Former Marquette great watching son's tourney run with pride
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Without a doubt, the Cinderella story of the NCAA Tournament has been Saint Peter's University out of New Jersey.
The Peacocks became the tenth 15th seeded team in the tournament to beat a 2 seed when it defeated Kentucky 85-79 in overtime. They then became the third 15 seed to make it to Sweet 16, beating Murray State 70-60.
Saint Peter's junior guard Matthew Lee is the son of former Marquette great, a national player of the year and 1977 National Champion, Alfred "Butch" Lee Jr.
"When I was at the game in Indiana my phone was just beeping, beeping the whole time," said Lee to CBS 58 from Puerto Rico. He says he got over 200 calls and emails as Saint Peter's made its run in the opening weekend of the tournament in Indianapolis.
"Everybody is calling me and wishing Matthew luck," said Lee.
This is the fourth time Saint Peter's has made the NCAA tournament, but the first time they have won a game.
"I'm just so happy and proud that he got a chance to live out some of his dreams," said Lee. "That's the dream of every college basketball player, to get into the NCAA tournament and possibly make a run."
Matthew was born on Butch's home island of Puerto Rico. He says he taught him the game of basketball early.
"You know, we been working on skill development almost since he was born, he was dribbling. He was born almost with a basketball," said Lee.
Matthew would eventually move to the states to have a better shot at playing Division 1 basketball, playing in New Jersey and Ohio. He wears the same number as Butch, 15, and is a guard. But Butch says their games are different.
"I used to hunt baskets, but he's more of a playmaker," said Lee, who averaged 15.1 points per game at Marquette and is sixth all-time in scoring. "He can score, but he makes sure that the team is running on all five cylinders."
The national attention has certainly increased, but that doesn't seem to be something that bothered the Peacocks speaking to reporters before the game this week.
"We don't feel any pressure," Matthew said Thursday in Philadelphia. "We're just here to play basketball. Something we've been doing our whole career. Even though it’s a bigger stage, at the end of the day it's just basketball."
Matthew and Saint Peter's face Purdue in the Sweet 16 Friday, March 25 at 6:09 p.m. on CBS 58. Butch, his wife Rachel Williams and youngest son Brandon will be in attendance in Philadelphia. Butch says he is still his boy's skills coach, but is just enjoying being a parent right now, taking in the journey.