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No. 1 Purdue vs. No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson preview for March Madness First Round matchup

No. 1 Purdue Boilermakers and No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson face off in the First Round of the 2023 NCAA tournament. We’ve got an initial preview of the game and how to watch.

Penn State v Purdue Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Update March 15 8:50 p.m. Following an 84-61 win by Texas Southern in the First Four, the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights will play in the First Round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Ansley Almonor had 23 points and eight rebounds for the NEC’s runner-up team, and the Knights were 11-28 from three-point range in the victory.

The NCAA Tournament begins on Tuesday, March 14th with the First Four, and then moves on to the First Round on Thursday, March 16 and Friday, March 17. The No. 1 seed Purdue Boilermakers will face the No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson Knights on Friday, March 17.

Here’s an early look at what we can expect from the matchup.

Once odds from DraftKings Sportsbook are made available for this game, we’ll add that information below. We’ll also add the game time and TV channel once it’s settled.

Game date: Friday, March 17
Game time: 6:50 p.m. ET
TV channel: TNT
Location: Columbus, OH

Spread: Purdue -25.5
Over/Under: 147
Moneyline: TBD

No. 1 Purdue

Purdue looked like the nation’s top team for a large chunk of the regular season, but faded a bit down the stretch. After starting 23-1, the Boilermakers lost four of six games before knocking off Wisconsin and Illinois to close out the campaign. Now, the question remains, was the rough end to the regular season a blip or what we should expect in the tournament?

Zach Edey is clearly among the top players in the country after averaging 21.9 points and 12.8 rebounds per game. He is unguardable and is a vacuum on the boards. Purdue may over rely on Edey, but for good reason: guards Fletcher Loyer and Braden Smith average fewer points combined than the towering center. That being said, as Purdue ventures deeper into the tournament, opposing teams are going to make someone other than Edey beat them and Loyer or Smith will have to step up.

Record: 28-5, 15-5 Big Ten

Coach: Matt Painter

Qualifier: At-Large

KenPom overall: 5

KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 5

KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 27

Pace: 328

PPP overall: 1.112

Leading scorer: Zach Edey

NET: 5

Quad 1 record: 9-4

Against The Spread: 13-18-2

Over Total: 15-18

No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson

Despite losing the Northeast Conference Tournament to Merrimack, Fairleigh Dickinson earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament due to Merrimack still being in the midst of its four-year reclassification process.

After going 4-22 last season, the Knight have made a tremendous turnaround under new coach Tobin Anderson, and are led by senior guards Demetre Roberts (16.7 PPG) and Ansley Almonor (13.9 PPG) — both of whom followed Anderson from his previous school.

Record: 17-15, 10-6 NEC

Coach: Tobin Anderson

Qualifier: Automatic

KenPom overall: 312

KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 155

KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 361

Pace: 110

PPP overall: 1.067

Leading scorer: Demetre Roberts

NET: 301

Quad 1 record: 0-1

Against The Spread: 13-18-1