The Florida Atlantic University Basketball Cinderella Story

The Florida Atlantic University Basketball Cinderella Story


The Florida Atlantic University Basketball Cinderella Story


@FAUMBB on Twitter

The Florida Atlantic University Owls are making college basketball history. From winning their first NCAA Tournament game to advancing to the Final Four, the Owls are continuing to keep alive their story that could go down in history. The first number nine seed to reach the Final Four since Wichita State in 2013, and the ninth seed or lower to make it this far since 1979. Only 0.7% of people who made March Madness brackets picked FAU to make it to the Final Four, and ESPN analytics gave the Owls a 4% chance to win the National Title. When FAU entered the tournament they were given 300-1 odds according to Caesars Sportsbook, and the odds are still against them, but FAU continues to look past the odds. Head coach Dusty May said, “I expect the prognosticators to pick us fifth in the Final Four,” which goes to show that if you keep doubting and disrespecting FAU, they are bound to prove you wrong. 

Much of the credit has gone to key players, as FAU allowed 30 points to Markquis Nowell, but the Owls’ offense was led by Alijah Martin, Bryan Greenlee, and Vladislav Goldin. Goldin, being 7’1, had seven defensive rebounds, six offensive rebounds, two blocks, and was crucial down in the paint for the defense. Alijah Martin was three-of-seven on three pointers, and had a crucial three pointer at the 3:03 mark. Michael Forrest, who only had 17 minutes, was clutch when it came to free throws, making all four of his when the game was down to the last wire. The Owls dominated Kansas State in rebounds, having 44 compared to Kansas State’s 22, and even though they had 21 turnovers compared to Kansas State’s 12, they were able to have fewer fouls, especially when it came down to the final minutes. 

From zero NCAA Tournament wins in Florida Atlantic college history to winning their first game in the first round to advance to the round of 32, taking down number four Tennessee in the Sweet 16. They then defeated Kansas State in the Elite Eight, the Owls have been proving they deserve to be here. Being a nine seed leaves FAU as the last remaining underdog in this tournament. With Houston, Alabama, and UConn remaining, the Owls could actually win the entire tournament. FAU will have a date with either San Diego State or Creighton, in which both teams took down two powerhouse teams in Baylor and Alabama. 

For the 2022-2023 season, FAU finished 35-3, 17-0 at home, 18-2 within the conference, and 11-3 away. A dominant regular season shows why we should have never slept on the Owls. Even though FAU is a smaller school, anything can happen in March. This Cinderella story continues into the Final Four, and could even continue in the National Championship game. With the two main powerhouse teams being knocked out, a smaller school, like FAU could seize this opportunity to get their National Title in history. 


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