2023 NCAA Tournament Fairleigh Dickinson vs. Florida Atlantic: Preview, Odds, Watch, More
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Fairleigh Dickinson guard Grant Singleton (4) celebrates after scoring a shot against Purdue in the second half of a first round college basketball game at the men’s NCAA tournament in Columbus, Ohio, Friday, March 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Fairleigh Dickinson is looking to continue her Cinderella storyline after being shocked by Purdue in the first round as they take on Florida Atlantic with a trip to the Sweet Sixteen at stake.
#9 Florida Atlantic Owls (32-3) vs. #16 Fairleigh Dickinson Knights (21-15)
How to see:
- DATE: Sunday March 19th
- TIME: 7:45 p.m. ET
- CHANNEL: truTV
- MONEY LINE: FAU (-1000) FDU (+650)
- SPREAD: FAU -15.5
- IN TOTAL: 149
History of the band:
Florida Atlantic Leaders:
- Johnell Davis, G. 13.5 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.5 SPG, 39.3% 3PT
- Aliyah Martin, G: 13.1 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.0 SPG, 36.4% 3PT
Fairleigh Dickinson Executives:
- Demetre Roberts, G – 16.5 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.3 SPG
- Ansley Almonor, F – 13.8 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.4 APG, 38.2% 3PT
Fairleigh Dickinson pulled off the biggest upset of the 2023 NCAA tournament by beating Purdue in their first-round game, becoming the second No. 16 to drop a No. 1 in tournament history. Purdue was the 8th team in the KenPom rankings and had a mammoth center in Zach Edey. The fact that the Knights were able to beat them despite being the smallest team in the tournament says everything you need to know about their tussle and determination.
They’ll look to keep the momentum going with a win over Florida Atlantic, who clinched a 66-65 win over Memphis as a 1.5-point underdog.
Fairleigh Dickinson rebounds well and is aggressive on the offensive glass, bothering Purdue, who was surprised by the outsider’s physicality. It will give the Knights more scoring chances and they also did a good job protecting the ball so they won’t give the Owls many easy scoring chances. Those will be crucial areas if they can hope to keep this game close.
However, Fairleigh Dickinson will need to show significantly better offensive performance in the second round if they are to compensate for their weak defense. Against Purdue, the Knights scored 63 points, but hit only 38.7% from field and 30.4% from beyond the arc. That probably won’t be enough on Sunday.
This Florida Atlantic team has the most offense in the country and is led by a dynamic veteran backcourt. The Owls are doing an excellent job of protecting the ball, which will be key against a Knights team that loves to force turnovers and is averaging more than eight steals per game.
Demetre Roberts’ defensive pressure bothered Purdue’s young guards throughout Friday’s game and he will no doubt look to do the same again. However, I don’t think Florida Atlantic will be that badly affected.
At the end of the day I just think the owls are too deep and talented. Fairleigh Dickinson’s story was great, but I think that’s where it ends.