March Madness 2023: No. 16 FDU’s upset win makes ATS history

Fairleigh Dickinson beats Purdue

For just the second time in the history of the NCAA basketball tournament, a No. 16 seed will be playing in the second round. From a point-spread standpoint, the victory is recognized as the biggest ATS upset in tournament history. Purdue was a 23.5-point favorite against Fairleigh Dickinson, 2.5 points more than Missouri (-21) was favored by in 2012 against Norfolk State.

There’s no way to overemphasize how big the Fairleigh Dickinson (21-15) upset of Purdue was. They went 4-22 a season ago and needed a win in a First Four game against Texas Southern on Wednesday to even advance to the round of 64.

Now they’ll face Florida Atlantic which defeated Memphis on Friday. FAU (32-3) has been installed as a -14.5 point favorite with the total at 149.5.

Unlikely March Madness hero emerges

It was somehow fitting that the Knights shocking victory was keyed by the unexpected contributions of Junior Sean Moore. During the regular season, he averaged 6.7 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. But against the Boilermakers, he raised his game to another level scoring 19 points with five rebounds. He also made two of the biggest plays in the game, including a three-pointer with 64 seconds remaining to put FDU up, 61-56.

But Moore wasn’t finished with his superhero act. He added to his legendary performance by going airborne for a block with 12.5 seconds.

The Knights are just the second 16-seed to win an NCAA Tournament game. UMBC was the first 16-seed to win a tournament game when it defeated Virginia 74-54 in 2018. They’re also the first team from the Northeast Conference to advance to the round of 32.

Purdue continues a disturbing trend

The Boilermakers have now lost to a double-digit seed in three straight NCAA tournaments, but it doesn’t hold the distinction of being the biggest favorite to lose this season.

In December, Iowa lost to Eastern Illinois as a whopping 32-point favorite. Of course, that win came on the Hawkeyes’ home hardwood and not on the massive stage that is March Madness.

One final thought on the bracket-busting comes from an obvious math guy:

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