For the second time in NCAA men's basketball tournament history, a 16 seed upset a 1 seed when FDU knocked off Purdue in 2023. It's a rare feat, but how many people were bold enough to pick Knights to advance out of the first round in the March Madness Bracket Challenge Game? Well, here's what we know:
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Are the people who picked FDU psychic? Maybe, they predicted a 16-1 upset after all. The FDU believers were few and far between as only 2.36 percent of completed brackets rolled with the Knights in the Men's Bracket Challenge Game. In Yahoo, that percentage of FDU pickers was just 1.4 percent.
These people confident in an FDU win were bold. How bold? Take a look:
- An automatic qualifying First Four team had never won a first round game
- 16 seeds had won first round games 0.66 percent of the time (1-150) before the game
- FDU was the shortest team in the tournament, averaging 76 inches. Purdue's star player stood 88 inches tall.
- FDU didn't win its conference tournament. The winner was NEC champion Merrimack, who was ineligible for tournament play as the program transitions to DI
- No team in the NEC had ever won an NCAA tournament game in the round of 64.
FDU was also the second-least picked team to win in a first-round game, behind only Northern Kentucky (2.14 percent). In fact, more than three times as many people predicted Purdue to win the title than predicted a Knights win.
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FDU vs. UMBC
FDU isn't the first 16 seed to win a game over a 1 seed in the men's tournament. That honor goes to UMBC back in 2016. UMBC was the first 16 seed to break ground in the second round, back when only 2.18 percent of people believed in the Retrievers.