FAU And Miami Will Represent South Florida In NCAA Final Four

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The field for the 2023 Final Four is set, and the participants are as seemingly random and unpredictable as the NCAA tournament itself has been.

It will be especially sweet for one particular region of the country.

FAU and Miami Will Represent South Florida In NCAA Final Four

South Florida is not exactly a hot bed when it comes to basketball fandom. The area is anything but rabid when it comes to their sports fandom in the first place. The Miami Heat are really the only team that has ever captivated the entire region, as teams like the Dolphins and Marlins have been mostly disappointing for more than two decades.

But the college basketball teams that play in the southern portion of the Sunshine State are finally getting their time in the, well, sunshine.

Florida Atlantic University is making one of the more unlikely runs in tournament history. There have only been 6 teams ranked higher than a 9-seed that have ever made it to the Final Four, and FAU is the fourth 9-seed to ever make it this deep of a run.

But the 9-seed ranking might have been a bit high for the Owls. They finished the regular season with a 31-3 record and were ranked, by most metrics, within the top 25 or 30 teams in the nation. They of course play in a lesser quality conference than some of the other schools in the tournament, but they were considered a sneaky underdog in most games during their run.

How The Hurricanes Finally Pulled It Off

And then there are the Miami Hurricanes, who have finally gotten over the hump and qualified for the first Final Four in program history.

The Hurricanes were bounced in the first round in 2018 and 2018, and went on to miss the tournament completely the following two years. But head coach Jim Larranaga has turned the team around. Miami made a deep run in last year’s tournament as well, but fell well short of the 1-seeded and eventual National Champion Kansas Jayhawks in the Elite 8.

For a while on Sunday afternoon, it looked as though they would suffer a similar fate. The Hurricanes trailed by as many 13 points in the second half, but came roaring back to defeat the 2-seeded Texas Longhorns.

The win solidified Miami’s place in this year’s Final Four, and puts a cap on the regional tournaments that were even more entertaining and unpredictable as promised.

All eyes will be on Houston and NRG Stadium this coming weekend and into next week as the teams gear up for the Final Four on Saturday and National Championship game on Monday. Many of the eyes will be coming from a region that has been deprived of winning basketball for a long, long while.

It is finally South Florida’s time.

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