in the United States.
Princeton was one of the schools that answered the call.
“It’s just a great university,” Evbuomwan said this week when discussing his journey to senior standout at Princeton. “It gives you the best in terms of playing basketball at the highest level, and obviously, the academics are the highest level, too. The people are great, both who are present in the program now and were in the past. The coach staff, all of my teammates, everyone is just great people and the alumni connection, the support we receive from them is second to none.”
Evbuomwan finished with 15 points, and when he bounced in a free throws with three seconds left that sealed the upset he became the 37th player in program history to reach 1,000 career points.
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