The March Madness truly lived up to its name as the No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson delivered a huge upset against the No. 1 seeded Purdue in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Friday night. The Knights simply executed better in the second half of the game, outplaying most of the players from the Boilermakers except for NBA prospect, Zack Edey.
Their upset is reminiscent of what UMBC – University of Maryland-Baltimore did back in 2018 when they became the first No. 16 seed to defeat a No. 1 seed in tournament history. Bettors placed FDU as a 23.5 underdog against Purdue before the game. While UMBC won via blowout against Virginia, the FDU vs Purdue matchup was close throughout and ended with a score of 63-58.
The Boilermakers have now lost each of their last three opening-round matches since making the Elite 8 in 2019. Zack Edey, probably the best big man of the tournament, carried his team throughout the game as he scored 21 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in the loss. But he only had one shot attempt in the final 10 minutes of the game as FDU swarmed Edey in the second half.
The Knights had a balanced attack, led by Sean Moore’s 19 points and a couple more players who scored 10 plus points. March Madness fans always root for a Cinderella run and if FDU can continue their strong play in their next game, then teams cannot take this dark horse lightly.