The Florida Atlantic Owls were college basketball’s Cinderella story in 2023. The program landed its first ever appearance in the Final Four as a nine-seed, coming one point shy of a national championship opportunity.
Unfortunately, a second half collapse and buzzer beating shot led to disappointment amongst FAU fans. A video showing viewers’ reactions to the heartbreaking loss is now floating around the internet.
The Owls surprised everyone in the March Madness field, racking up wins over Memphis, Fairleigh Dickinson, Tennessee, and Kansas State. They appeared to be on their way to a fifth NCAA Tournament victory on Saturday, jumping out to a double-digit lead early in the second half of their Final Four matchup with SDSU.
San Diego State would storm back, though, outscoring the Owls 30-15 over the final 14 minutes of action. Things would go from bad to worse after surrendering the big lead.
Florida Atlantic held a 71-68 lead with under a minute left in play. SDSU got a basket to cut the deficit to one point, then the Aztecs’ stingy defense would keep the Owls off the scoreboard on their final possession.
Cue the dramatics.
San Diego State guard Lamont Butler hit a buzzer beating shot to both get his team to the national championship and seal the Owls’ fate. That game-winner crushed the souls of FAU fans everywhere.
You can see the disappointment on full display in a now viral clip circulating social media. In the video, a bar full of Owls supporters are seen going absolutely silent when that final shot goes through the net.
The unbelievable reaction of hundreds of FAU fans in Boca Raton to the Final Four buzzer beater. #FinalFour pic.twitter.com/wv0UrQ6aQG
— Harrison Vapnek (@harrisonvapnek) April 2, 2023
Followers online were quick to post reactions to the clip.
One person wrote, “sports misery,” while another said, “the agony of defeat.”
While the ending was certainly disappointing, there’s no reason for the Owls to hang their heads. FAU made program history on this NCAA Tournament run, coming one game short of its first ever national championship appearance.