March Madness Grid Breaker: 16-seeded Fairleigh Dickinson ahead of No. 1 seeded Purdue in NCAA Tournament
COLUMBUS, Ohio. Fairleigh Dickinson became the second No. 16 seed in history to win an NCAA Tournament game, stunning Purdue with a best record of 63-58 after 19 points from Sean Moore and a relentless, fussy defense Friday night.
The shortest team in the tournament, the Knights (21–15), showed no fear of the crowd from the start, 7ft 4m All-American center Zach Edie. The FDU players were faster and calmer than the Big Ten champion Boilermakers (29-6).
Five years ago, UMBC showed the way for the little guys by beating Virginia in their first 16-1 win after numerous close matches over the years. However, #16 had a 1-150 record before the FDU shocker.
Fairley Dickinson didn’t even win the Northeastern Conference tournament, losing by one point in the title game to Merrimack, who was unable to compete in the NCAA Tournament due to an NCAA rule that bans him from the postseason because he is still completing his four-year transition from Division II.
FDU kept Purdue scoreless for over 5.5 minutes during the stretch and advanced five points thanks to Moore’s 3-pointer with 1:03 left. From that point on, the Knights held on, becoming the second double-figure seed in a row to send the Boilermakers home. Purdue had 3 seeds when it lost to 15 seed Saint Peter’s in the Sweet 16 last year.
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