The Florida Atlantic basketball team booked its first ever ticket to the Final Four on Saturday with an upset win over Kansas State. The nine-seed will now prep for a matchup against San Diego State with a chance to go to the national championship game on the line.
FAU’s win surprised many this weekend, including betting analyst Darren Rovell. After the game ended, the social media team took a moment to troll the doubters in an online victory lap.
Rovell took a direct shot from FAU as he’d previously predicted Kansas State to take down the Owls. In an article written for Action Network, the analyst picked the Wildcats to advance in the round of eight.
Teams built like [FAU] offensively, for the most part, do not make the Final Four. The Final Four and championship games are filled with players that are stars… I’m confident in the spread here for tonight’s game from Madison Square Garden. Take Kansas State -1.5.
Rovell’s premise was based on the fact that no FAU player averaged more than 15 points, and that star power outweighs balance the closer you get to the championship game.
That take obviously didn’t age well as the Owls used that balanced attack to pull off the upset. FAU got a surprise performance from big man Vlad Goldin (14 points, 13 rebounds), and they had four players with 13 points or more.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats had to rely on their star point guard, Markquis Nowell, who scored nearly 40% of the team’s points. Kansas State’s other superstar, Keyonte Johnson, was in foul trouble the majority of the night, notching a tournament-low nine points in 18 minutes of action.
Now, it is worth noting that many doubted the Owls, both fans and media. Sites reported that 90% of spread bets for the contest were placed on the Wildcats.
The public is ALL OVER Kansas State today 👀
💰 75% of ML bets
💰 90% of ML handle
💰 90% of spread bets
💰 91% of spread handle
(via @FDSportsbook) pic.twitter.com/1TDD9l1vMY
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) March 25, 2023
Rovell is bearing the brunt of the criticism, though, as FAU decided to take a shot online.
What was that you were saying, @darrenrovell? 🤔
cc @OldTakesExposed https://t.co/3tmZ5uRg7q
— FAU Men’s Basketball – Final Four Bound (@FAUMBB) March 26, 2023
FAU has been somewhat of a Cinderella story with very few predicting this March Madness run. We’ll see if there are still doubters next weekend in the Final Four.