The 2023 NCAA Tournament has been one of the most entertaining and unpredictable versions of March Madness that we’ve had in recent memory, and there is no bigger proof of that than both SDSU and FAU making it all the way to the Final Four.
Both roads to winning their respective regions were full of upsets. It could be argued that FAU had the easier path, considering that they got to play against a 16-seed in the second round. But after defeating Fairleigh Dickinson, Florida Atlantic went on to defeat 4-seeded Tennessee and 3-seeded Kansas State, making them the unlikely victors of the East region.
SDSU And FAU Making Their Final Four Debuts
San Diego State and Florida Atlantic will face off as schools making their men's Final Four debuts.
That'll be only the second time that's happened in the last 50 seasons.
(h/t @jeffborzello) pic.twitter.com/ThbqcLNBTE
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 26, 2023
Just ten days ago, FAU had never won an NCAA Tournament game in the history of the school’s basketball program. Now, they’re headed to Houston to play in their first Final Four.
San Diego State’s run as been nothing short of impressive. After defeating Charleston and Furman in the first two rounds, the Aztecs faced perhaps the biggest test of all, going up against the #1 overall seeded Alabama. SDSU was able to pull off the upset, taking out the tournament’s top team and earning a trip to the Elite 8.
Their game against Creighton was a classic, but the Aztecs were able to sneak by, winning by a single point after late free throws put them over the top.
One Of San Diego State And Florida Atlantic Will Play For National Championship
Just as we all expected … or at least 7,706 of us 😅 pic.twitter.com/xjV0mgV9C1
— ESPN (@espn) March 26, 2023
It will be the first Final Four appearance for either school, and as luck would have it, they’ll be playing against each other, guaranteeing one of them a spot in the National Championship game next Monday.
Who could have seen this coming? Not very many people, apparently. According to ESPN’s statistics, exactly 7,706 of all of the brackets that were filled out on the website had both SDSU and FAU reaching the Final Four.
Does that number seem high? Perhaps, until you consider the fact that over 20 million brackets were filled out this year. That means that 0.04% of all of the entries had this particular matchup.
Nine days ago, Florida Atlantic didn't have an NCAA tournament win in its history.
Now, they're going to the Final Four.
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) March 26, 2023
It will be the second time in the last 50 years that two teams making their Final Four debuts will face off against each other. The other instance wasn’t all that long ago, as it took place in 2017 when Gonzaga took on South Carolina.
The game between SDSU and FAU will be the early game this coming Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:09 ET and will be played at NRG Stadium.
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