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Thousands flock to NJ parade to celebrate Saint Peter’s March Madness miracle run

Thousands of Saint Peter’s Peacocks fans flocked to Jersey City on Friday to celebrate the university basketball team’s historic March Madness run.

More than 5,000 revelers — some dressed in the school’s main blue color and waving signs that read “Jersey City Tough” —  celebrated the New Jersey team’s ascent to “Elite Eight” standing in the NCAA tournament amid colorful floats and music from bagpipers.  

The team’s win against the Purdue Boilermakers last week marked the first time ever that a 15-seed team made it to the final eight in the tournament.

“You know, it’s just history on top of history. It’s the best feeling ever,” said parade-going St. Peter’s senior Avery Tan, 26, adding that the university also just celebrated its 150th year.

Cyrus Caudilla, 33, an alumnus of the school, added: “They definitely put us on the map. So it’s exciting.”

More than 5,000 people came to Jersey City to celebrate Saint Peter’s advance to the “Elite Eight” in the NCAA tournament.
Stephen Yang
St. Peter's
This is the first time a 15-seed team made it to the “Elite Eight.”
Stephen Yang

Hassan Drame, a forward for the Peacocks team, addressed the crowd –  proclaiming that underdog status is just a state of mind.

“Don’t let nobody tell you you cannot do it, because it’s their opinion. Opinion is a judgment [of] what they doubt about you. Prove them that you can do it. Peacocks!” he said.

The parade also featured an appearance by Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, NJ US Sen. Robert Menendez and the Port Authority Police Bagpipers.

St. Peters
Saint Peters lost to the North Carolina Tarheels on Sunday and was knocked out of the tournament.
Stephen Yang

The team lost to the North Carolina Tarheels on Sunday and is no longer competing in the tournament.

But Friday, Mayor Fulop told the team, “We are thankful for what you did for Jersey City, and we love you.”

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