Fairleigh Dickinson #16 Seed shocks #1 Seed Purdue Boilermakers March Madness Betting
Fairleigh Dickinson made history by becoming only the second 16th seed team to defeat a top-seeded team in the NCAA tournament. The Knights’ victory over Purdue was the most surprising outcome of the 2023 tournament so far. Despite being the smallest team in the country and being a +23.5 point underdog, FDU managed to overpower Purdue, including their 7-foot-4 center Zach Edey. With 16 turnovers forced and 19 points from Sean Moore, FDU achieved an incredible victory. It is
Purdue was the number one seed and was easily expected to beat FDU, which was the last team on the selection committee’s 68-team seed list and a 23.5-point underdog. However, FDU emerged victorious with a stunning 63 – 58 win. This upset marks only the second time that a 16th-seeded team has defeated a number one seed, with the first being UMBC’s victory over Virginia in 2018.
This defeat is a significant setback for Purdue, which had won both the Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles. It is also the third consecutive NCAA tournament in which they have lost to a double-digit seed. In 2021, they lost to No. 13 North Texas in the first round and to No. 15 Saint Peter’s in the Sweet 16 in 2022. The program has consistently struggled in March Madness and has yet to achieve their true potential.
Fairleigh Dickinson University, located in Teaneck, New Jersey, has a long history of basketball success, particularly in recent years. The men’s basketball team has been a part of the NCAA Division I since 1983, but the program’s success really began to take off in the 2010s.
Prior to the 2015-2016 season, the team had only made one appearance in the NCAA Tournament, which came in 2005. However, the 2015-2016 season would mark the beginning of a new era for the program. That season, under the leadership of head coach Greg Herenda, the Knights finished with a 18-15 overall record and a 11-7 conference record, good enough for second place in the Northeast Conference (NEC).
Despite not winning the NEC tournament, the Knights earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament as a 16-seed. In the First Four game, they faced fellow 16-seed and NEC rival, the University of Mount St. Mary’s, and came away with a thrilling 85-84 victory. This marked the program’s second ever NCAA Tournament win, and their first since 1988.
Although their run in the NCAA Tournament was short-lived, as they lost in the First Round to eventual national champion Villanova, the Knights had firmly established themselves as a program on the rise.
The following season, the Knights once again found themselves in the NEC championship game, but fell to Mount St. Mary’s. However, they earned a bid to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT), marking their first appearance in the tournament since 2003.
In the 2018-2019 season, the Knights once again made it to the NCAA Tournament after winning the NEC championship. This time, they faced off against Prairie View A&M in the First Four game, winning 82-76. However, they were once again eliminated in the First Round, this time losing to Gonzaga.
Despite the early exits from the NCAA Tournament, the Knights have shown that they can compete at the highest level of college basketball. With the leadership of Coach Herenda and talented players like Darnell Edge, Jahlil Jenkins, and Elyjah Williams, the Knights will look to continue their success in the years to come.
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