Pro Hockey News

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

March Madness: Florida Atlantic Set for Sweet 16

 NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. – The Owls are still dancing.

Florida Atlantic University's men's basketball team has made the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. The east region's No. 9 seed FAU (33-3) will play the No. 4 seed Tennessee Volunteers (25-10) on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden. Tip off is set for around 9 p.m. EST.

Thursday's winner will advance to the Elite Eight on Saturday for a chance to win the east region and qualify for the Final Four, to be held in Houston.

After a dominant 28-3 regular season, followed by three more wins to achieve their first ever Conference USA championship, the Owls qualified for the NCAA tournament for just the second time in school history and first since 2002. This added to their season accolades that includes their most wins (33), highest AP national ranking (19) and an undefeated record at home (17-0)

Over the first two rounds, FAU further proved they belong with the best in the nation, recording not only their first, but also their second tournament wins in school history at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

Both victories, first over the No. 8 seeded Memphis Tigers and then the No. 16 seed FDU Knights, were scrappy affairs with low shooting percentages that saw the Owls have to play from behind in the second half. Ultimately, a layup by Redshirt Freshman Nick Boyd with just two seconds left won the ball game over Memphis, 66-65, and a historic performance from Sophomore guard Johnell Davis with a second-half scoring explosion helped the Owls pull away from FDU by a score of 78-70.

The Owls are now off to the Garden as Head Coach Dusty May and Florida Atlantic find themselves as one of the last 16 teams remaining in the entire NCAA. But just like all season, they are determined to continue to play their signature team-first style of basketball and not let themselves by blinded by the growing spotlight.