Nine-seed Florida Atlantic’s Cinderella story continues after upsetting fourth-seed Tennessee 62-55
The slipper still fits! Nine-seed Florida Atlantic’s Cinderella story continues after upsetting fourth-seed Tennessee 62-55 to reach the school’s first ever appearance in the Elite Eight
There’s still some magic left for underdogs Florida Atlantic University – who pulled an upset over fourth-seeded Tennessee in the Sweet 16.
Guard Johnell Davis led the way for the Owls of Florida Atlantic – grabbing 15 points, six rebounds, and one assist to lead all scorers.
FAU and Tennessee both shot under 50 percent for the game and under 30 percent from 3-point range.
The Owls will be playing on Saturday against Kansas State with the chance to reach the Final Four.
Michael Forrest powered an 18-2 stretch in the middle of the second half and ninth-seeded Florida Atlantic took down fourth-seeded Tennessee 62-55 in the East Region semifinals.
Florida Atlantic has reached their first ever Elite Eight berth in school history with a 62-55 win
The Volunteers were not able to overcome the Owls as they fail to reach the Elite Eight
The underdog Owls (34-3), in just their second NCAA Tournament in program history, will face third-seeded Kansas State on Saturday at Madison Square Garden for the right to go to the Final Four.
Johnell Davis led all scorers with 15 points for Florida Atlantic, making 9 of 10 at the foul line and adding six rebounds. Nick Boyd had 12 points and eight rebounds, and Forrest put up eight of his 11 during the run that turned the tide in the Owls’ favor.
Jonas Aidoo produced 10 points and seven rebounds for Tennessee (25-11). Josiah-Jordan James had 10 points and six rebounds, and Uros Plavsic scored all eight of his points in the first half.
Tennessee led by five at halftime and Santiago Vescovi buried two 3-pointers early in the second half, but the Volunteers couldn’t extend their edge past seven points.
Davis began the decisive run with a layup. Forrest made a 3-pointer off some quick ball movement, trimming the deficit to one. After Tennessee fouled, Forrest canned another triple to make it 43-41 — the Owls’ first lead since 3-2.
Forrest made a shot high off the glass while hitting the deck. Aidoo committed three fouls (one offensive) during the stretch, and Florida Atlantic’s Alijah Martin sank a wide-open 3-pointer to cause Tennessee coach Rick Barnes to call timeout. The Owls extended their lead to 51-41 by the end of the run.
FAU, a school that never won a tournament game before this year, is Elite Eight bound
Consecutive buckets brought Tennessee within six, and James drilled a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 55-50 with 3:37 left.
With the margin seven points, Boyd missed a 3-point attempt, Davis came up with a crucial offensive rebound and was sent to the foul line with 49 seconds left. Davis effectively iced the game by making both free throws to put the Owls up 61-52.
The Volunteers established an early 17-8 lead. The Owls stayed in the game with a balanced scoring effort, and Boyd trimmed it to 27-22 on a 3-pointer with 2:42 to play in the half.
The teams combined to miss their final nine shots of the half from there, with Plavsic’s putback failing to beat the buzzer.
After he scored a career-high-tying 27 points on 10-of-13 shooting in the second round against Duke, Tennessee’s Olivier Nkamhoua was held to six points on 2-of-9 shooting on Thursday. The Volunteers shot just 33.3 percent as a team, compared to the Owls’ 42 percent.
Source of data and images: dailymail