Florida Atlantic gained another fan in Kansas State head coach Jerome Tang after the Owls upset the Wildcats to advance to the Final Four on Saturday night.
After FAU beat K-State, 79-76, Tang visited the Owls' locker room not only to congratulate them on the win and Final Four berth but also to shower praise on his victorious opponents.
"Your toughness, your togetherness, your ability to make plays for each other ... Nobody can beat y'all," Tang said. "Just stay together. Don't get distracted between now and then. Alright? Stay locked in. Keep doing what you're doing. Y'all are the toughest son-of-a guns we've played all year long."
"Y'all the toughest son of a guns we've played all year long."— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 26, 2023
Jerome Tang went to the Florida Atlantic locker room to congratulate them and wish them luck in the Final Four 🤝#MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/jiF2N2Wl0U
Sportsmanship at its finest.
Tang and the Wildcats were the most recent victim of the upstart Owls. Florida Atlantic entered as the No. 9 seed in the East region and bullied its way past No. 8 Memphis, a No. 16 Farleigh Dickson who knocked off No. 1 Purdue, No. 4 Tennessee and then No. 3 Kansas State. They're led by sophomore guards Johnell Davis and Alijah Martin, who've averaged 17.3 and 12.5 points per game this tournament, respectively.
Florida Atlantic isn't the highest seed to make the Final Four, but they still have a chance to become the highest seed to win the tournament. One other No. 9 seed advanced this far before (in the tournament's current form) — Witchita State in 2013 — while one No. 10 and five No. 11 seeds went to the Final Four as well.
Next up is either No. 5 San Diego State or No. 6 Creighton. But if Tang is to be believed, FAU has played well enough to beat anyone in the field.