Photo Caption #2: Princeton forward Will Gladson (13) goes up for a shot against Notre Dame during the second half of a first-round men's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament, Thursday, March 16, 2017, in Buffalo, N.Y.
Princeton stars Steven Cook (11 points) and Devin Cannady (7 points) each missed a good look at a 3-pointer for in the closing seconds: Cook's would have tied the game at 59 with 19 seconds left, Cannady's would have given the Tigers a 61-59 lead with 7 seconds left.
Notre Dame come into this year's NCAA tournament with a 25-9 record, which has earned them a 5th seed spot in the West Region. Pete Miller put back a missed Cannady 3-pointer with 54 seconds left.
Matt Farrell added 16 points and four assists for the Irish (26-9).
Princeton enjoyed three players in double-digits, including 15 points from Spencer Weisz.
It was an upset, in fact, as Princeton beat the then second-ranked Fighting Irish 76-62 on January 3, 1977.
Princeton finishes the year with a 23-7 record, including a ideal 16-0 mark in Ivy regular-season and tournament games. That included a missed open layup after the Tigers won the opening tipoff.
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Notre Dame trailed for all of 17 seconds in the first half, led by as many as eight and was up 36-30 at intermission. Princeton had not lost a game since way back on December 20.
Notre Dame got its upset game out of the way without being upset. In that game they were down by 10 points in the second half, but came back strongly to win in overtime, and they went on to defeat Yale in the title game.
Now the narrative refocuses on Notre Dame's penchant for March magic on the heels of back-to-back Elite Eight appearances.
Although the game pit a 12 seed against a 5 seed, a matchup that has produced an upset in 25 of the last 28 years, many experts weren't giving Princeton much of chance at the upset, but the Tigers were almost able to pull off the surprise. "The object of the game is to win, and we did that". Cannady, one of their leading scorers, was 2-of-10 from three-point range and finished with seven points. And if you were a member of the Princeton Tigers, that one-or-the-other reality hit you in the pit of the stomach with the cruellest of force on Thursday afternoon. The Tigers got within two with 4:45 remaining as Notre Dame struggled to guard and struggled even more to score.
"We've had an unbelievable run in close games", Brey said. Pflueger went to the locker room to receive stitches, but returned to the game before halftime and scored four points and dove for a steal.
"I'm just so proud of the team we became; I couldn't have asked for anything more" Weisz noted. "Sometimes in the middle of the season, early in the season we weren't playing well at the same time on both ends of the floor, but right now it's great to see that on the defensive end and the offensive end we're really clicking". But we can cherish the legacy that they leave us with.
In the final minute of Notre Dame's matchup against Princeton (23-7, 16-0 Ivy League), it looked like Brey would be forced to pull out the second speech.
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