One of the best parts of March Madness is the schools that fans get to see for the first time.
Sure, it’s fun to watch the top college basketball players in the country put their skills to the test on the national stage. And of course, the upsets are always fun. But every now and again, a team cracks the field of 68 that has either never appeared in the tournament or has made only a small handful of appearances spread out over decades.
Fairleigh Dickinson has provided fans with a bit of everything. The Knights have made only their seventh appearance, and they made history in this trip to the dance, becoming only the second No. 16 seed ever to take down a No. 1 seed as Fairleigh Dickinson advanced to the second round for the first time in program history.
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While Fairleigh Dickinson has now made headlines across the sports world, some basketball fans still might not know a lot about the program. The Sporting News has you covered with everything you need to know about Fairleigh Dickinson.
Where is Fairleigh Dickinson located?
Fairleigh Dickinson is a little bit spread out across not just the United States, but the globe. The school even has two different basketball programs, with one being in Division I and the other being in Division III.
The Knights that will play in the tournament are from Teaneck, N.J. The Devils, Fairleigh Dickinson’s Division III team, play in Florham Park, N.J. The Florham Park campus’ centerpiece is the Vanderbilt-Twombly estate.
There are two other locations of Fairleigh Dickinson, though they do not have college basketball teams. One is located in Wroxton, Oxfordshire, England, which in 1965 made Fairleigh Dickinson the first American college to have a campus outside the United States. In 2007, the university opened a fourth location in Vancouver, marking its second international campus. It also offers online courses.
Fairleigh Dickinson is the largest private university based in New Jersey, and has an enrollment of more than 12,000 full- and part-time students.
MORE: Fairleigh Dickinson’s upset win, by the numbers
What conference is Fairleigh Dickinson in?
Since there are two basketball teams, there are also two conferences for Fairleigh Dickinson. The Knights, who are competing in March, are part of the Northeast Conference.
The Division III team, which competes in Florham Park, is part of the Middle Atlantic Conference Freedom.
MORE: Was Fairleigh Dickinson’s upset win the biggest ever?
Fairleigh Dickinson name origin
The university was founded in 1942 in Rutherford, N.J., by Dr. Peter Sammartino and Sylvia Sammartino, his wife. They named the school after Fairleigh S. Dickinson Sr., who was an early benefactor of the school and the co-founder of Becton, Dickinson & Co., a company still around to date that produces medical devices.
HISTORY OF UPSETS BY SEED:
15 vs. 2 | 14 vs. 3 | 13 vs. 4 | 12 vs. 5
Fairleigh Dickinson NCAA Tournament history
The Knights have made now made the tournament seven times in their program’s history dating back to the 1965-66 season. They have a total of twos win. The first came back in the 2019 tournament, when the Knights took down Prairie View 82-76 in the First Four to enter the field as the No. 16 seed.
The second, a bit better, as the Knights beat the top-ranked Boilermakers to head to the second round.
Here’s a look at Fairleigh Dickinson’s history in March Madness:
|1985||Lost first round||59-55 vs. No. 1 Michigan|
|1988||Lost first round||94-79 vs. No. 1 Purdue|
|1998||Lost first round||93-85 vs. No. 2 Connecticut|
|2005||Lost first round||67-55 vs. No. 1 Illinois|
|2016||Lost First Four||96-65 vs. No. 16 Florida Gulf Coast|
|2019||Lost first round||87-49 vs. No. 1 Gonzaga|