March Madness! Fairleigh Dickinson Hands Purdue Historic Loss



March 17

The Fairleigh Dickinson Knights just completed the biggest upset in the history of the NCAA Tournament.

No, that’s not hyperbole.

The Knights took down the Purdue Boilermakers on Friday night, becoming the second No. 16 seed to defeat a No. 1 seed in the history of the tournament. In case you were unaware, Fairleigh Dickinson is located in Hackensack, N.J. Why did we include this? Because you almost certainly didn’t know that information prior.

So, what makes this the biggest upset ever? The spread.

Purdue entered as a 23.5-point favorite, making its loss the biggest in the history of seeding in the tournament. That makes this loss worse in the eyes of the bookmakers than that of Kentucky (-17.5) to Saint Peter’s in 2022 and Virginia (-20.5) to UMBC in 2019, the only other 16-over-1 in the history of March Madness, per Evan Abrams of The Action Network.

The matchup was a real-life reenactment of “David vs. Goliath.” Purdue — who is led by 7-foot-4 center Zach Edey — was the tallest team in the country in 2023, averaging 78.6 inches across the board. Fairleigh Dickinson was the shortest, averaging 73.4 inches. Those numbers are out of 363 Division-I basketball programs, per Kenpom.

It has been a year of upsets, as No. 13 Furman and No. 15 Princeton each secured victories on Day 1 of the tournament.

March Madness is awesome.

NESN 360 in-article asset
Thumbnail photo via Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports Images

Picked For You