NCAA Tournament roundup: No. 9 Florida Atlantic reaches Final Four

Mar 25, 2023; New York, NY, USA; Florida Atlantic Owls guard Johnell Davis (1) reacts as the buzzer sounds on their 79-76 victory against the Kansas State Wildcats in an NCAA tournament East Regional final at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

NCAA Tournament roundup: No. 9 Florida Atlantic reaches Final Four

No. 9 Florida Atlantic 79, No. 3 Kansas State 76

Dusty May’s team didn’t see itself as an underdog, and the players wouldn’t admit to it throughout the month of March, but Cinderella’s slipper fits Florida Atlantic flawlessly.

Now the ninth-seeded Owls are headed to their first Final Four in just their second NCAA Tournament appearance of all time.

Alijah Martin scored 17 points, Michael Forrest made four pivotal end-of-game free throws and FAU toppled third-seeded Kansas State 79-76 on Saturday in the East Region final at Madison Square Garden.

Bryan Greenlee put up 16 points on 4 of 6 from beyond the arc as the team’s second-leading scorer.

FAU (35-3) will face either fifth-seeded San Diego State or sixth-seeded Creighton, who play Sunday in the South Region final. The Owls will head to Houston on an 11-game winning streak.

FAU is the third No. 9 seed ever to make the Final Four, joining 2013 Wichita State and 1979 Penn, and the ninth team seeded No. 9 or lower to go this far.

Vladislav Goldin posted 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Johnell Davis had 13 points and eight rebounds as FAU had an enormous 44-22 rebounding advantage.

Despite the loss, Markquis Nowell put together another outstanding performance scoring 30 points to go along with 12 assists and five steals. Nae’Qwan Tomlin had 14 points and Keyontae Johnson scored nine before fouling out.

No. 4 UConn 82, No. 3 Gonzaga 54

Jordan Hawkins matched his career high with six 3-pointers and scored 20 points, and UConn is advancing to the Final Four after steamrolling Gonzaga 82-54 on Saturday night in the West Region final at Las Vegas.

Alex Karaban added 12 points as the fourth-seeded Huskies (29-8) continued their domination of NCAA Tournament opponents. UConn has won its four games by an average of 22.5 points, including three by more than 20.

Adama Sanogo contributed 10 points, 10 rebounds and six assists as the Huskies trailed for just 47 seconds.

Drew Timme had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Julian Strawther added 11 points for the third-seeded Bulldogs (31-6). Gonzaga had a 12-game winning streak halted while playing in the Elite Eight for the fifth time in the past eight tournaments.

The Final Four trip is the sixth overall for UConn and the first since it won the 2014 national championship.

The Huskies will face either second-seeded Texas or fifth-seeded Miami in the Final Four. Those clubs play Sunday in the Midwest Region final.

UConn is 15-0 this season against schools not in its conference (Big East).

The Huskies shot 41.7 percent from the field, including 11 of 31 from 3-point range.

The Bulldogs made 33.3 percent of their shots and were a lowly 2 of 20 from behind the arc.

–Field Level Media contributed to this article

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