NCAA Fairleigh Dickinson Purdue Basketball

Fairleigh Dickinson guard Demetre Roberts celebrates during his team’s 63-58 upset win over Purdue in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Friday in Columbus, Ohio. Michael Conroy/Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Fairleigh Dickinson brought down a giant.

Pulling off one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history, the undersized, underdog Knights stunned top-seeded Purdue 63-58 on Friday night, becoming the second No. 16 men’s seed to win a game in March Madness.

The shortest team in the tourney, the Knights (21-15) showed no fear in swarming 7-foot-4 All-America center Zach Edey from the start and simply outplayed the Big Ten champion Boilermakers (29-6).

“We just made history, boys … college basketball history, for this whole school,” Coach Tobin Anderson told his team in the celebratory locker room. “We’re playing pretty damn well now. Hydrate, do all stuff you do, the ride is not over yet.

“We can do something more.”

Sean Moore scored 19 points to lead FDU and a relentless defensive charge by a team that now has everyone’s attention.


Five years ago, UMBC showed the way for the little guys by overwhelming Virginia in the first 16-over-1 victory after numerous close calls over the years. Still, No. 16s had a 1-150 record against No. 1s.

After the final horn, FDU’s players mobbed each other on the floor of Nationwide Arena, where the fans from Memphis and Florida Atlantic who were waiting for the day’s final game joined forces in cheering on the Knights in the final, frantic minutes.

The Knights will now meet the Memphis-FAU winner on Sunday for a Sweet 16 berth and a trip next week to play in the East Region semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York – just a short drive from the private school’s campus in Teaneck, New Jersey.

Fairleigh Dickinson didn’t even win the Northeast Conference, falling by one point in the title game to Merrimack, which couldn’t participate in the NCAA Tournament because of an NCAA rule that bars it from the postseason because it’s still completing its four-year transition from Division II.

FDU held Purdue scoreless for more than 5 1/2 minutes down the stretch and moved ahead by five on a 3-pointer by Moore – who is from suburban Columbus – with 1:03 left.

The Knights held on from there, becoming the second straight double-digit seed to send the Boilermakers home. Purdue was a No. 3 seed when it lost to No. 15 seed Saint Peter’s, another small New Jersey school, in the Sweet 16 last year.


Edey finished with 21 points and 15 rebounds in what may have been his final college game, but the Knights were masterful against him in the second half. Edey didn’t attempt a shot in the final nine minutes, and anytime he touched the ball there were Knights all around him.

The junior center is a possible NBA lottery pick, but the bitterness of this defeat could sway Edey to stick around for another year.

When Purdue’s late push fell short and its season ended, Edey squeezed the shoulder straps on his jersey and walked stone-faced toward Purdue’s locker room.

The Knights’ two prior NCAA Tournament wins came in the First Four, including this year, when they drubbed Texas Southern, 84-61. After that game, Anderson told his players he believed they could handle Edey and Co.

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

Some of Purdue’s players said they felt disrespected by the comments, which turned out to be prophetic.


MICHIGAN STATE 72, USC 62: Joey Hauser scored 17 points and No. 7 seed Michigan State (20-12) clamped down defensively on 10th-seeded USC (22-11) in the second half in Columbus, Ohio.

The Spartans will face No. 2 Marquette on Sunday for a spot in the Sweet 16.

Michigan State ramped up its defensive intensity after halftime to muzzle the streaky Trojans, who were knocked out in the first round for the second straight year.

Tyson Walker and Jaden Akins added 12 points apiece for Michigan State, which held USC to 34% shooting in the second half.

MARQUETTE 78, VERMONT 61: Kam Jones scored 18 of his 19 points in the second half as second-seeded Marquette (29-6) beat No. 15 Vermont (23-11) in Columbus, Ohio.

Oso Ighodaro scored 14 points and David Joplin added 12 as Marquette pulled away in the second half.


Jones’ second-half surge included scoring 17 straight for Marquette. By the time he was finished, the Golden Eagles increased their lead from five points to 17.

Dylan Penn, Matt Veretto and Robin Duncan each had 11 points for Vermont. The America East champions entered with a 15-game winning streak.

KENTUCKY 61, PROVIDENCE 53: Antonio Reeves scored 22 points and Oscar Tshiebwe pulled down 25 rebounds in an overpowering display, helping sixth-seeded Kentucky (22-11) beat No. 11 Providence (21-12) in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Tshiebwe’s rebound total was the second-most in the tournament since 1973, and 11 came on the offensive glass – a big factor in the Wildcats staying in control as both offenses grinded to a halt after halftime.


