Day one of March Madness showed a few times why it's such an anticipated date on the sports calendar. After a largely unheralded regular season of college basketball — followed mainly by pundits and the immediate fan bases of the schools involved — the masses flock to their televisions, streaming services or local bars to see if Cinderella will win it all, or if any of the "blue bloods" of college hoops will reign supreme. In the course of one afternoon, the Paladins of Furman University and the Princeton Tigers scored wins for the underdogs. As day two unfolded, would we get more of the same? As if you had to ask ....
Underdogs Take Center Stage Again, As FDU Makes History
Looks like FDU head coach Tobin Anderson was right.
?Let?s go shock the world.?
Video from Wednesday night ahead of round one...
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) March 18, 2023
The early part of the day saw the higher seeds illustrating why they were, in fact, seeded higher. Outside of a 24-11 Pitt team (seeded 11th) taking out No. 6-seeded Iowa State (19-14), the other games unfolded as most would expect. Then it was time for the No. 1 seed in the East — the Purdue Boilermakers — to take the floor against Fairleigh Dickinson University. The Knights earned the No. 16 seed after defeating Texas Southern 84-61 in a "first four" game in Dayton, Ohio. This was about as lopsided a matchup as you could possibly fathom coming into the tournament. The Boilermakers finished with a 26-5 record and were crowned regular season champions of the Big Ten. Right smack in the middle of that squad stands 7-foot-4 Zach Edey, the junior center from Toronto who could likely hold his own on an NFL field as well as he does on the basketball court.
On the other side of the floor stood the Knights of Fairleigh Dickinson. The tallest player on their roster, Pier-Olivier Racine, is listed at 6-feet-7. Overall, the Knights came into the tournament as the shortest team in the entire field. The "David vs. Goliath" matchup was ready to go before tipoff. Only once before in the history of the NCAA nen's yournament had a No. 16 seed upset a No. 1 seed. It was back in 2018, almost to the day, that UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) knocked off the Virginia Cavaliers to make history. Well, five years later, the UMBC Retrievers have company. That's right: David slew Goliath.
— Dan Kelley (@DanKelley66) March 18, 2023
Cinderella is most definitely dancing at the ball. What will the rest of the tournament have in store? I don't know — but if the first two days are any indication, we're in for a treat!
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