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“16” Fairleigh Dickinson and “15” Princeton Keep Their “Jerseys” On

March 18, 2023

Last year a New Jersey team/school, Saint Peter’s became the first 15th seed (or lower rated) to advance as far as the final 16, when they made the final 8/”quarters,” before being routed by eventual tournie second place team, North Carolina. (This season,  I believe “N.C.” was ranked first early and did not even make the NCAA Tournament, before arrogantly refusing an N.I.T. bid–what would one time N.C. player and 1971 N.I.T. MVP, for N.C,  Bill Chamberlain say?).

Now in this 2023 event I do not watch,  two more very low seeded New Jersey teams/schools have pulled shocking first round upsets, though when you consider the history regarding the favorites/losing teams in those tilts, one is apt to “kick oneself,” for not seeing the larger chance of these upsets manifesting.

For the record, as was the case on a Friday night 5 years ago (Maryland Baltimore County beating Virginia) and for just the second time in 112 such matchups, a 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson, took out a one seed, so often underachieving, Purdue. 

One Friday night in 1989, a 16 seed Princeton team, nearly “shocked out” a one seed Georgetown team, but fell just short. 

This season, in a later afternoon Thursday first round tilt, a 15th seed, Princeton team  took out two seed Arizona, another school, with big time tournament failures.

Unlike Purdue, which has never won a title, at least ‘Zona (had I played Mark Lindsay’s “Arizona” on my ’70’s CD before or after, the Princeton win vs Arizona?) won it all in ’97, denying the “still at it” “snake oil salesman,” oh I mean coach and he is a good one despite U.Conn ripping his Iona team yesterday,  Rick Pitino, then with Kentucky, a repeat crown. 

Ditto Virginia, victimized as referenced above by Maryland Baltimore County in ’18, also on a Friday night, in the only other 16 seed win vs a “1.”


In one of the earliest games of the 2023 event, Furman “came from nowhere,” to knock out a 4th seed Virginia team, which under “slow down” coach Tony Bennett, has been mostly “rags,” in tournament play, however, did get “tournie” “riches” with a very fortunate ’19 crown, which  as with the Rams ’21 and Chiefs ’22,  one severely aided by questionable calls.


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