In a tournament of upsets and Cinderella runs, one princess stands above the rest. The belle of the ball from Conference USA, the Florida Atlantic Owls.
As an owl would say, who?
Don't underestimate them, the Owls have won 35 games this year while taking down a handful of power-5 schools to make their trip to Houston for the Final Four. They stand two wins away from history, by becoming the lowest seed ever to win the national title and the first team from Conference USA to win it all since 1966.
Can the magic continue?
The short: One of the best offenses in the NCAA, FAU raced through their conference and earned a respectable 9-seed in the NCAA tournament. While being one of the smallest teams in the country, they make up for it by having four players shoot over 36% from the three-point line. This team is a bucket.
Head Coach Dusty May: An A+ name for an A+ coach, Dusty May long served as an assistant under Mike White before taking his first ever head coaching gig for the Owls in 2018. While he thought he committed "career-suicide," it turned out to be the best bet he's ever made. While he's being rumored for bigger jobs and his players are being wooed by other schools, May's sole focus remains being the last team standing.
24-karat Goldin: FAU is one of the shortest teams in the NCAA, even with one of the country's most intimidating figures. 7-foot-1 sophomore Vladislav Goldin leads the Owls in rebounds and blocks and was a key factor in their Elite 8 win over the Kansas State Wildcats. He's an absolute force inside and will need to lock in while facing the many big bodies of San Diego State.
The four guard lineup: FAU plays to their strengths: Utilizing excellent shooters and ball-handlers while annoying the opponent with constant pressure. Their top-6 players in minutes played are all guards and none stand taller than 6-foot-4, but their ferocity and ability to hit open shots confounds and frustrates opponents to no end.
A Cinderella Champion: While they remain with the longest odds to win the whole thing, FAU has the talent to get there and lift the trophy in the end. They will have the Houston crowd behind them and are the best shooting team left in the tournament. Let's hope midnight doesn't strike anytime soon.
Final Four opponent: No. 5 San Diego State
When to watch: Saturday, April 1st at 6 pm ET on CBS
What is a spread bet?: A bet on who will win or lose and by how much.
Here’s how the Owls have performed so far in the tournament: After surviving a one-point opening round victory against Memphis, FAU handled 16-seed Fairleigh Dickenson to head onto the Sweet 16. After that it was two straight Power-5 opponents as they toppled Rick Barnes and Tennessee and then skated by Kansas State despite being down seven points late in the second half.
Advice: This bet is considered a tossup! Place this bet if you think FAU can win the game, but want some cushion in case they have a late heartbreak.
What is a moneyline bet?: A bet on who will win the game!
Here’s how the FAU have performed this year: I mean, they've only lost three times all year.
Advice: This bet is considered a touch unlikely to happen. The plus sign (+) indicates that FAU is not favored to win. Take this bet if you believe in Dusty May and the Owls.
What is an over/under bet?: A bet on the combined score of two teams.
The total scores of the Owls’ tournament games have been: 131 points, 148 points, 117 points and 155 points.
Advice: This bet is considered a tossup. Place this bet if you believe the Owls' offense will show up.