Fairleigh Dickinson’s men’s basketball coach Tobin Anderson gave his team a pep talk as the No. 16 seed looked to continue his Cinderella story against No. 9 Florida Atlantic on Sunday night.
Anderson and his assistant coach Tom Bonacum addressed the team at their practice before facing the Owls. Bonacum said that he was right behind his opponents as they walked down the aisle and suggested that Florida Atlantic was watching them.
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«I was walking behind, you guys were in the group there, you were walking in the hallway and all you said was, ‘Looks like you’re ready to go home. You did your thing, looks like you’re ready to go home,'» he said. Bonacum.
Anderson then gave his message to the team.
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«Are we ready to go home? We don’t look or act like a team ready to go home,» he said. «It’s going to be hard. Like I told you today, it’s going to be very hard. It’s going to take a lot of effort all the time. Four minute games, right? Win all four minutes, four minutes at a time. Not 16 seeds ever they’ve made it to Sweet 16. You can do something that’s never been done before.»
Fairleigh Dickinson delivered the unlikely upset of No. 1 seed Purdue on Friday. The Knights beat Texas Southern in the inning game before their win over Purdue, 63-58.
The only No. 16 seed to defeat a No. 1 seed came in 2018 when UMBC defeated Virginia. UMBC lost in the Round of 32.
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Florida Atlantic is coming off a 66-65 victory over No. 8 Memphis. Florida Atlantic’s 32 wins this season is the most in program history.