FAU had zero NCAA Tournament victories at this point last year. The Florida Atlantic men’s basketball team is only the fourth program to make it to the Final Eight without March Madness wins since the field was expanded in 1985.
We are reaching the end of the bracket, and the Owls will compete in this weekend’s Elite Eight, where they are just one victory away from the Final Four.
The Florida Atlantic Owls are the 4th team since the field expanded in 1985 to reach the Elite 8 after entering the year with no NCAA Tournament wins. pic.twitter.com/4FqXpYJzbG
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 24, 2023
The Owls’ incredible Cinderella run went on to defeat No. 4 Tennessee, 62-55, on Thursday night in the Sweet 16.
FAU stayed close to the lead for the majority of the game before a late second-half surge gave the team the victory.
19 seconds into the game, the Owls’ first basket gave them a 3-2 advantage. But they wouldn’t take the lead once more until 9:50 into the second half.
FAU took a 41-39 lead after Michael Forrest’s 3-pointer, an advantage the team wouldn’t give up. The Owls outscored Tennessee 21-16 over the final ten minutes of the half to keep the Volunteers at bay.
MICHAEL FORREST MONEY FROM DEEP
OWLS LEAD 🔥#MarchMadness @FAUMBB pic.twitter.com/HMRiPTLksf
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 24, 2023
To lead the Owls’ charge, Johnell Davis scored a game-high 15 points. In contrast, Nicholas Boyd (15) and Forrest (11) both scored in the double digits, contributing a total of 26 points and 8 rebounds to the victory.
The No. 3 Kansas State Wildcats defeated Michigan State in a nail-biting overtime matchup on Thursday night, with point guard Markquis Nowell turning in a historic performance. FAU advances to the Elite Eight where they will face Kansas State.