Who is Saint Peter's? Besides the team that just stunned Kentucky

·3 min read

Saint Peter's just etched its name into NCAA lore.

A program most die-hard college basketball fans would struggle to identify just stunned one of the biggest brand names in the game on Thursday, sending No. 2 seed Kentucky packing on the first day of NCAA play in the men's tournament.

So who is St. Peter's? Other than a No. 15 seed advancing to Round 2, that is.

It's a query hero guard Daryl Banks III (27 points, 5-of-8 3-pointers on Thursday) broached after Thursday's 85-79 upset.

"Probably a lot of people don't even know who we are," Banks said after the game.

Saint Peter's the school

For starters, St. Peter's is a private Jesuit university founded in 1872 located in Jersey City, New Jersey. Its undergraduate enrollment sits at roughly 2,100, and it's celebrating its 150th anniversary. What better way to mark the occasion than by toppling eight-time NCAA champion Kentucky and ousting John Calipari from the tournament? The student body responded appropriately Thursday:

St. Peter's the basketball program

On the basketball court, they're the Peacocks. They compete in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, where they finished second in the regular season before securing an automatic bid by winning the conference tournament.

They caught some breaks along the way and didn't have to face a team seeded higher than No. 4. They defeated No. 7 Fairfield in the quarterfinals and No. 11 Quinnipiac in the semifinals before topping No. 4 Monmouth for the title in the championship game by a margin of 60-54. They entered NCAA play at 21-10.

On Thursday they defeated an NCAA tournament No. 2 seed and the No. 3 overall betting favorite to win the national championship.

If you don't know Saint Peter's basketball, no you know. (Jamie Sabau/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
If you don't know Saint Peter's basketball, no you know. (Jamie Sabau/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

This is not the first NCAA tournament for St. Peter's. The Peacocks, who started their men's basketball program in 1964, have been to the tournament four times, with their first appearance arriving in 1991. This is, not surprisingly, their first NCAA tournament win. The last time they made the tournament in 2011, they suffered a 65-43 defeat to Purdue as a No. 14 seed.

Former McDonald's game MVP coaches St. Peters

St. Peter's is coached by 45-year-old Shaheen Holloway, who was a three-time All-Big East guard for Seton Hall from 1996-2000. Prior to playing at Seton Hall, he was the 1996 McDonald's All-American game MVP. He's in his fourth season coaching Saint Peter's and was the MAAC Coach of the Year in 2020. He was an assistant coach with Iona (2007-10) and Seton Hall (2010-18) before taking his first head coaching job with St. Peter's in 2018.

Banks, a junior guard and the Peacocks' leading scorer for the season, more than doubled his season average of 11 points Thursday. He's a two-time All-MAAC honoree. Senior guard KC Ndefo is the only other player to average double-digit scoring at 10.6 points per game.

So if you don't know who St. Peter's is, now you know. Kentucky probably wishes it knew more prior to Thursday's tip.