Princeton University's men's basketball team has been one of the biggest surprises of this year's NCAA tournament. After defeating fifth-seeded Notre Dame in a nail-biting finish, they have earned themselves a spot in the Sweet 16.
As journalists, we were granted exclusive access to follow Princeton behind-the-scenes as they prepare for their upcoming games. We witnessed their intense practices, team dinners and even some karaoke.
Practices have been grueling for the players, with head coach Mitch Henderson pushing them hard to ensure that they are ready to compete at a high level. Junior guard Devin Cannady spoke about how important it is for them to stay focused during practice: "Coach always tells us that we need to be present and engaged during every rep. That's what separates good teams from great ones."
Off-court bonding is also an essential part of Princeton’s success story. Over team dinners, players shared stories about their childhoods and talked about how much they’ve grown since joining the team. Freshman forward Sebastian Much added: "We're like brothers on this team; everyone gets along so well."
But it wasn't all just work – there was time for some fun too! The Tigers took turns singing karaoke after dinner on one particular evening with senior guard Amir Bell stealing the show with his rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller."
With such impressive teamwork both on and off-court, there is no doubt that Princeton will continue surprising fans across America in upcoming games.
As Coach Henderson said before heading back onto the court: "We know what we’re capable of achieving together as a unit."