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16th Seed Fairleigh Dickinson Stuns No. 1 Seed Purdue

FDU Joins UMBC as Lone 16s To Win in March Madness

Fairleigh Dickinson, stagged Purdue, 63-58 in the NCAA tournament Friday in Columbus.

The 16th-seeded Knights had to win a First Four game against Texas Southern to earn the spot against the top-seeded Boilermakers.

(Photo by Dylan Buell / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

After the First Four win, coach Tobin Anderson said, “the more I see Purdue, the more I think we can beat them.”

Fairleigh Dickinson joins UMBC, which upended Virginia in the 2018 tournament.

Five years and a day later, the Knights became the second 16 seed to win. FDU won four games a year ago. It is now 22-16 after knocking out the Boilermakers,, whose season ends at 29-6.

The hero was Sean Moore, a 6-foot-4 forward who scored 19 points. Moore averaged 6.7 points per game in the regular season.

Oh, and Moore is from Columbus, Ohio, where the game was played.

Fairleigh Dickinson becomes the first Northeast Conference school to win an NCAA tournament game after more than 30 tries.

The 16 seeds are now 2-150 in tournament history.

Purdue, meanwhile, has been eliminated from March Madness by double-digit seeds for three straight seasons.

Last year, it was another New Jersey darling school, St. Peter’s that ousted Matt Painter’s Boilermakers.

Likely National Player of the Year Zach Edey had 21 points but took only 1 shot in the last 12 minutes.

The madness has been unleashed and now FDU will play the winner of the Memphis-Florida Atlantic game on Sunday.

Another remarkable factoid: Fairleigh Dickinson did not win its conference tournament. The Knights lost to Merrimack, but that school was in its first season of Division I basketball.

The winner of the NEC tournament receives an automatic bid into March Madness. But due to NCAA restrictions as part of Merrimack’s transition to Division I, the Warriors could not compete in the NCAA, paving the way for FDU to take the NEC bid.

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