After clawing its way back against Kentucky March 17, Princeton entered the last minute in an enviable position: down by two points, with the ball. Dan Mavraides ’11 made a hard dribble into the defense, stopped, jumped, and hit a jump shot to tie the game, 57-57.
In close games this season, the Princeton men’s basketball team usually came out on top. The Tigers won five Ivy League games by five points or less, had a perfect 4-0 record in overtime, and earned their NCAA Tournament berth with a buzzer-beating win over Harvard March 12.
This time, though, the last-second magic would go against Princeton. Kentucky ran the clock down to 0:05. Freshman star Brandon Knight, who had been held scoreless in the game, made his move, driving down the right side of the lane to slip a running bank-shot just beyond the reach of defender Kareem Maddox ’11. The shot fell with 0:02 left, giving the Wildcats a 59-57 lead. Princeton’s final chance, a running heave by Maddox, never reached the basket.
Princeton finished the season with a 25-7 record, an Ivy League championship, and the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2004. Read more about the Tigers in the April 6 issue of Princeton Alumni Weekly.
Princeton basketball in the news:
Pushed by Princeton, Kentucky wins in final seconds [New York Times]
Princeton made believers of us all in the NCAA Tournament [Star-Ledger]
Princeton coach overcome with emotion after loss to Kentucky [USA Today]
College hoops fans bring color to the Forum [TampaBayOnline]
Knight’s drive propels Kentucky past Princeton [Associated Press]
Nearly a Cinderella story [Wall Street Journal]
Princeton can’t match 13th-seed magic in NCAA basketball loss to Kentucky [Bloomberg]