Late night funnyman Jimmy Fallon has adopted the Blackbirds!
The host of “Late Night” dubbed the men’s basketball team from Long Island University as the talk show’s “tournament team,” unveiling his rooting allegiance to a rapt national audience on Tuesday night.
The 15th-seeded team is only an 18-point underdog going into Friday night’s game against the second-seeded University of North Carolina, which has won more than 100 tournament games in its storied history.
By comparison, LIU has won none.
But that didn’t matter to Fallon, who threw his show’s “considerable weight” behind the 25-7 Downtown Brooklyn squad.
“We just love underdogs here,” he said before giving every member of his studio audience a Blackbirds T-shirt. “And with the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds, we found a great underdog in our own backyard!”
On Wednesday’s show, he ecstatically waved inflatable Blackbird thunder sticks like a life-long fan, and sang a tribute to coach Jim Ferry.
Fallon’s borough favoritism is no surprise: his parents are from Sunset Park, and the former “Saturday Night Live” star was born in Brooklyn, though raised in upstate Saugerties. He has previously adopted the St. Francis College men’s water polo team on its road to the that sport’s Final Four. And with Fallon’s help, the Terriers finished fourth.
The Blackbirds face off against UNC at 7:15 pm on March 18 on CBS. Fallon urged everyone to watch, and root.