There’s something about New Jersey schools playing Cinderella.
Last year, it was St. Peter’s. On Thursday, it was Princeton.
Now, it’s Fairleigh Dickinson.
Fairleigh Dickinson guard Grant Singleton (4) celebrates after a basket against Purdue in the second half of a first-round college basketball game in the men's NCAA Tournament in Columbus, Ohio, Friday, March 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
FDU became the second 16-seed to defeat a No. 1 in the NCAA Tournament, taking down Purdue, 63-58.
No team led by more than six points the whole way, and despite Zach Edey continuing to be a walking double-double, the Knights never wavered.
COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 17: Demetre Roberts #2 of the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights reacts to making a play against the Purdue Boilermakers during the first round of the 2022 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament held at Nationwide Arena on March 17, 2023 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Tyler Schank/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
After Purdue took a 47-41, FDU went on a 13-3 run to get back up by four points. Purdue cut it to one with a three-pointer, but no one scored for over four minutes following.
FDU knocked wound up taking a five-point lead with less than two minutes to go, and their defense continued to clamp, as the Boilermakers didn't score for almost six straight minutes until a three-pointer cut the deficit to two.
But Sean Moore has ice in his veins. He drilled a three from the top of the perimeter to go up 61-56 with 1:04 to go. Purdue answered with a pair of free throws and then forced a turnover to get the ball with the shot clock off down by three.
After their first shot was blocked out of bounds, Fletcher Loyer missed a three that was rebounded by the Knights, who were fouled with 8.1 seconds left. Demetre Roberts made both free throws to go back up five, and it proved to be the dagger.
COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 17: Grant Singleton #4 of the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights reacts to making a play against the Purdue Boilermakers during the first round of the 2022 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament held at Nationwide Arena on March 17, 2023 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Tyler Schank/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
16-seeds are now 2-150 against No. 1s.
UMBC beat Virginia, 74-54, in the first round of the 2018 tournament. Virginia also fell victim as the four-seed on Thursday to No. 13 Furman.