Many times in the history of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, you see upsets. Often you see double digit ranked teams advancing to the second round. However, what we see on Friday night in Columbus was monumental. For only the second time in the history of the tournament which started in 1939 have you seen a number 16 seed beat a number one seed.
Fairleigh Dickinson’s achievement
The Fairleigh Dickinson University Knights, the number 16 seed, beat the first ranked Purdue Boilmakers 63-58 in the East Region. Three Knights players reached double digits in scoring. Sean Moore, who ironically is from Columbus, Ohio, scored 19 points to lead the team. Demetre Roberts of Mount Vernon, New York meanwhile had 12 points, and Cameron Tweedy of Waldorf, Maryland had 10 points. Senior guard Grant Singleton of Sumter, South Carolina led the Knights with five assists, while Singleton and Tweedy co-led the Knights with six rebounds.
The Knights won both halves. They beat the Boilermakers 32-31 in the first half and then 31-27 in the second half.
Third win in the history of the tournament
The previous two Knights wins came in the NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament came in the first four section of the tournament, as teams try to qualify for the first round. In 2019, the Knights defeated Prairie View A&M 82-76, and then in 2023, the Knights defeated Texas Southern 84-61.
In 2018, five years ago, the University of Maryland Baltimore County stunned the University of Virginia and it was not even remotely close as the Retrievers clobbered the Cavaliers 74-54. The Cavaliers however lost 50-43 in the second round to Kansas State.
Who is up next for the Knights?
Fairleigh Dickinson’s second round opponent will be either Memphis or Florida Atlantic. That game will take place on Sunday. On Thursday, we saw the 15th seed Princeton stun the second seed Arizona 59-55 in the South region.