DAYTON — The Dayton Flyers Men’s Basketball team may not have made it to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament but the Flyer Pep Band has. The band was at Nationwide Arena in Columbus Friday night for FDU’s upset win against the no. 1 seed Purdue Boilermakers.
News Center 7′s Taylor Robertson said FDU kicked off the NCAA Tournament against Texas Southern here at the UD Arena with an 84-61 win at the First Four.
That’s when FDU’s athletic director asked Doctor Willie Morris, University of Dayton Pep Band Director, if they could get some “pep” on the road to Columbus as they took on no. 1 seed Purdue Friday night.
“Whenever someone calls and wants us to play for them, I always ask, ‘Ok, first thing you need to do is send us your fight song so that we can learn it,’” said Morris. “We want to represent your school the best we can.”
Robertson says that’s when the Flyers got to work. The band learned FDU’s fight song just hours before they were on the court in Columbus Friday night before the Knights played Purdue.
“One of the things they kind of learned from working with me is that you never know what Dr. Morris is going to do,” he said.
“We don’t know what to expect out of him on a day-to-day basis,” said Brooke DeLong, UD student.
Robertson said they also had to change some of the usual chants.
“Go Dayton Flyers became, ‘Go FDU Knights,’ and so, it sort of just really fit kind of well actually,” said Richard Bousfield.
They said they were more than happy to be there for FDU for their monumental game when they beat no. 1 Purdue on Friday.
“If you told me in 6th grade I was going to do this, I would not have believed you at all,” said Cole Janiak.
“It was very surreal to be a part of history essentially, and I can’t wait to do it again,” Delong told Robertson.
“We were just going absolutely crazy the entire time, feeding off of the crowd,” said Trent Luken.
“I like to think its part of the mission of who we are as a university, to support the community,” said Morris.
The Flyer Pep Band will be in Columbus Sunday to cheer on FDU when they play no. 9 seed Florida Atlantic in the Second Round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
The winner advances to the East Regional semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Tip-off between FDU and Florida Atlantic is scheduled for around 7:45 p.m. Sunday evening at Nationwide Arena.
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