Fairleigh Dickinson will get NCAA bid resulting from D-I transition rule

Fairleigh Dickinson grew to become the primary crew to punch its ticket to the 2023 NCAA event on Saturday — and the Knights did it with out profitable their convention event.

Merrimack, the 1-seed within the Northeast Conference event, remains to be within the midst of its four-year reclassification course of from Division II to Division I and is subsequently ineligible for the NCAA event. However, the NEC introduced final summer season it will enable Merrimack to take part within the convention event this season. Merrimack profitable the regular-season title meant the championship sport runner-up would advance to the NCAA event ought to the Warriors make it to the title sport.

That state of affairs performed out on Saturday. With Merrimack beating Sacred Heart within the first semifinal on Saturday, it meant the winner of the second semifinal between Fairleigh Dickinson and St. Francis (Pa.) would earn the league’s computerized bid to the NCAA event.

Fairleigh Dickinson, the 2-seed within the event, knocked off 3-seed St. Francis 70-50. Demetre Roberts led the best way with 18 factors and 5 assists, and Ansley Almonor (15 factors) and Grant Singleton (12 factors) additionally scored in double figures.

Merrimack and Fairleigh Dickinson will nonetheless face one another within the NEC event title sport on Tuesday (7 p.m., ESPN2).

It’s an enormous accomplishment for first-year head coach Tobin Anderson, who took over a Fairleigh Dickinson crew that completed 4-22 final season. Anderson, who had been the pinnacle coach at Division II St. Thomas Aquinas since 2013 earlier than taking on at FDU, guided the Knights to a 15-win enchancment.

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The NEC’s state of affairs is just like what occurred within the ASUN event final season, with Bellarmine profitable the convention event regardless of being ineligible for the NCAA event resulting from its reclassification standing. Jacksonville State was the regular-season champion, so the Gamecocks earned the automated bid although they misplaced to Jacksonville within the convention event semifinals.