Fairleigh Dickinson Stuns Purdue With Historic March Madness Upset
They called their shot on Wednesday. After Fairleigh Dickinson won a First Four play-in game in the NCAA Tournament, the No. 16 seed had a date with Purdue.
Head coach Tobin Anderson called the cameras in to the locker room and called his shot.
“I want Purdue to see this. The more I watch Purdue, the more I think we can beat them,” Anderson said.
Two days and a history-making victory later, Anderson, Fairleigh-Dickinson and their 63-58 win over No. 1 seed Purdue resonated across the sport. Purdue having national player of the year candidate in Zach Edey didn’t matter. And it didn’t matter that Edey is 7-feet, 4-inches tall and Purdue is the tallest team in the country, while FDU is the shortest.
All of that was rendered irrelevant as the plucky underdog, there to be table settings as the No. 1 seed marches on, captured college basketball for a brief few hours. After this upset, Fairleigh Dickinson is the second No. 16 seed to upset a No. 1 seed. Now, they join UMBC and its stunning upset of Virginia in 2018. And Fairleigh Dickinson is the first No. 1 seed to play in a play-in game in Dayton and topple a No. 1 seed.
As for calling out Purdue? When asked, Anderson demurred after the game.
“I just trust our guys. I have faith in our guys,” Anderson said after the big win. “That speech got overblown. We just have faith in what we do and our guys are so tough and so competitive. It was the right message.”
A hometown hero starred for Fairleigh Dickinson against Purdue
Guard Sean Moore starred for Fairleigh Dickinson, scoring 19 points including a dagger 3 late. Moore, a Columbus, Ohio, native, shone in front of a hometown crowd.
While Anderson spoke to sideline reporters after the game, Moore wandered off and celebrated with friends and family.
As for Anderson, he gets to bask in the glory of writing himself, his players, and Fairleigh Dickinson into college basketball and NCAA Tournament lore. Plus, they get to play another game.
“That’s an unbelievable win,” Anderson said. “We just did something that was — I mean that’s unbelievable, we just shocked the world and couldn’t happen to a better bunch of guys, better bunch of fans. We are ecstatic. Unbelievable. We get to stay in Columbus, I love it.”
The post Fairleigh Dickinson Stuns Purdue With Historic March Madness Upset appeared first on Outsider.
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