Tyler Schank/NCAA Photos via Getty Images
Purdue became just the second No. 1 seed ever to lose to a No. 16 seed in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament after a shocking 63-58 upset by Fairleigh Dickinson.
Virginia was the only other No. 1 seed to lose in the first round with its 2018 loss to UMBC.
Purdue had high expectations entering the 2023 tournament after winning the Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles. It was enough to earn the fourth No. 1 seed in the field.
However, the excitement disappeared during the first-round matchup as Fairleigh Dickinson continued to make big shots to stay competitive with the top seed.
Fans ripped the Boilermakers during the game, with many putting them on fraud watch.
There was plenty of criticism for the level of play from the Boilermakers:
Pat Forde @ByPatForde
Purdue has taken the crown. Complete and utter meltdown of epic proportion three years in a row.
Rob Dauster @RobDauster
This isn’t on Zach Edey. He’s got two guys hanging on him every time he touches the ball. Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer need to step up. They’re getting outplayed by a pair of 5-9 DII transfers. If this is a national title team, they need to win the next four minutes.
Joey Wahler @JoeyWahler
Win or lose, Purdue with one of the embarrassing shooting games by a 1 seed in Dance history.
Mike Leslie @MikeLeslieWFAA
Farleigh Dickinson, by any measure you look at, is objectively one of the worst teams in the country.
They are ranked 301st by the NET Rating, 299th by Ken Pomeroy’s Ratings, 307th by the Sagarin Ratings, and 285th by the RPI.
And yet, they lead #1 seed Purdue with 3:07 to play
And they’ve outplayed Purdue for almost every second of this game. https://t.co/kuEoCY0Xya
Pat Forde @ByPatForde
Fairleigh Dickinson earns the first Big Dance bid, on a technicality. FDU and Merrimack advance to the NEC finals, but Merrimack is ineligible as a DII transitional school. So FDU is in by making the final.
All-American Zach Edey was productive individually, finishing with 21 points, 15 rebounds and two blocks, but he didn’t get much help around him as the team finished 5-of-26 from three-point range.
Fairleigh Dickinson was clearly not intimidated by the seed—or the size—of its opponent as it came out with tons of confidence from the opening tip. The Knights got out to a 32-31 lead at halftime and refused to go away, hitting shot after shot to stay in front.
Sean Moore especially took over down the stretch, hitting a clutch three-pointer with just over a minute remaining to give his team a five-point advantage. He finished with a team-high 19 points in the win.
The Boilermakers couldn’t do enough offensively to keep up and suffered the embarrassing loss.
After losing to No. 15 Saint Peter’s in the Sweet 16 last year and No. 13 North Texas in the first round the year before, it’s been a rough stretch for head coach Matt Painter.
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