Tobin Anderson wanted to take some time to enjoy Fairleigh Dickinson’s jaw-dropping appearance in the NCAA Tournament, but, as Iona’s new men’s basketball coach told The Post, “The reality is that’s not how things work in college basketball.”

And so, only 72 hours after Anderson led FDU over Purdue in only the second upset of a No. 1 seed by a No. 16 seed in NCAA Tournament history, he decided to accept Iona’s offer to take over after Rick Pitino’s departure for St. John’s.

“I just love the fact that they came to me and made me feel wanted,” said Anderson, who was a finalist for the job three years ago before Pitino headed to New Rochelle. “They knew me, I knew them. So, we got home [following a 78-70 loss to Florida Atlantic on Sunday] and I knew by [Monday] afternoon. It was a done deal.”

Though the decision was fast, it wasn’t easy, Anderson said. Not after taking a program that had won four games last season to 21 wins and an automatic Northeast Conference tournament bid en route to becoming the talk of the NCAA.

Tobin Anderson is the new coach at Iona.

“You know, we just made college basketball history together,” Anderson said. “And then two days later, I gotta leave, and we can’t be together for a while. That’s sad.”

But Anderson said he heard words of support for his move from everyone on campus, including the players he informed of his decision Tuesday morning before heading to Iona to meet with his new roster.

“They understood it was a chance to move up, a chance to advance,” Anderson said. “But it was hard for me because I personally like the guys we were bringing back. … They’re such high-character guys. … I [told them] I just wanted them to be part of my family. We’ll come back in 20 years and say, ‘Well, that was special,’ but I want them to be part of my life going forward.”

First up, though, is trying to take the next step for an Iona program that won 64 games and reached the tournament twice in three years under Pitino. It’s a return, of sorts, for Anderson, who spent two years coaching in the MAAC as an assistant with Iona rival Siena from 2011-13. The 51-year-old Iowa native has a plan already in place.

“You hear the quote they want to be like the Gonzaga of the East, and I believe that,” Anderson said. “It’s not empty words.

Tobin Anderson led Farleigh Dickinson to an NCAA Tournament of Purdue.
Getty Images

“I think the goal is always to get to the NCAA Tournament. That’s hard, and, of course, you have to win the conference tournament. And then how do we just do what we tried to do at FDU, and that’s win a game or two, get to a Sweet 16.

“That’s a lofty goal, but we’d like to be a team that goes to tournament and stays there a while. You always want to go someplace and do something that’s not been done or not been done in a long time.”