Published On: Sat, Mar 25th, 2023

Underdog Alert: No. 9 Florida Atlantic Reaches NCAA Final Four in Shocking Upset

The NCAA Tournament is known for its upsets, buzzer-beaters, and Cinderella stories. In 2023, Florida Atlantic University (FAU) emerged as the latest team to capture the hearts of college basketball fans across the country. FAU, seeded ninth in the East Region, made history by becoming the lowest-seeded team to reach the Final Four in this year’s tournament.

Led by fifth-year head coach Dusty May, the Owls were the winningest team in Division I basketball this season. However, they had never won an NCAA tournament game before this year. That all changed as they ripped off four straight wins, all by single digits, to reach the Final Four.

The Owls’ journey to the Final Four was far from easy. In the Elite Eight, they faced a tough Kansas State team led by Markquis Nowell, who had just set the NCAA tournament record with 19 assists in the Sweet 16. Nowell was incredible again in the Elite Eight, scoring 30 points, dishing out 12 assists, and grabbing five steals. However, he didn’t get enough help from his teammates as FAU held on for a 79-76 victory.

Alijah Martin led the way for the Owls with 17 points, including a crucial 3-pointer down the stretch. Vlad Goldin added 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Michael Forrest made four clutch free throws in the final 20 seconds to seal the win.

FAU’s Cinderella story captured the hearts of basketball fans across the country. As the Owls built their lead in the final minutes, Kansas State fans became anxiously quiet, and the “F-A-U!” chants started to rise. After the game, the Owls rushed the floor to celebrate a historic moment for the school.

FAU’s run to the Final Four proves that anything can happen in the NCAA Tournament. It’s a reminder that in college basketball, it’s not always the big-name schools with the high-profile coaches and the blue-chip recruits that come out on top. Sometimes, the little guy shocks the world and captures our hearts.

FAU’s success is a testament to the power of hard work, determination, and belief. The Owls believed in themselves when few others did, and they proved that they belong among the best teams in the country. The Owls will now play in the Final Four in Houston on Saturday, April 1.

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  1. It is shocking to hear them say Boca during the March madness telecast. Never would I have imagined hearing that! Congrats to the team and coach!

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