clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

What a championship would mean to FAU men’s basketball

Here’s how a title would change FAU’s program.

Florida Atlantic v Kansas State
Nicholas Boyd 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

No team has more to gain from the 2023 NCAA tournament Final Four than the FAU Owls, who got out of the 8-9 game in the East region on a buzzer-beater and decided to keep their run going. The Owls did get some fortune with No. 16 FDU knocking off No. 1 Purdue, but beating Tennessee and Kansas State solidified FAU as a legitimate team.

Winning 30 or more games during the regular season, regardless of what conference you play in, is not an easy feat. This FAU team was probably under-seeded due to its affiliation with Conference USA but maybe this run will change the thinking around some of these mid-major teams.

FAU winning a national title would have a positive trickle-down effect in college basketball, even if the Owls never reach prominence again on the hardwood. Winning a national title will highlight mid-major programs and shift some of the power away from the traditional blue bloods in college hoops. There are schools across the country with more resources and recruiting access than FAU who would gladly reach this point once in their program’s history. Maybe this run will inspire them to invest more in their basketball teams. It’ll also lead to some changes in recruiting, with players understanding they can reach the ultimate goal even if they don’t attend Duke, North Carolina, UCLA, Kentucky, Michigan State or Kansas.

Dusty May would be the hottest name in coaching circles since Shaka Smart and Jim Larrañaga during their runs with VCU and George Mason respectively. Those coaches didn’t finish the job, which would make May an even bigger name. Replicating this success would be difficult, but Smart and Larrañaga didn’t get back to the Final Four with those first programs and that didn’t stop them from getting bigger jobs. There will be some programs which will gladly take May if he’s able to keep taking FAU to the postseason even if he never gets back to the Final Four.