FAU students soak up Sweet 16 appearance in NCAA tournament

Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 6:50 PM EDT
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The anticipation of Florida Atlantic University’s appearance this week in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament is enough to charge emotions across campus.

"It's incredible the amount of energy that this is bringing to the student body," freshman Tyler Meinhold said.

FAU band member Andrew Heylager said he agrees.

"It was electric," Heylager said. "But honestly, it was FAU versus the world."

The first week of tournament play was a tense one for the Owls.

The team pulled off a one-point victory against Memphis on Friday thanks to a last-second shot.

"The Memphis game was absolutely insane," student Alex Taylor said. "When Nick Boyd made that layup, man, we were screaming."

FAU also won its second-round game against Fairleigh Dickinson University on Sunday, this time by a more comfortable margin of eight points.

But the game ended with some controversy when FAU’s Alijah Martin tried a windmill dunk with seconds remaining, a move that some believed was bad sportsmanship since the game was already decided.

Students like Heylager are standing by their squad.

"We were actually just talking about that dunk," Heylager said. "You could say whatever about it, but at the end of the day, 'Go FAU.' You know, we still got the win fair and square, and there was still time on the clock."

The Owl Nation now has its eyes set on New York and their matchup against Tennessee in the Sweet 16.

FAU student Jerson Millan said he's already satisfied with the team's historic accomplishment.

"No matter what the outcome is Thursday, they've made a stamp on our school, the team," Millan said. "I'm just proud to be part of this. It's amazing."

Win or lose against the Volunteers, the team has already made school history.

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