What they’re saying about Purdue after Fairleigh Dickinson loss: ‘Exxon Valdez of March.’

Purdue’s loss to Fairleigh Dickinson was one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history, if not the biggest.

While the Boilermakers had a chance to win it late, it was still a No. 1 seed against a No. 16 seed. By all means, those games should be blowouts.

Because of this, the national media did not hold back its disgust at Purdue’s defeat.

“What an absolute flaming garbage barge, floating down the Wabash River. Purdue has a great heritage of success, but its current place in history as the Exxon Valdez of March has overwhelmed everything else.

“How the Big Ten regular-season champion and tournament champion could lose to a team that didn’t even win its own conference tournament, I’m not sure. Fairleigh Dickinson was beaten in the Northeast Conference title game by Merrimack, which wasn’t eligible for the Big Dance as a transitioning school from Division II. And the NEC is terrible—0–31 in the NCAA Tournament until this game.”

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“Alongside Virginia in all future references and winces will mope Purdue, the emphatic Big Ten regular season and tournament champion that lost, 63-58, to anonymous FDU in front of a sold-out and flipped-out crowd, becoming the second of the 152 No. 1 seeds to lose to a No. 16 seed since this seeding construct in this delirious annual event began in 1985.”

“How do you win the Big Ten regular season by a significant distance, roll through the conference tournament and then come out and lose to a team ranked 275th in the kenpom.com efficiency ratings? A team, by the way, that only got into the NCAA Tournament because Merrimack, which beat Fairleigh Dickinson in the NEC championship game, was ineligible for the Big Dance.


“You lose that game because you’re scared of it. Because you don’t have the mentality and the toughness to win it.”

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“If you scripted a movie about an NCAA tournament upset, it would look exactly like this. During every possession on both sides of the floor Friday, Edey was hounded by tiny foes. They were at his front and back and sides, trying to climb him like a jungle gym. Edey looked like a camp counselor playing against kids—and the kids won, 63-58. It’s the second 16-over-1 victory in men’s NCAA tournament history, and I’d argue a bigger upset than UMBC’s win over Virginia in 2018.”


“For all the great things Purdue accomplished this season, winning the league and the Big Ten Tournament, the fact is their season has now been stained. This one won’t fade into the mists of history. This one will leave a mark. This one will be on their permanent record, Painter’s permanent record, and will add to the general narrative that Painter and Purdue are epic postseason underachievers. This is the third straight year the Boilers have been dispatched by a double-digit-seed opponent — No. 13 North Texas in the first round, No. 15 Saint Peter’s in the Sweet 16, and now, No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson in the first round. And don’t forget the 2016 loss to 12th-seeded Arkansas–Little Rock.”

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: 2023 NCAA Tournament: Media thinks Purdue basketball ‘sucked’ in loss