16-seeded Fairleigh Dickinson upsets Purdue in NCAA Tournament
Fairleigh Dickinson became the second No. 16 seed in history to win an NCAA Tournament game, stunning Purdue 63-58 behind 19 points from Sean Moore and a relentless, shoving defense on Friday night.
The shortest team in the tournament, the Knights (21-15) showed no fear as they swarmed 7-foot-4 All-America center Zach Edey early on. FDU’s players were quicker and calmer than the Big Ten champion Boilermakers (29-6).
Five years ago, UMBC led the way for the little guys by crushing Virginia in the first 16-to-1 victory after many close calls over the years. Still, the No. 16s had a 1-150 record before the FDU clash.
Fairleigh Dickinson didn’t even win the Northeastern Conference tournament, dropping a point in the title game against Merrimack, who was barred from the NCAA tournament due to a rule of the NCAA barring him from the playoffs as he is still completing his four-year transition from Division II.
“The more I watch Purdue, the more I think we can beat them,” Fairleigh Dickinson head coach Tobin Anderson told his team Wednesday night after beating Texas Southern 84-61 in the first four to win the game against Purdue.
FDU held Purdue scoreless for more than 5 1/2 minutes on the stretch and moved up five on a 3-pointer from Moore with 1:03 left. The Knights held their ground from there, becoming the second straight double-digit seed to send the Boilermakers home. Purdue was a 3rd seed when it lost to 15th seed Saint Peter’s in the Sweet 16 last year.
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