Half of the March Madness Final Four is set as UConn, FAU Advance


With No. 1 seeds Alabama and Houston losing on Friday, the Elite Eight will not field a top-seeded team for the first time in NCAA Tournament history. Instead 9th seed Florida Atlantic and 4th seed UConn are the first schools to punch their tickets to the Final Four.

March Madness Indeed

Ninth-seeded Florida Atlantic became the first and lowest-seeded team to reach this year’s Final Four as the Owls withstood another huge game by Kansas State’s Markuis Nowell to beat the Wildcats 79-76.

FAU (35-3), making just its second appearance in the NCAA Tournament, won the East Region and will head to Houston to play the winner of Sunday’s South Region final between Creighton and San Diego State.

The winningest team in Division I this season had never won an NCAA Tournament game before ripping off four straight, all by single digits. They were also the underdog in all four games.

Nowell led Kansas State once again, finishing with a double-double. He finished with 30 points and 12 assists. He became the first player to have 50 assists during an NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament since Illinois point guard Deron Williams in 2005.

It was a balanced effort by FAU. Four players scored in double digits. Alijah Martin, Bryan Greenlee, Vladislav Goldin and Johnell Davis all scored at least 10 points. The Owls also outrebounded the Wildcats 44-22.

In a classy and unexpected move, K-State head coach Jerome Tang visited FAU’s locker room to deliver a message:

UConn dominated Gonzaga to advance to the Final Four

UConn turned in one of the most impressive performances of the tournament routing Gonzaga 82-54.

Sophomore Jordan Hawkins, who was named the West Regional Most Outstanding Player, scored 20 points for the Huskies:

UConn dominated every facet of the game, especially on the defensive end. Gonzaga shot just 33.3% (20 of 60) from the field and 10% (2 of 20) from the 3-point line. Bulldogs star Drew Timme was held to just 12 points in his final collegiate game.

There is one other thing you should know about the UConn Huskies. They’re not just winning games in this tournament. They’re setting records for margin of victory:

The final two National semi-final spots will be filled on Sunday.

San Diego State, which eliminated #1 seed Alabama, will face Creighton. The Aztecs are +2 point underdogs with the total at 134.5.

Miami which took out #1 seed Houston will battle Texas. The Longhorns are -4 point favorites with a total of 149.

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