2016 NCAA tournament team previews: Fairleigh Dickinson Knights
As part of its preview of the 2016 NCAA men's basketball tournament, SI.com is taking a look at all 68 teams in the field. RPI and SOS data from realtimerpi.com. Adjusted offense and defense statistics are from kenpom.com and measure the number of points scored and allowed per 100 possessions, and the team's national rank. All other advanced stats are also from kenpom.com (unless noted otherwise) and are through March 14.
Adjusted offensive/defensive efficiency: 105.5 (141st)/114.1 (333rd)
Seed: East No. 16
Impact Player: Earl Potts Jr., sophomore, guard. 14.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 39.7 3P%
The Case For: Fairleigh Dickinson forces turnovers on 21% of its opponents’ possessions. On offense, the Knights have four double-figure scorers, all of whom average at least one three per game at a 33% clip or better. They only have one player on their roster taller than 6'7", so their best hope is to try to turn their opponent’s turnovers into made threes on the other end. But even FDU’s best-case scenario is still a long shot.
The Case Against: Ranked No. 263 on kenpom.com, Fairleigh Dickinson has the second-worst ranking in the field, ahead of only Holy Cross. The Knights are among the worst NCAA tournament teams during the kenpom.com era and with that distinction, they’ll be fortunate to win their First Four matchup against Florida Gulf Coast, let alone play 40 minutes of competitive basketball against No. 1 seed North Carolina. So, there’s overwhelming evidence to build a case against FDU.
The Knights are ranked 333rd nationally in defensive efficiency and 345th in defensive rebounding percentage, which makes earning a tournament bid an accomplishment in itself. Fairleigh Dickinson is the fourth-least experienced team in the country and among the nation’s shortest.
SI prediction: Lose in first round.