We have witnessed an absolute first-round stunner in the East Region of the 2023 NCAA Tournament.
The No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson Knights vanquished the No. 1 Purdue Boilermakers in a 63-58 upset victory on Friday. FDU becomes just the second 16-seed in NCAA Tournament history to knock off a No. 1 seed in the first round, joining Maryland-Baltimore College in the elite club to pull this off.
FDU (21-15) was game from the opening tip and was not intimidated by the presence of national player of the year candidate Zach Edey or Purdue (29-6). The Knights went blow for blow with the Boilermakers and entered the first half holding onto a 32-31 lead.
The second half is where you see No. 16 seeds fade away, but that wasn’t the case on Friday. The two combatants continued to trade haymakers down the stretch before FDU’s Sean Moore put them up by five with a layup with 1:26 left. After Fletcher Loyer responded with a three for Purdue on the other end, Moore came back with a three that served as a proverbial dagger with 1:04 remaining. Outside of a few Loyer free throws, the Boilermakers were unable to generate any offense in the final minute as history was made in Columbus, OH.
FDU entered the game as a 23-point underdog at DraftKings Sportsbook, making this the biggest outright upset in NCAA Tournament history. The Knights have now improbably advanced to the second round, where they will face either No. 8 Memphis or No. 9 Florida Atlantic.