1995–96 Princeton Tigers men's basketball team
|1995–96 Princeton Tigers men's basketball|
Ivy League Champion
One-game Ivy League playoff, Won
1996 NCAA Men's Division I Tournament, Thirteen Seed, Regional quarterfinal
|1995–96 record||22-7 (13-2, 1st-t Ivy League)|
|Head coach||Pete Carril|
|Home arena||Jadwin Gymnasium|
The 1995–96 Princeton Tigers men's basketball team represented Princeton University in intercollegiate college basketball during the 1995–96 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The head coach was Pete Carril and the team captain was Sydney Johnson. The team played its home games in the Jadwin Gymnasium on the University campus in Princeton, New Jersey. The team was the champion of the Ivy League, which earned them an invitation to the 64-team 1996 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament where they were seeded thirteenth in the Southeast Region. This was the final year that Carril coached the men's basketball team. He would be succeeded by assistant coach Bill Carmody. Carrill retired as the Ivy League's winningest coach in terms of overall victories, conference victories and conference championships. By the end of the decade, Princeton achieved a 76.1% (210–66) winning percentage, which was the eighth best in the nation.
Using the Princeton offense, the team posted a 22–7 overall record and a 13–2 conference record. Even after Jerome Allen and Matt Maloney who led the Penn Quakers to Ivy titles in the prior four seasons graduated, Princeton's only two losses were to Penn. After losing the regular season finale at The Palestra against Penn to finish the regular season tied for the conference championship on March 5, the team won its March 9, 1996 one-game Ivy League playoff game against Penn in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania at the Stabler Arena by a 63–56 margin in overtime for the Ivy League Championship and an invitation to the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. The win ended an eight-game losing streak to Penn. The win earned the team the conference automatic bid to the 1996 NCAA Tournament and following the game head coach Pete Carril announced his retirement. The thirteen seeded team was matched against the defending national champion UCLA Bruins in its first round pairing. The team fell behind 41–34 with over six minutes remaining, but held UCLA scoreless the rest of the game. In a March 14, NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament Southeast Regional first round game at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana against the fourth seeded and defending national champion UCLA Bruins, the team produced the final upset of Carril's career with a 43–41 victory on the strength of a typical Princeton offense Steve Goodrich to Gabe Lewullis bounce pass backdoor basket. During the game, Sydney Johnson's leadership held the team together early when the UCLA looked strong. Two days later the Carril era ended with a loss to Mississippi State.
The team was led by first team All-Ivy League selections Steve Goodrich and Johnson. The team won the eighth of twelve consecutive national statistical championships in scoring defense with a 51.7 points allowed average. Goodrich led the Ivy League with a 60.3 field goal percentage.
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- Brown, Doug (1996-03-10). "Princeton takes Ivy title, 63-56, will lose coach Carril's announcement comes after OT victory". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2011-03-12.
- "Follow The Leader". Princeton University. 2007-11-02. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
- Moran, Malcolm (1996-03-15). "NCAA Tournament: Southeast;Shock Waves: Carril and Princeton Stun U.C.L.A.". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-03-12.
- Markus, Don (1996-03-15). "Princeton dethrones UCLA, 43-41 Retiring Carril again works magic: slowing Bruins to a halt: Tigers score last 9 points: Baltimore's Johnson scores 11 to lead victors". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2011-03-12.
- Moran, Malcolm (1996-03-15). "N.C.A.A. Tournament: Southeast; Shock Waves: Carril and Princeton Stun U.C.L.A.". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
- Moran, Malcolm (1996-03-16). "NCAA Tournament;Princeton Finally Has a Good Answer". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-03-12.
- Moran, Malcolm (1996-03-17). "N.C.A.A. Tournament: Southeast;Carril's Reign Ends With a Grimace". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 8 November 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
- "Division I Records". National Collegiate Athletic Association. p. 48. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- 2009-10 Ivy League Basketball Media Guide. IvyLeagueSports.com. p. 49.