Fairleigh Dickinson shocks Purdue to become second No. 16 seed ever to win NCAA tournament game

Fairleigh Dickinson became the second No. 16 seed in history to win an NCAA Tournament game, stunning top-seeded Purdue 63-58 behind 19 points to Sean Moore and a relentless, rushing defense on Friday night.

The shortest team in the tournament, the Knights (21-15) showed no fear from the start in swarming 7-foot-4 All-America center Zach Edey, a Toronto native. FDU’s players were faster and more in control than the Big Ten champion Boilermakers (29-6).

Five years ago, UMBC led the way for the little guys by beating Virginia in its first 16-over-1 victory after countless close calls over the years. Still, No. 16s had a 1-150 record against No. 1s and were 1-151 overall ahead of FDU’s shocker.

After the final whistle, the FDU players squabbled on the floor of the Nationwide Arena, as the Memphis and Florida Atlantic fans joined forces to cheer on the Knights in the dying minutes.

Fairleigh Dickinson didn’t even win the Northeast Conference Tournament, falling behind Merrimack by one point in the title game, which was unable to compete in the NCAA Tournament due to an NCAA rule barring it from the postseason as it still lost its four- year transition from Division II.

FDU held Purdue scoreless for over 5 1/2 minutes and advanced five points on a three-pointer by Moore – who hails from suburban Columbus – with 1:03 left. The Knights held on from there, becoming the third consecutive two-digit seed to send home the Boilermakers. Purdue was a 3-seed when it lost to 15-seed Saint Peter’s, another New Jersey small school, in the Sweet 16 last year.

Edey finished with 21 points and 15 rebounds in what may have been his last college game, but the Knights consistently denied him the ball on the stretch. He made no attempt in the last nine minutes.

“Often they had a guy guarding from behind and a guy who actually sat on my lap,” Edey said. “They were completely up front the whole game. Made it really hard to get catches. Thanks to them, they had a great game plan. And they executed it really well.”

Without a player on his roster who was taller than six feet, Fairleigh Dickinson sometimes needed two players to guard Edey.

Edey showed some frustration, at one point saying to one of the officials, “Sir, he’s holding my left arm.”

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

“I have no opinion on that,” said Edey when asked about his future. “I will make my decision in the future.”

The Knights’ two previous NCAA Tournament wins were in the First Four, also this year, when they defeated Texas Southern 84-61. After that game, Knights coach Tobin Anderson told his players he thought they could handle Edey and Co.

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

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

“It was the right message, the wrong audience,” Anderson said. “I would have said that without a camera in it. I didn’t mean to upset Purdue. That wasn’t the idea at all. But that should be the message. We’re trying to win the next game. Can’t be happy to be here to be.”

“And the boys have to believe.”

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

Game-saving block helps No. 3 Xavier stay upset

Jack Nunge blocked Terrell Burden’s driving attempt at a starting layup in the dying seconds, and Xavier dug out of a 13-point gap against surprise Kennesaw State to escape with a 72-67 win in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday .

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

Xavier forward Jerome Hunter dunks Friday during his team’s 72-67 victory over Kennesaw State in the first round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. (Chris Carlson/The Associated Press)

Xavier will play against Iowa State of Pittsburgh in the Midwest Region on Sunday.

Xavier led 68-67 as Burden – who had been successful with dribbling penetration all day – spun past Jerome Hunter into the paint and appeared to have a path to the rim. The 2-foot-tall Nunge moved sideways and slammed the ball into the backboard.

Kennesaw State made just two baskets in the final 9:57 as the chances of a signature March moment slipped painfully.

Spartans survive

Joey Hauser scored 17 points and No. 7 Michigan State defensively edged out No. 10 seed Southern California in the second half on Thursday for a 72-62 first-round win of the East Region of the NCAA Tournament.

Coach Tom Izzo’s (20-12) Spartans will take on Marquette on Sunday for a spot in the Sweet 16. Marquette coach Shaka Smart sat in the press row for part of the second half to take a closer look at what his next opponent would be. can be.

Smart watched Michigan State ramp up its defensive intensity after halftime to silence the striped Trojans (22-11), who were eliminated in the first round of the tournament for the second straight year.

Tyson Walker and Jaden Akins each added 12 points for Michigan State, which held USC on 34 percent of shooting in the second half. It felt like every possession was a challenge for the Trojans, who only stayed in range with some late three-pointers and some atrocious free throws by Michigan State.

Entering its 25th straight tournament under Izzo, Michigan State continues what has been a unique and challenging season for the Spartans. The team became the face of a saddened school after a gunman killed three students and wounded five others in a campus shooting on Feb. 13.

Playing in Big Ten country, and backed by a crowd that wore even more green on St. Patrick’s Day, the Spartans took control in the second half.

Jones leads Marquette past Vermont

Kam Jones scored 18 of his 19 points in the second half as Marquette defeated second-seeded No. 15 Vermont 78-61 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday.

Oso Ighodaro scored 14 points and David Joplin added 12 as Marquette (29-6) pulled away in the final 10 minutes and cruised to loss en route to seventh-seeded Michigan State.

Michigan State defeated No. 10 Southern California on Friday.

Jones’ second-half surge included scoring 17 straight for Marquette, including a trio of three-point shots. By the time he finished, the Golden Eagles extended their lead from five points to 17 with just under 10 minutes remaining.

Dylan Penn, Matt Veretto and Robin Duncan each had 11 points for Vermont (23-11), whose 15-game win streak was broken by the Golden Eagles.

Marquette led 39-30 at the half despite Big East Player of the Year Tyler Kolek hitting just 3 of his 10 shots from the floor.

Kolek did not play a major role in the game and got his fourth foul early in the second inning. He finished with eight points after scoring in double digits in the previous 13 games.

Marquette extended his winning streak to 10 games.

Sick VCU through to the next round

Mitchell Saxen had 17 points, seven rebounds and four blocks, as Saint Mary’s defeated the ailing VCU 63-51 in the NCAA Tournament on Friday.

Alex Ducas also scored 17 points as the fifth-seeded Gaels (27-7) 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 (27-8) with 13 points, but he appeared to sprain his right ankle on his landing after taking a jumper with just over 14 minutes left. The Atlantic 10 Conference Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year lay on the field for a few minutes before being treated on the bench and back in the locker room.

VCU trailed 38-34 when Baldwin left and 48-39 when he came back with 9:03 left after the Gaels of the West Coast Conference went on a 10-5 spurt fueled by a three-point play from Kyle Bowen.

Saint Mary’s, which held a 37-29 rebounding lead, will play No. 4 seed UConn or 13th seed Iona and coach Rick Pitino on Sunday.

The NCAA appearance marked the first for 12th-ranked VCU since having to forfeit a game in the 2021 tournament due to a COVID-19 outbreak. The Rams had won nine in a row.

Baylor moves forward

Caleb Lohner scored a season-best 13 points in just 18 minutes, and No. 3 seed Baylor defeated UC Santa Barbara 74-56.

Baylor (23-10) overcame a one-point deficit at halftime to advance to Sunday’s Creighton-North Carolina State winner in the South Region.

Lohner’s only other double-digit performance since moving from BYU to Baylor for the season came back in November when he scored 11 against Virginia.

The Gauchos (27-8) looked like easy prey for the Bears in the opening minutes before using a 13-1 run to take a 26-22 lead.

The Gauchos led the Mountain West Conference in shooting percentage of .493 and that sharpshooting carried over to Ball Arena, where they shot 61.5 percent in the first half to take a 36–35 lead into the locker room.

However, that all fell away after the break. The Gauchos were held to 30.4 percent shooting in the second half and the Bears pulled back.

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