A year ago, No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson won a mere total of four games. On Friday, a year later, FDU delivered a shocking upset to No. 1 seed Purdue in a season that almost saw the program not play in the men’s NCAA tournament at all.
FDU plays in the Northeast Conference. However, the Knights did not win the NEC tournament, instead losing to Merrimack by one point in the title game.
Merrimack, however, could not compete in this year’s Big Dance because of an NCAA rule that bans the program from the postseason while it completes its four-year transition from Division II. As a result, Fairleigh Dickinson–which finished as the runner-up in the conference tournament–received the conference’s automatic bid.
The Knights, also the shortest team in the tournament, took advantage of the NCAA’s rule and secured a monumental win to punch their tickets to the round of 32. Under head coach Tobin Anderson, Sean Moore led the way with a huge 19-point performance on Friday night against the Boilermakers.
FDU (21–15) will play the winner of the Memphis and Florida Atlantic matchup on Sunday.