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How did FAU make it to the Final Four in the 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament?

We take a look at how the Owls made it to the Final Four in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Nicholas Boyd #2 of the Florida Atlantic Owls celebrates as a time out is called in the second half against the Kansas State Wildcats in the Elite Eight round game of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 25, 2023 in New York City. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Throughout the 2022-23 college basketball season, many expected an emphatic month of March because of the inordinate amount of talented teams scattered across the nation. Here we are in the final weekend, and it’s been a thrilling ride: A 16 seed has beaten a 1 seed for the second time in history, all four No. 1 seeds eliminated before the Elite Eight, and there have been a few doses of Cinderella stories to inspire us.

In a truly unprecedented year for the NCAA Tournament, The Florida Atlantic Owls have been the shock of the country over the last two weeks. Let’s recap the incredible run.

First Round

Starting as the No. 9 seed out of the East Region, the Owls silenced the doubters early — handing eighth-seeded Memphis a 66-65 loss.

Round of 32

If you would’ve told Dusty May that his squad would play a 16 seed in Round 2 of the NCAA Tournament, odds are that the fifth-year head coach would laugh in your face. But this is March, folks. Where miracles reside. Though Fairleigh Dickinson took advantage of a misleading Purdue team in Round 1, the Owls proved to be a force to be reckoned with — advancing with a 78-70 win.

Sweet Sixteen

FAU ran into the SEC version of themselves in their third game of the tournament. Tennessee, just as they were able to beat Duke in the second round, entered with a game plan to bully the Owls with their physicality inside the paint. Thanks in large part to 7-foot-1 center Vladislav Goldin, the Volunteers quickly found that they underestimated their lower-seeded opponent.

Elite Eight

The Owls earned their first NCAA Tournament victory, as well as their first Elite Eight victory in the same season by defeating No. 3 Kansas State 79-76 last Saturday.