Fairleigh Dickinson shocked the world Friday night, stunning Purdue 63-58 to pull off the NCAA Tournament's second-ever 16-over-1 upset, following in UMBC's footsteps when it beat Virginia in 2018.

Yes, the Retrievers won by an eye-popping 20 points, but the Knights' monumental win was arguably more impressive.

Here are three factors that made the Fairleigh Dickinson-over-Purdue stunner the biggest upset victory in March Madness history.


Fairleigh Dickinson didn't win its conference tournament

For small mid-major leagues, the conference tournament is the deciding factor for who represents them in the Big Dance. However, Fairleigh Dickinson, which was the Northeast Conference's No. 2 seed in the regular season, lost the title game to No. 1 Merrimack thanks to a last-second free throw.

One issue, though. Merrimack is ineligible for the NCAA Tournament until 2024 under the governing body's rules about transitioning from Division II to Division I. As a result, Fairleigh Dickinson became the only mid-major team in the country to advance to March Madness despite losing its conference tourney.