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Fairleigh Dickinson coach gives pep talk, assistant alleges Florida Atlantic trash talk before big game

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Fairleigh Dickinson men’s basketball coach Tobin Anderson gave his team a pep talk as the No. 16 seed looked to continue its Cinderella story against No. 9 Florida Atlantic on Sunday night.

Anderson and his assistant coach Tom Bonacum addressed the team at their practice before they take on the Owls. Bonacum said he was right behind their opponents as they walked in the hallway and suggested that Florida Atlantic was overlooking them.

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Fairleigh Dickinson players celebrate beating Purdue 63-58 after a first-round college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament on Friday, March 17, 2023, in Columbus, Ohio.

Fairleigh Dickinson players celebrate beating Purdue 63-58 after a first-round college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament on Friday, March 17, 2023, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

“I was walking behind, you guys were in the huddle over there, they were walking in the hallway and all they said was, ‘They look like they’re ready to go home. They did their thing, they look like they’re ready to go home,’” Bonacum said.

Anderson then gave his message to the team.

NCAA DIVISION III SCHOOL WINS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP ON WILD BUZZER BEATER

“Are we ready to go home? We don’t look and act like a team ready to go home,” he said. “It’s going to be hard. Like I told you today, it’s gonna be really hard. It’s gonna take a hell of an effort the whole way through. Four-minute games, correct? Win the four minutes, four minutes at a time. No 16 seeds have never made the Sweet 16. You can do something that’s never been done before.”

Fairleigh Dickinson head coach Tobin Anderson reacts after a basket against Purdue in Columbus, Ohio, Friday, March 17, 2023.

Fairleigh Dickinson head coach Tobin Anderson reacts after a basket against Purdue in Columbus, Ohio, Friday, March 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Fairleigh Dickinson delivered the improbable upset of the No. 1 seed Purdue on Friday. The Knights beat Texas Southern in the play-in game before their win over Purdue, 63-58.

The only No. 16 seed to knock off a No. 1 seed came in 2018 when UMBC upset Virginia. UMBC lost in the Round of 32. 

Fairleigh Dickinson head coach Tobin Anderson signals against Purdue in the NCAA Tournament, Friday, March 17, 2023, in Columbus.

Fairleigh Dickinson head coach Tobin Anderson signals against Purdue in the NCAA Tournament, Friday, March 17, 2023, in Columbus. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

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Florida Atlantic is coming off a 66-65 win over No. 8 Memphis. Florida Atlantic’s 32 wins this season is the most in program history.

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