#16 Fairleigh Dickinson Stuns No. 1 Seed Purdue in March Insanity – Breitbart

Fairleigh Dickinson grew to become the second No. 16 seed in historical past to win an NCAA Match recreation, gorgeous top-seeded Purdue 63-58 behind 19 factors from Sean Moore and a relentless, hustling protection

Fairleigh Dickinson stuns No. 1 seed Purdue in March MadnessBy TOM WITHERSAP Sports activities WriterThe Related PressCOLUMBUS, Ohio
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Fairleigh Dickinson introduced down a large.

Pulling off one of many largest upsets in NCAA Match historical past, the undersized, underdog Knights shocked top-seeded Purdue 63-58 on Friday night time, turning into the second No. 16 seed to win a recreation in March Insanity.

The shortest staff within the tourney, the Knights (21-15) confirmed no concern in swarming 7-foot-4 All-America middle Zach Edey from the beginning and easily outplayed the Large Ten champion Boilermakers (29-6).

“If we played them 100 times, they’d probably beat us 99 times,” FDU coach Tobin Anderson mentioned. “Play them 100 times, we have one win. But tonight’s the one we had to be unique, we had to be unorthodox. We had to make it tough on them, just be different.”

Sean Moore scored 19 factors to guide FDU and a relentless defensive cost — the Knight pressed many of the recreation — by a staff that now has everybody’s consideration.

5 years in the past, UMBC confirmed the best way for the little guys by overwhelming Virginia within the first 16-over-1 victory after quite a few shut calls through the years. Nonetheless, No. 16s had a 1-150 report in opposition to No. 1s and have been 1-151 general earlier than FDU’s shocker.

After the ultimate horn, FDU’s gamers mobbed one another on the ground of Nationwide Enviornment, the place the followers from Memphis and Florida Atlantic who have been ready for the day’s ultimate recreation joined forces in cheering on the Knights within the ultimate, frantic minutes.

The Knights will now meet the Memphis-FAU winner on Sunday for a Candy 16 berth and a visit subsequent week to play at Madison Sq. Backyard in New York — only a brief drive from the non-public faculty’s campus in Teaneck, New Jersey.

“Man, I can’t even explain it,” Moore mentioned. “I’m still in shock right now. I can’t believe it. It’s crazy. But it feels amazing.”

Fairleigh Dickinson didn’t even win the Northeast Convention Match, falling by one level within the title recreation to Merrimack, which couldn’t take part within the NCAA Match due to an NCAA rule that bars it from the postseason as a result of it’s nonetheless finishing its four-year transition from Division II.

FDU held Purdue scoreless for greater than 5 1/2 minutes down the stretch and moved forward by 5 on a 3-pointer by Moore — who’s from suburban Columbus — with 1:03 left.

The Knights held on from there, turning into the third straight double-digit seed to ship the Boilermakers house. Purdue was a No. 3 seed when it misplaced to No. 15 seed Saint Peter’s, one other small New Jersey faculty, within the Candy 16 final 12 months. The Boilermakers have been bounced within the first spherical by Thirteenth-seeded North Texas in 2021.

“Our job was just to come into the game and throw a punch,” mentioned FDU’s Demetre Roberts, 20 inches shorter than Edey. “We knew they would throw multiple punches. Just throw a punch back. We knew what type of game this was.”

Edey completed with 21 level and 15 rebounds in what could have been his ultimate faculty recreation, however the Knights have been masterful in opposition to him within the second half. Edey didn’t try a shot within the ultimate 9 minutes, and anytime he touched the ball there have been Knights throughout him.

“A lot of times they would have one dude guarding from behind and one dude basically sitting in my lap,” Edey mentioned. “They were full fronting the entire game. Made it very hard to get catches. Credit to them, they had a great game plan coming in. And they executed it very well.”

When Purdue’s late push fell brief and its season ended, Edey squeezed the shoulder straps on his jersey and walked stone-faced towards Purdue’s locker room.

The junior middle is a doable NBA lottery decide, however the bitterness of this defeat might sway Edey to stay round for one more 12 months.

“I have no opinion on that,” Edey mentioned when requested about his future. “I’ll make my decision going forward.”

The Knights’ two prior NCAA Match wins got here within the First 4, together with this 12 months, once they drubbed Texas Southern 84-61. After that recreation, Anderson informed his gamers he believed they may deal with Edey and Co.

“The more I see Purdue, the more I think we can beat them,” Anderson mentioned with a digital camera within the locker room.

A few of Purdue’s gamers mentioned they felt disrespected by the feedback, which turned out to be prophetic.

“It was the right message, wrong audience,” Anderson mentioned. “I would have said that with no camera in there. I didn’t mean to get Purdue upset. That was not the idea at all. But that’s got to be the message. We’re trying to win the next game. We just can’t be happy to be here.”

“And the guys gotta believe.”

Simply being within the tourney was fairly an accomplishment for FDU, which went 4-22 a 12 months in the past.

This was Anderson’s first season on the faculty, and after he landed the job in Might, he held a observe the primary night time simply so he knew what he needed to work with from a staff that had the second-worst report in this system’s 58-year historical past.

It wasn’t lots, so he introduced three gamers — Roberts, Grant Singleton and Moore — together with him from Division II energy St. Thomas Aquinas.

Seems, they’re big slayers.

And it was the Boilermakers, not the undersized Knights, who have been scrambling from the opening tip.

Purdue could have had Fairleigh Dickinson outsized on the ground and within the stands as a boisterous group of Boilermakers followers gave their staff what felt like a home-court benefit regardless of being 240 miles from West Lafayette, Indiana.

Nonetheless, when the Knights’ Joe Munden drained a step-back 3-pointer within the first half, “F-D-U!” chants broke out inside the sector and it grew to become apparent this small staff had huge desires.

And not using a participant on its roster taller than 6-foot-6, Fairleigh Dickinson typically wanted two gamers to protect Edey — one in entrance and one behind — and he missed his first three pictures earlier than a dunk.

Edey confirmed some frustration and at one level informed one of many officers, “Sir, he’s holding my left arm.”

Purdue finally settled in and reeled off 11 straight factors — 4 on Edey free throws — to take 24-19 lead. The Knights, although, responded with their very own spurt and Heru Bligen’s layup after a steal helped FDU take a 32-31 into halftime.

Roberts completed with 12 factors and 6-4 ahead Cameron Tweedy had 10 factors on 5-of-6 capturing for FDU.


AP March Insanity protection: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness and bracket: https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-mens-bracket and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25


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