Spoiler maker: Fairleigh Dickinson stans top-seeded Purdue


Columbus, Ohio — Fairleigh Dickinson slays a giant.

After pulling off one of the biggest upsets in NCAA tournament history, the diminutive underdog Knights defeated No. 1 seed Purdue 63-58 on Friday night to become the second No. 16 seed to win a game of March Madness. became a team.

The shortest team in the tournament (21-15), the Knights (21-15) dominated 7-foot-4-foot All-America center Zach Eady from the start and the Big Ten champion Boilermakers (29-6). bottom.

Manager Tobin Anderson told the team in the locker room at the gala. “We’re playing really well right now. Stay hydrated and do everything you have to do. The ride isn’t over yet.”

“I could do more.”

Sean Moore led the FDU with 19 points and a relentless defensive charge by the now-watched team.

Five years ago, UMBC showed the way for its smaller players by dominating Virginia in its first 16-1 victory after many close matches over the years. Still, No. 16 had a 1-150 record against No. 1 and was 1-151 overall before FDU’s shocker.

After the final horn, FDU players huddled together on the floor of the Nationwide Arena as Memphis and Florida Atlantic fans awaited the final game of the day, joining forces to cheer on the final frantic Knights. bottom.

The Knights will meet the Memphis-FAU winner on Sunday and travel to play in Bath at Sweet 16 and Madison Square Garden in New York next week, just a short drive from the private school campus in Teaneck, New Jersey.

Fairleigh Dickinson didn’t even win the Northeast Conference Tournament and fell one point behind Merrimack in the title fight.

FDU held Purdue scoreless for over five-and-a-half minutes, trailing Moore (who hails from the suburbs of Columbus) by three points with 1:03 remaining.

The Knights held on from there to become the second consecutive double-digit seed to send home the Boilermakers. Purdue was the No. 3 seed when it lost to No. 15 seed St. He Peters in last year’s Sweet 16.

Eddie finished what might have been his last college game with 21 points and 15 rebounds, but the Knights did well against him in the second half. Edey did not shoot in his final nine minutes. Every time Edy touched the ball, there were knights positioned around him.

The junior center could be picked in the NBA lottery, but the bitterness of this loss could keep Edie for another year.

When Purdue’s lackluster second-half push ended the season, Eadie tightened the shoulder straps of his jersey and walked into Purdue’s locker room with a stone face.

The Knights’ last two NCAA Tournament wins were the first four, including this year’s win over the Texas Southern 84-61. After the game, Anderson told his players that he believed they could handle Eadie and Company.

“The more I see Purdue, the more I think I can beat them,” Anderson said in the locker room.

Several Purdue players said they felt slighted for the comments that turned out to be prophetic.

Even participating in the tournament was a huge achievement for FDU. A year ago he was 4-22.

This is Anderson’s first season at the school, and after he got a job in May, he practiced on his first night and what he had to do from the team with the second-worst record of 58 in the program. I learned about the chronological history.

There weren’t that many, so he brought in three players (5’8″ Demetre Roberts, Grant Singleton and Moore) from Division II power St. Thomas Aquinas.

After all, they are giant killers.

And it wasn’t the diminutive Knights who scrambled from the tip of the opening, but the boilermakers.

Despite being 240 miles from West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue oversized Fairleigh Dickinson on the floor and in the stands as a raucous group of Boilermakers fans made the team feel like a home-court advantage. It may have been sized.

But when Knights Joe Munden hit a step-back three-pointer in the first half, “FDU!”

With no player taller than 6-foot-6 on the roster, Fairleigh Dickinson sometimes needed two players to defend Eddie, one in front and one behind. .

Edey expressed some frustration, at one point telling one of the staff members, “Sir, he’s holding my left arm.”

Purdue eventually calmed down and stole 11 straight points (4 on Edy’s free throw) to take a 24-19 lead. However, the Knights responded with a spurt of their own, and a Hell Brygen layup after the steal sent FDU going into halftime 32-31.

Roberts finished with 12 points and 6-4 forward Cameron Tweedy scored 10 points on FDU’s 5/6 shooting.


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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