No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson shocks Purdue in NCAA Tournament

Fairleigh Dickinson became the second No. 16 seed in history to win an NCAA Tournament game, edging top-seeded Purdue 63-58 with 19 points from Sean Moore and a relentless, spirited defense Friday night.

The shortest team in the tournament, the Knights (21-15) showed no fear in the crowd from the start with 7-foot-4 All-America center Zach Eddy. FDU’s players were faster and more composed than the Big Ten champion Boilermakers (29-6).

Five years ago, UMBC led the way for the little guys by overpowering Virginia in the first 16-over-1 victory after several close calls in years. Still, the No. 16s had a 1-150 record before FDU’s shocker.

Fairleigh Dickinson vs. Purdue
Joe Munden Jr. of the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights. #1 celebrates after Purdue defeats the Boilermakers 63-58 in the first round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at Nationwide Arena on March 17, 2023 in Columbus, Ohio.

Dylan Boyle/Getty Images

Fairleigh Dickinson also did not win the Northeast Conference Tournament, falling by one point in the title game to Merrimack, which did not qualify for the NCAA Tournament due to an NCAA rule that prevents it from the postseason because it is still in its Completing four. Transfer year from Division II.

FDU held Purdue scoreless for more than 5 1/2 minutes and went ahead by five on Moore’s 3-pointer with 1:03 left. The Knights went on to become the second straight double-digit seed to send home the Boilermakers. Purdue was a 3-seed when it lost to 15-seed St. Peter’s in the Sweet 16 last year.

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