How about them Peacocks, huh? After a dazzling display in the first week of the NCAA Tournament, Saint Peter’s managed to shock the world again, dropping the Purdue Boilermakers in the Sweet 16 to advance to the Elite Eight. This win made them the only 15th-seeded team to ever crack the Elite Eight.

Amidst all the chaos and the praise for Shaheen Holloway’s crew, a certain facility of the Peacocks was noticed: their home arena. Saint Peter’s home court has a rather unique name: “Run Baby Run” Arena. It’s a goofy name, but it’s a name that is filled with history and perfectly exemplifies the underdog mentality of the school.

The epic story behind Saint Peter’s ‘Run Baby Run’ Arena, revealed

Saint Peter’s penchant for upsets apparently runs in the school’s veins. Prior to their magical 2022 NCAA Tournament, the school first made some noise in the 1968 National Invitation Tournament. There, the Peacocks put on a show and stunned Duke University (yes, THAT Duke) 100 – 71 in the quarterfinals.

How does this story relate to the “Run Baby Run” Arena? Well, Duke at the time was notorious for playing at a snail’s pace. It was the reason why they were so successful, as they could grind games to a halt. Saint Peter’s, noticing this trend from the Blue Devils, capitalized by running their highly successful blitz attack.

Their game plan could be summarized in a single line from a report from the New York Times back then. (via

“Scrawled on the blackboard inside the door to the Peacock dressing room were the thickly-lettered words, “Run, Baby Run.”

A blessing from the past

The next major plot point in Saint Peter’s story comes with Shaheen Holloway. A former nationally-recognized guard, Holloway came into New Jersey with one mission: get Saint Peter’s to the top again. However, he had to request for help from the school.

Tom Mac Mahon, a starting guard for the legendary 1968 Saint Peter’s team, obliged Holloway with his request. According to him:

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“When Shaheen came here he sat down with some of us and said, ‘Listen, I can recruit players, but please help me improve this facility,’” Mac Mahon recalled. “I said, ‘We’ll get you an improved facility. It’ll take a few years. You get the players.’

As a result, the university got to work, refurbing their facilities in an effort to revamp their basketball program. The Yanitelli Center, in particular, was a point of emphasis. After many years, the home of the Saint Peter’s basketball fell into disrepair. Games would often be cancelled because of the many issues with the stadium.

As the program was entering a new era, it seemed fitting that a name change for their arena was in order. The past was the past, after all: it’s time to mix things up. Saint Peter’s officials left it up to Mac Mahon to choose the name for the new arena.

“I thought about it for a while and said, ‘I’m naming it after my teammates,’” he said. “I wanted it to have some connection between the team from ’68 and the possibilities of this team.”

“It never even occurred to me that people wouldn’t know what ‘Run Baby Run’ was, and why would you name an arena that?” Mac Mahon said with a chuckle. “This has given an extreme amount of pleasure to a lot of people.”

Run, Peacocks, Run!

54 years later, the Peacocks are running wild over their opponents again. They sent a message by eliminating the second-seeded Kentucky Wildcats in the first round. They followed it up next with a win over the seventh-seeded Murray State, becoming the third 15th seed to make it to the Sweet 16.

As they made it to the Sweet 16, though, many felt that this was the end of Saint Peter’s run. They had amazing moments, yes, but they were going up against a literal giant in the 7’4 Zach Edey. Also, no 15th seed has made it to the Elite Eight. The Peacocks had their backs against the wall once-again.

And yet, here we are, talking about Saint Peter’s improbable run to the Elite Eight. True to the predecessor’s mantra, Holloway, Doug Edert, and the Peacocks ran circles around the Boilermakers, forcing the giant Edey to the bench by the end of the game. At this point, it seems like nothing can stop this team.

Saint Peter’s job isn’t going to get any easier. They’ll be facing either the UNC Tar Heels or the UCLA Bruins in the Elite Eight, two powerhouse programs. Teams are starting to prepare for them harder, as they now lack the element of surprise. However, that’s certainly not going to stop this team. They’ll just put their heads down, and utter the three words that built their program.

“Run Baby Run”.