Fairleigh Dickinson’s impressive run in the NCAA basketball tournament has been well documented, with the coach Tobin Anderson, and one of his players, Sean Moore, gaining significant attention.
However, there is one lesser-known element to the FDU story.
The school only made it to the tournament on a technicality, due to Merrimack, the Northeast Conference Tournament winner, being in the final year of a four-year “transition” period from Division II to Division I.
As a result, Merrimack was ineligible for the NCAA Tournament, despite winning the conference, and had to watch the tournament from home.
Merrimack coach, Joe Gallo, says he does not feel bitter about missing out on the tournament and is happy for FDU and the NEC.
Gallo congratulated Anderson via text after the win over Purdue and said he has a ton of mutual respect for Anderson, dating back to their days playing against each other in college.
Although he is happy for FDU, Gallo says that some of his players are finding it tough to watch the tournament, as it makes them realise what they are missing out on.
Despite this, Gallo believes that the FDU run has given his team the belief that they can make it to the tournament next year, after their “transition” period has ended.
Overall, Gallo believes that the FDU run is great for smaller schools, as it shows that with the right attitude and system, success is possible.
He is excited about the future of his own team and hopes they can follow the FDU example and make it to the tournament next year.
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