XAVIER 72, KENNESAW STATE 67: Jack Nunge blocked Terrell Burden’s driving attempt at a go-ahead layup in the final seconds, and Xavier dug out of a 13-point hole against surprising Kennesaw State to escape with a victory in Greensboro, North Carolina.


Souley Boum hit four clinching free throws in the final 2.6 seconds for the third-seeded Musketeers (26-9), who ran off 15 unanswered points as part of a game-ending 24-6 run. That was enough to turn away the 14th-seeded Owls (26-9) in the program’s first-ever March Madness game.

Xavier moves on to face Pittsburgh on Sunday.

PITTSBURGH 59, IOWA STATE 41: Nelly Cummings scored 13 points and No. 11 seed Pittsburgh (24-11) held sixth-seeded Iowa State (19-14) to 23% shooting in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Jamarius Burton added 11 points and Greg Elliott had 10 for the Panthers, who stormed to a 22-2 lead after Iowa State missed its first 11 shots. Things didn’t get much better for the Cyclones, who had three stretches in which they missed at least eight consecutive shots.

MIAMI 63, DRAKE 56: Nijel Pack scored 21 points – including the go-ahead jumper and a pair of free throws in the final minute – to rally No. 5 seed Miami (26-7) past 12th-seeded Drake (27-8) in Albany, New York.

The Hurricanes, who reached the Elite Eight last year, scored the final 10 points and ended the game with a 16-1 run.



UCONN 87, IONA 63: Adama Sanogo scored 10 of his 28 points in the first five minutes of the second half as fourth-seeded UConn (26-8) took control and beat 13th-seeded Iona (27-8) in Albany, New York.

The Huskies advanced to play fifth-seeded Saint Mary’s on Sunday after losing in the first round under Coach Dan Hurley the last two seasons.

Iona had its 14-game winning streak snapped, as the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champion didn’t have the depth to keep up with UConn for 40 minutes.

ST. MARY’S 63, VCU 51: Mitchell Saxen had 17 points, seven rebounds and four blocks, and fifth-seeded Saint Mary’s (27-7) beat ailing VCU (27-8) in Albany, New York.

Alex Ducas also scored 17 points as the Gaels advanced to the second round for the second straight year. Logan Johnson had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and reserve Augustas Marciulionis scored 13 points.


Ace Baldwin led VCU with 13 points, but he appeared to sprain his right ankle on his landing after taking a jumper with just over 14 minutes left in regulation. The Atlantic 10 Conference Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year lay on the court for a couple of minutes before receiving treatment on the bench and back in the locker room.

GONZAGA 82, GRAND CANYON 70: Slow-starting Gonzaga (29-5) finally started playing like a title contender, then wore out Grand Canyon (24-12) behind 28 points and 10 rebounds from Julian Strawther in Denver.

Gonzaga’s Drew Timme finished with 21 points, six rebounds and three blocks for the third-seeded Bulldogs, who haven’t lost a first-round game in the tournament since 2008.


BAYLOR 74, UC SANTA BARBARA 56: Caleb Lohner scored a season-best 13 points in just 18 minutes, and No. 3 seed Baylor (23-10) beat 14th-seeded UC Santa Barbara (27-8) in Denver.

The Bears were led by Adam Flagler’s 18 points. LJ Cryer scored 11 of his 15 points in the second half, when Baylor held the Gauchos to just 20 points on 30% shooting.


The Gauchos led the Mountain West Conference with a .493 shooting percentage and that sharpshooting carried over to Ball Arena, where they shot 61.5% in the first half to take a 36-35 lead.

But that all went away after halftime. The Gauchos succumbed to the thin air, Baylor’s deeper bench and the Bears’ smothering defense.

CREIGHTON 72, NORTH CAROLINA STATE 63: Ryan Kalkbrenner scored a career-high 31 points and sixth-seeded Creighton (22-12) overcame a rough 3-point shooting day to fend off No. 11 seed North Carolina State in Denver.

The 7-foot-1 Kalkbrenner had six dunks and 10 rebounds, and N.C. State big men D.J. Burns Jr. and Ebenezer Dowuona were hampered by foul trouble.

Next up for the Bluejays is third-seeded Baylor.

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