Florida Atlantic
Florida Atlantic's Alijah Martin (15) goes up for a basket in the first half of an Elite 8 college basketball game against Kansas State in the NCAA Tournament's East Region final, Saturday, March 25, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Florida Atlantic Set For First Final Four Appearance

Florida Atlantic defeated a hot Kansas State 79-76 in the Elite Eight matchup on Saturday night. The win punched their ticket to the Final Four, a feat never done in school history.

They join Miami and San Diego State as the teams on the semifinal stage for the first time.

Beach Boys Still Dancing

With strong performances by multiple players on both sides of the ball, FAU is now 35-3 on the season. A dominant performance on the floor put out a Kansas State Wildcat fire continuing its magical run in March Madness.

FAU had no jitters against a tough KSU matchup, shooting 54% in the opening 20 minutes.

Though Kansas State’s star guard Markquis Nowell dropped 30 points with 12 assists, Florida Atlantic spread the floor with four players accumulating double-digit point games.

7-foot-1 sophomore center Vladislav Goldin led the charge for the Owls early, scoring eight points, with eight rebounds, two assists and two blocks in the first half.


Sophomore guard Alijah Martin picked up his 1,000th career point with a clutch three-pointer to break a 44-44 tie. He’s dropped double digits in four of his last five games. Martin finished with 17 points, four rebounds, and two assists.

Junior guard Bryan Greenlee picked up 16 points, and sophomore guard Johnell Davis would flirt with a triple-double, finishing with 13 points, eight rebounds, and six assists.

FAU dominated on the defensive side. They ended the night with a monstrous 44-22 rebound advantage and a 22-12 turnover margin. Goldin (13), Davis (8), and freshman guard Nick Boyd (7) combined for a majority of the board crashing as the Owls would benefit 15-2 in second-chance points.


The game would end as Johnell Davis swiped the ball from Kansas State’s Ismael Massoud beyond the arch, denying any chance of a comeback in the final seconds.

Following the victory and cutting down the nets in New York City, the Owls were cemented as East Regional Champions. They’d have the last laugh by copying Kansas State’s viral pregame ritual in their postgame celebration.

Defeating the Odds, Surviving the Madness

Florida Atlantic was projected to finish fifth in the C-USA preseason coaches’ poll prior to the season.

That narrative quickly shifted and FAU’s historic run has seen the No. 9 seed mow down four teams on their path to the Final Four. The Owls sent home No. 8 Memphis, No. 16 Farleigh Dickinson, No. 4 Tennessee, and No. 3 Kansas State.

There is a mix of chemistry, experience and trust brewing in FAU’s locker room. During Coach May’s postgame interview, he wouldn’t begin unless his entire team was around him.

Up Next

Florida Atlantic will head to Houston, Texas, to take on San Diego State in NGR Stadium on Saturday.

Historically, the Owls are 0-3 against SDSU. Regardless, FAU is ready for the challenge ahead to become the lowest seed to ever win a National Championship.

Until then, enjoy this meme straight from FAU as they enjoy their historic win.

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