FDU celebrates men’s basketball team’s history-making March Madness performance
A celebration was held at Fairleigh Dickinson University on Monday to honor what the school says is the greatest upset in the history of the NCAA Tournament.
FDU’s win over Purdue was just the second time a 16-seed team beat a No. 1 seed. It was just one win, but it is a game that people will be talking about for generations. And now the school is hoping to cash in.
“It’ll always be something we cherish, very much so,” says former basketball coach Tobin Anderson.
FDU typically loses money on sports. Purdue reportedly made $15 million last year.
But the win against Purdue put the team on the map.
"We've settled down a little bit but there's a lot of people still bringing it up around the community. It’s still a big deal,” says sophomore forward Ansley Almonor.
Interim FDU president Michael Avaltroni says that the win has 8 billion views on social media.
“With a B. It’s a big B. I think we had a metric of some $31 million in adjusted revenue value from the PR we’ve gotten,” Avaltroni says.
As the most talked about team of the tournament, it couldn't come at a better time. COVID-19 is still impacting enrollment for colleges around New Jersey. A member of FDU's conference -- Saint Francis Brooklyn -- just eliminated all sports.
But beyond that, the team sees their run as a way to galvanize the campus.
"One of the coolest things about this run is seeing what basketball and athletics can do for the university,” says new coach Jack Castleberry.
Florida Atlantic beat FDU in the tournament and still remains. Some FDU players say that it eases the pain knowing that they went toe-to-toe with a Final Four team.