Only the first round has concluded, and already March Madness has delivered some major upsets.
So far, No.1 seed Purdue University, No.2 seed Arizona Wildcats and No.4 seed Virginia Cavaliers have been unceremoniously dumped out of the tournament, succumbing to 16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson, No.15 seed Princeton Tigers and 13th-seeded Furman Paladins respectively.
Fairleigh Dickinson’s 63-58 victory over Purdue was just the second time in NCAA men’s tournament history that a No.16 seed defeated a No.1 seed, and its players flooded the court afterwards in celebration.
“We just have faith in what we do and our guys are so tough and competitive,” FDU’s head coach Tobin Anderson told the TNT broadcast.
“I love our guys. They’re tough. They’re great. They played their tails off. That’s an unbelievable win. It’s unbelievable. We shocked the world.”
Only 2.36% of completed Men’s Bracket Challenge Game entries predicted an FDU win over Purdue, the second-lowest percentage out of every team in the field, according to the NCAA.
The shocking win also means that the last hopes of anyone completing the practically impossible task of predicting a perfect bracket has been eliminated altogether, the NCAA noted.
Any hopes of completing a perfect bracket had already been dented on Thursday following Princeton’s 59-55 improbable win over Arizona and the Paladins’ stunning 68-67 victory against Virginia.
Princeton’s victory alone left only 0.065% of men’s brackets remaining intact, out of the millions of brackets completed, according to NCAA March Madness Twitter.
“One year after all brackets busted on Game No. 28, no one remained perfect after the 25th game of the tournament,” said the NCAA.
For much of the first half, the result had wavered on a knife’s edge before a quick start to the second half put Arizona in control.
But, trailing by 10 points with eight minutes remaining, the Tigers clawed their way back into the game and completed a famous victory.
The Paladins also snatched their unlikely win after completing a comeback, overcoming a 12-point deficit at one stage, to topple Virginia.
“You know, this game is – interesting might be the word I’d use,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett said afterwards, reflecting on his team’s defeat.
“You feel like, we got it, we got it, and then all of a sudden in a moment’s notice, it changes at the end.”