FDU Makes History with Upset Over No. 1 Seed Purdue
On Friday, Fairleigh Dickinson stunned the college basketball world by pulling off one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history, defeating No. 1 seed Purdue 63-58. It was the second time a No. 16 seed has ever beaten a No. 1 seed since the men's NCAA Tournament field expanded to 64 teams in 1985. In 2018, the UMBC Retrievers' impressive victory over the Virginia Cavaliers was sealed with a score of 74-54.
FDU's win is also unique because it was the first time a No. 16 seed from the First Four has ever beaten a No. 1 seed in the round of 64. The Knights had an 0-5 record in the round of 64 prior to their historic victory.
“We’re all irritated. We all have a chip on our shoulder,” FDU coach Tobin Anderson said. “People say we shouldn’t be here, we shouldn’t be in the tournament. We want to prove people wrong. And now I think people see that we do belong.”
Purdue's 7-foot-4 center Zach Edey finished with 21 points and 15 rebounds against FDU, but his teammates combined to make just 12 of 42 shots. The Knight's small lineup, paired with their unorthodox strategy of heavily guarding Purdue's best player proved to be a winning combination.
Edey noted that sometimes there would be one defender behind him and one practically in his lap. They were playing a full-on defense, making it difficult to make receptions.
In what is being called a “cliched glass slipper” scenario, FDU earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament, their first appearance since 2019 and seventh overall, as a private, sea-grant university in Teaneck, New Jersey. FDU held Purdue scoreless for more than 5 1/2 minutes down the stretch and moved ahead by five on a 3-pointer by Moore with 1:03 left.
Moore exclaimed, “It's beyond my ability to explain!” I am taken aback at this Incredible! What an insane situation It is an incredible feeling.
0. “Fairleigh Dickinson coach Tobin Anderson guides Knights past Purdue” USA TODAY, 18 Mar. 2023, https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaab/2023/03/17/fairleigh-dickinson-coach-tobin-anderson-guides-knights-past-purdue/11497044002
1. “March Madness 2023: Twitter reacts to FDU-Purdue” ESPN, 18 Mar. 2023, https://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/35883779/ncaa-tournament-fdu-upset-purdue-twitter
2. “FDU’s unlikely path to shocking Purdue paved by one thing: ‘Styles make fights’” The Athletic, 18 Mar. 2023, https://theathletic.com/4322376/2023/03/18/fdu-purdue-ncaa-tournament-upset
3. “March Madness 2023: FDU vs. Purdue leaves Knights coach Tobin Anderson, players buzzing over historic upset” 247Sports, 18 Mar. 2023, https://247sports.com/LongFormArticle/March-Madness-2023-FDU-vs-Purdue-leaves-Knights-coach-Tobin-Anderson-players-buzzing-over-historic-upset-206782409
4. “March Madness 2023 winners and losers: Purdue's early exit is bracket buster; FAU's late shot buries Memphis” CBS Sports, 18 Mar. 2023, https://www.cbssports.com/college-basketball/news/march-madness-2023-winners-and-losers-purdues-early-exit-is-bracket-buster-faus-late-shot-buries-memphis/
5. “FDU's swarming defense stops Purdue's 7-foot-4 Zach Edey in crunch times” New York Post , 18 Mar. 2023, https://nypost.com/2023/03/18/fdus-swarming-defense-stop-purdues-zach-edey-in-crunch-time/
6. “Purdue 58– Farleigh Dickinson 63: History, the bad kind” Hammer and Rails, 18 Mar. 2023, https://www.hammerandrails.com/2023/3/17/23645846/purdue-58-farleigh-dickinson-63-history-the-bad-kind
7. “No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson upsets No. 1 Purdue in NCAA tournament” The Washington Post, 18 Mar. 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2023/03/17/fairleigh-dickinson-purdue-march-madness/