And now, the end is near. March Madness 2023 is drawing to a climactic close, and what a tournament it’s been so far.
The biggest Cinderella story of the 2023 field has been 9-seed Florida Atlantic University. The Owls have overcome hurdle after hurdle, taking down teams that should’ve easily beat them on paper. March Madness is all about teams like this: the underdogs who make a run against the odds.
The Owls’ impressive run has deposited Florida Atlantic University into the Final Four, where they have a real chance to earn a spot in the championship and even nab a historic victory. Let’s look at the FAU Final Four match-up in depth.
This Florida Atlantic team has seen it all. The Owls first took down Memphis in a one-point victory that came down to the wire. 66-65 was the final score, sending the FAU Owls to the round of 32.
Then, they encountered Fairleigh Dickinson University, fresh off a massive upset of 1-seed Purdue. FAU made quick work of Fairleigh Dickinson in a 78-70 victory.
Neither of Florida Atlantic’s first two match-ups were against top teams, but they still showed a lot of gumption.
In the Sweet Sixteen, the narrative changed. The Tennessee Volunteers were next up after defeating Louisiana and Duke in rounds one and two, respectively. FAU took down the 4-seed 62-55.
And again, the FAU Owls found themselves in a mismatch against the Kansas State Wildcats. The Elite Eight game was one of FAU’s closest, but they emerged with yet another win, 79-76.
Now, the Owls face the San Diego State Aztecs, who are hot off their own run of impressive wins.
Here are the NCAAB national championship odds from two big sportsbooks; BetMGM and DraftKings.
Florida Atlantic is the underdog according to these odds, but not by much. The Owls have a very real shot to make it to the Championship if they can pull together and make buckets against the Aztecs.
Neither team is all that consistent when it comes to scoring. San Diego State has a tournament-high of 75, but the Aztecs made it to the Final Four with a 57-point win.
FAU has a similar story. A 79-point win against Kansas State was the top prospect for the Owls, though a 78-point game against Fairleigh Dickinson is nothing to scoff at.
What does it all mean? That this game is up in the air. Oddsmakers might favor San Diego State, but that’s just math. March Madness has already proven it isn’t concerned with arithmetic. The NCAA Tournament is more concerned with reality, and the reality is this: FAU has shown cohesion and teamwork all the way to the Final Four. The Owls could very well take this game.
Florida Atlantic’s balanced roster has contributed to the school’s 2023 March Madness run. Rather than rely on one player, the Owls have shared the wealth and scored by committee.
Alijah Martin is atop the list of players to watch. He scored 17 points against Kansas State in the Elite Eight, also nabbing four rebounds and two assists. Bryan Greenlee remains a scoring threat, too. He snagged 16 points in the Kansas State game.
Vladislav Goldin is an offensive force to be reckoned with: 14 points, 13 rebounds, and two assists in FAU’s last game. Johnell Davis rounds out the list of players to keep an eye on: 13 points, eight rebounds, and six assists against the Wildcats.
If the Owls can find the same chemistry they’ve drawn upon for the entire tournament so far, they’re a real threat to take down the Aztecs and make the Championship.
Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.
This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.