Fairleigh Dickinson the Cinderella Story that Made History


Elliott Sense, Staff Writer

Fairleigh Dickinson University Knights beat the Purdue Boilermakers 63-58 on Friday, March 17th, marking the 2nd time in NCAA tournament history that a 16 seed had beaten a one seed. In 2018 a small school known as UMBC upset the Virginia Cavaliers. This was the first time it had ever happened since the introduction of the 16 seed in 1985. Since UMBC beat Virginia there has been a plethora of exciting upsets since, like St. Peters last year, then Furman and Princeton this year.

The Knights have made the first round of the NCAA tournament five times before this but lost each time including a 16 vs 1 against Purdue in 1988. They were also one of the first 16 seeds ever in 1985 but lost to Michigan. Purdue has had a completely different experience, making it to the tournament 32 times since 1969 but has never won making it to the finals just once. Most people have never heard of Fairleigh Dickinson as they are a relatively small school in New Jersey making their defeat of one of the biggest basketball schools even more incredible. 

Three of the biggest contributors in this game were Demetre Roberts scoring 12 points in 33 minutes with four rebounds and four assists. There was also Sean Moore who put up 19 points in just 28 minutes, then finally Cameron Tatum who scored just 10 points but ended with six rebounds and two assists. Although their tournament run ended that very same weekend against Creighton, their legacy will live on as the 2nd 16 seed ever to take down a one seed.