Merrimack College defeated Fairleigh Dickinson in the Northeast Conference Tournament championship and under normal circumstances the Warriors would have had a chance to upset Purdue in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
The Knights reached the Conference Finals, losing by two points to the Warriors. But because Merrimack moved from Division II to Division I, they are ineligible to compete in the NCAA Tournament or the NIT until 2023-24. Fairleigh Dickinson, the tournament’s No. 16 seed, pulled off an incredible upset at No. 1 Purdue in the first round.
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Merrimack coach Joe Gallo appeared on “All Ball With Doug Gottlieb” podcast and said there were “no hard feelings” about not participating in the tournament because they knew NCAA law going forward. He added that he was happy with the sudden victory of the Knights.
“I think the feedback most people are looking for is not what they’re going to get from me. I’m happy for them. I’m happy for the league. I think people are really good… The league is a lot this year. When every team plays 4-5 games is guaranteed and the league starts.” If you score from 0 to 40, your gauges will never catch up to the leagues.
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“They go and do what they did—not just in that game, I mean they’re made up of 20 Texas Southerners and it wasn’t even close. I think that them doing that gives our league a little more credibility. … But let’s have FDU keep winning and you get the Merrimack name down.” Because of that “.
Gallo told CBS Sports that he was “happy” to see the Knights win.
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Fairleigh Dickinson became the second No. 16 seed to do the unthinkable and upset the top seed. UMBC was the first to achieve this feat. The Retrievers beat Virginia in 2018.
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