Fairleigh Dickinson, welcome to your place in college basketball history.
For the second time ever on Friday, a No. 16 seed beat a No. 1 seed in the NCAA men's tournament when Fairleigh Dickinson shocked Purdue, 63-58. With the win, the Knights became the biggest underdogs in modern NCAA tournament history to win and joined 2018 UMBC as the only No. 16 seeds to win a men's tournament game.
And they weren't even supposed to be here. FDU earned its spot in the field via a technicality after losing to Merrimack in the Northeast Conference tournament championship. But Merrimack wasn't eligible for the NCAA tournament because it's in just its fourth Division I season. So here we are with Fairleigh Dickinson advancing to the second round.
UMBC welcomed Fairleigh Dickinson to the club on Friday. As did the Harvard women, who beat No. 1 Stanford as a 16 seed in 1998. Meanwhile, a stunned college basketball world reacted to the upset on social media.
We've been lonely
— UMBC Athletics (@UMBCAthletics) March 18, 2023
— Harvard Women's Basketball (@HarvardWBB) March 18, 2023
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) March 18, 2023
Everybody bracket after Purdue got upset by FDU pic.twitter.com/gGJVXbu0LV
— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) March 18, 2023
MARCH EFFING MADNESS!!!
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) March 18, 2023
Go crazy, FDU!!!!
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) March 18, 2023
A quick reminder there was no discussion about which team was going to be No. 68 on the seed list: @FDUKnightsMBB
— Andy Katz (@TheAndyKatz) March 18, 2023
I’m sorry but no matter what you tell me about Purdue’s style or personnel or their past history of upsets, there is no legislating for them losing to KenPom No. 298. Put away the pattern recognition impulse and just enjoy the madness
— Eamonn Brennan (@eamonnbrennan) March 18, 2023
Wowwwwwww this has been crazy!
— Jalen Brunson (@jalenbrunson1) March 18, 2023
— Rush the Court (@rushthecourt) March 18, 2023
Fairleigh Dickson is (probably) gonna do it. How can Purdue fans handle this?
— Steve Greenberg (@SLGreenberg) March 18, 2023
Please don’t touch this tournament. Don’t expand it. Don’t switch it up. Don’t do anything. Just leave it just like this. Please. — Sincerely, Everybody
— Myron Medcalf (@MedcalfByESPN) March 18, 2023
The Big Ten hasn't won an NCAA title since 2000 and this is their best team.
— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) March 18, 2023
fun fact: Fairleigh Dickinson has a Canadian outpost! they have a Vancouver campus!
(trying to look this stuff up before their website inevitably crashes)
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) March 18, 2023