A Take on the Final Four

April 4, 2023

This year’s 2023 Men’s March Madness tournament has been full of shocking results. Viewers interested in how their bracket would generate points or how much money they could earn in their pool shifted their focus to the progress of these teams. These franchises, irrespective of seed, have started strong and kept it up. Many viewer’s brackets were broken when No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson shocked No. 1 Purdue, 63-58, in the first round, and when No. 1 seed Alabama lost to No. 2 seed San Diego State, 64-71, in the second round. This entire tournament reads like a Cinderella tale.

As if the events leading up to the Final Four were not already enough to cement this year in the annals of history, #5 University of Miami became the first school from Florida to reach the Final Four, and #9 Florida Atlantic University qualified for the tournament for the first time in school history, only to lose in a heartbreaking overtime game by a single point.

It would be unfair to regard the team as a failure, but with this kind of play leading up to the event, big stars like FAU’s Alijah Martin were responsible for an incredible 37% of the team’s success with his 26 points. There is hope for the future of the FAU Owls under the leadership of head coach Dusty May, who has just finished his fifth season at the helm.

The Hurricanes made history as well, advancing all the way to the championship game for the first time in program annals. Guard Jordan Miller led the way with a double-double against the Huskies, and the team won by a wide margin. Coach Jim Larraaga, dubbed “The loveable grandfather”(1) by Fox Sports, is a major asset to the Hurricanes. His unorthodox yet wholesome approach to coaching seems to have boosted morale and performance, as evidenced by the team’s 13-point comeback against the Texas Longhorns, the biggest comeback in Miami’s tournament history.

In general, the Southern shore has fared well in this event. Even though both teams have been eliminated, the event has remained interesting thanks to the records that have been set.

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