Fairleigh Dickinson upsets top seed Purdue, becoming second 16 seed to beat a No. 1 in March Madness history
There’s something about New Jersey schools playing Cinderella.
Last year, it was St. Peter’s.
On Thursday, it was Princeton.
Now, it’s Grant Singleton and Fairleigh Dickinson.
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FDU became the second No. 16 seed to upset a No. 1 in NCAA Tournament history, taking down Purdue, 63-58.
No team led by more than six points the entire game, and despite Zach Edey continuing to be a walking double-double, the Knights never wavered.
After Purdue took a 47-41 lead, FDU went on a 13-3 run to get back up by four points. Purdue cut it to one with a 3-pointer, but neither team scored the next four minutes.
FDU took a five-point lead with less than two minutes to go, and its defense continued to clamp down. The Boilermakers didn’t score for almost six minutes until a 3-pointer cut the deficit to two.
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But Sean Moore drilled a 3 from the top of the perimeter to put FDU up 61-56 with 1:04 to go. Purdue answered with a pair of free throws and then forced a turnover to get the ball with the shot clock turned off down by three.
After Purdue’s first shot was blocked out of bounds, Fletcher Loyer missed a 3 that was rebounded by the Knights, who were fouled with 8.1 seconds left. Demetre Roberts made both free throws to put his team back up five, and it proved to be the dagger.
“I love our guys. They’re tough, they’re gritty, they played their tails off. That’s an unbelievable win. We just did something that’s unbelievable. We just shocked the world,” head coach Tobin Anderson said after the game.
Moore led the Knights with 19 points, while Roberts added 12.
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No. 16 seeds are now 2-150 all time against No. 1 seeds.
UMBC beat Virginia, 74-54, in the first round of the 2018 tournament. Virginia also fell victim as the four-seed on Thursday to No. 13 Furman.