A Florida Atlantic player is under fire from both fans and coaches due to his unsportsmanlike final play in the Owls’ recent NCAA Tournament win. FAU’s Alijah Martin attempted a 360 dunk as the final seconds ticked off the clock in a game that had already been decided.
Fairleigh Dickinson’s head coach Tobin Anderson took offense to the jam, as did a number of viewers in the stands. Fans quickly booed Martin for his disrespectful antics.
Florida Atlantic booked its ticket to the Sweet 16 on Sunday for the first time in program history. In fact, this is just the team’s second ever appearance in the Big Dance.
In their latest outing, the Owls overcame a second half deficit to take down No. 16 seed FDU. Fairleigh Dickinson recently took down No. 1 seed Purdue, but the Cinderella Story came to an end in the round of 32.
After falling behind after the halftime break, the Owls tied things up with just over nine minutes remaining in play. They’d never trail again, outscoring the Knights 24-16 the rest of the way.
Players were definitely enjoying the on-court success, leading one FAU player to try and put an exclamation point on the win with a massive slam dunk.
Alijah Martin attempted to throw down the 360 jam on the game’s final play with his team up by eight points. Many around the college basketball world immediately called the move disrespectful.
The first to take offense was Fairleigh Dickinson head coach Tobin Anderson, who quickly received an apology from FAU coach Dusty May.
Florida Atlantic’s Alijah Martin tries a huge dunk with the game out of hand in the final seconds and hears boos.
FAU head coach Dusty May appears to apologize to FDU head coach Tobin Anderson, who was upset.🏀 #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/Is2rIF8GJx
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) March 20, 2023
Social media soon exploded with reaction. Most had the same response as Coach Anderson, calling the act “classless.” They let their feelings be heard online.
One person wrote, “That dunk attempt from FAU to finish the game was… questionable.” Someone else said, “FAU missing a 360 dunk and having a team manager wave goodbye is pathetic.”
The response didn’t end there.
classless move by Alijah Martin at the end of the game to go for the flashy dunk after FDU had already quit fouling.
do better, FAU.
— Tricia Wurmstein 🌵 (@triciawurmstein) March 20, 2023
Not only did Alijah Martin try a wind-mill dunk as the clocks running out against a 16 seed, but he missed it. Pathetic and embarrassing.
— Ball Withdrawal (@BallWithdrawal) March 20, 2023
I wouldn’t be shocked if people bought tickets to MSG just to boo Alijah Martin for that dunk attempt.
— Robert Aitken Jr. (@RobertAitkenJr) March 20, 2023
Many college basketball viewers quickly became Tennessee fans as the Owls will face off against the Vols in the Sweet 16.
Alijah Martin just turned the whole country into Tennessee fans next round. Zero class.
— Cyclone Dave (@CycloneDave69) March 20, 2023
FAU will get ready for that upcoming matchup in the coming days. You can bet Alijah Martin won’t attempt the same dunk if the Owls are up late.