Alijah Martin’s failed last-second dunk: Poor sportsmanship or part of the game?

Florida Atlantic guard Alijah Martin (15) shoots over Fairleigh Dickinson forward Jo'el Emanuel...
Florida Atlantic guard Alijah Martin (15) shoots over Fairleigh Dickinson forward Jo'el Emanuel (13) in the second half of a second-round college basketball game in the men's NCAA Tournament in Columbus, Ohio, Sunday, March 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)(AP)
Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 10:50 AM EDT
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Florida Atlantic is headed to the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history after defeating Fairleigh Dickinson 78-70 in the second round of the NCAA tournament, but it’s not without some controversy for what happened in the closing seconds of the game.

When the Owls got the ball for their last possession in the final seconds, FAU sophomore guard Alijah Martin attempted a 360-degree windmill dunk, leading to boos from fans in the stands and an awkward exchange between FAU head coach Dusty May and FDU coach Tobin Anderson during the postgame handshake.

The Knights had stopped fouling at that point, essentially conceding the game.

May said he apologized to Anderson.

"I apologized to him for that but also reminded him we're the adults," Dusty May said. "We've got to fix that behavior. It's part of the game. I apologized to him."

The FDU players could be seen congratulating all but Martin after the game.

Martin, who scored 14 points in the win, was noticeably absent from the postgame news conference, presumably to avoid answering questions about his sportsmanship.

There was plenty of talk about the failed dunk on social media as well, mostly to lambaste Martin for the move.

CBS Sports college basketball writer David Cobb was among them, jokingly praising Martin for his "cool missed dunk."

The Owls (33-3) will now face No. 4 seed Tennessee (25-10) on Thursday night in the East Region semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York.

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