2023 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Capsule
What: #9 FAU (35-3) vs. #5 San Diego State (31-6)
When: Sat. April 1st, @ 6:09 PM EST
Where: NRG Stadium
Series: Aztecs lead 2-0 all-time over the Owls. First matchup since 2002 (91-75 San Diego)
TV : CBS
Radio : FoxSports 640
Live Stats Here
Line: FAU +2.5
The Owls continue their best season in program history by advancing to their first Final Four.
FAU got to the round by pulling off an astounding 79-76 upset over a 3-seed Kansas State squad that featured excellent players in Markquis Nowell and Keyontae Johnson.
Alijah Martin and Vlad Goldin shined for the Owls against the Wildcats last Saturday. Martin led the team in scoring with 17 points while getting four rebounds, two steals, and two blocks to heavily contribute on the defensive side of the court. He is improving as the tournament goes on, currently with averages of 12.5 points and 3.8 rebounds on 38.6% shooting from the field and 38.1% from long-range.
For Goldin, he had his best game of the tournament by putting up a double-double of 14 points and 13 rebounds while adding two rejections to enforce himself inside against the Wildcats. He could keep up this performance against San Diego if he gets more ball touches inside to overpower the Aztecs.
Winning tonight would put FAU in the championship game against the Miami Hurricanes or the UConn Huskies Monday night at 8:20 PM.
Like the Owls, the San Diego Aztecs find themselves in the Final Four for the first time ever.
Upon winning the Mountain West Championship, the Aztecs dealt with Charleston in a tight contest, blew out Furman by 23 in the second round, and pulled off an incredible 71-64 upset over one of the favorites in one-seed Alabama.
They ended up having their toughest game of the tournament against Creighton in the Elite 8, surviving the 57-56 nail-biter against the Blue Jays to advance.
San Diego is very talented on the defensive side of the ball, representing themselves as the 24th best defense in the country by allowing 62.9 points per game. Luckily for FAU, they have experience with defensive-minded teams in the tournament thanks to their Sweet 16 matchup with Tennessee who boasted the third best in the nation so they will have preparation on what to expect from the Aztecs.
The Owls should look to impose strong on-ball defense against San Diego. The Aztecs only has one player averaging 10 or more points per game, and that is Matt Bradley with 12.5 points. Forcing the Aztecs to push the tempo while on offense would benefit FAU's chances of securing the victory by playing up to their pace.
San Diego is 8-3 on a neutral court this season.
During the @Hoophall conference in NRG Stadium, @MiamiHEAT legend @DwyaneWade talked about South Florida’s success in #MarchMadness with @FAUMBB and @CanesHoops making the #MFinalFour ! HE'S HAPPY TO HOP ON THE BANDWAGON! 😎 #FAU #GoOwls!🦉🏀 pic.twitter.com/6WfkKDVEaG— FAU Owls Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) April 1, 2023
Check out the #FAU fans outside NRG Stadium getting HYPED for @FAUMBB's #MFinalFour matchup against @Aztec_MBB! THEY ARE READY TO WITNESS MORE HISTORY! 🔥 #GoOwls!🦉🏀 pic.twitter.com/zYoo2CntT4— FAU Owls Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) April 1, 2023
THE #FAU CROWD SHOWED OUT! They are PACKING THE STANDS awaiting the arrival of their @FAUMBB squad on the court, and peep AD @Brian_E_White_ coming down! READY TO ROCK & ROLL! 😎 #GoOwls!🦉🏀 pic.twitter.com/qrP0iYP4lZ— FAU Owls Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) April 1, 2023
Spot for the night with @Rich26Pereira! LET'S GO!!! 🦉🏀 pic.twitter.com/gAXlRAdAsY— Rick Henderson (@Florida_Owl) April 1, 2023
HERE WE GO! We have a BATTLE OF THE COASTS with @FAUMBB representing the East and @Aztec_MBB coming from the West to begin the #MFinalFour of #MarchMadness in Houston! Here are the starters for your Owls:— FAU Owls Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) April 1, 2023
C Goldin#FAU #GoOwls!🦉🏀 pic.twitter.com/KgleGHnBTf
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