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FAU holds off Nowell and K-State to reach 1st Final Four

NCAA Florida Atlantic Kansas St Basketball
Posted at 8:00 PM, Mar 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-25 21:00:52-04

NEW YORK — Alijah Martin, Vlad Goldin and ninth-seeded Florida Atlantic became the first and lowest-seeded team to reach this year's Final Four as the Owls withstood another huge game by Kansas State's Markquis Nowell to beat the Wildcats 79-76 on Saturday night.

FAU (35-3), making just its second appearance in the NCAA Tournament, won the East Region at Madison Square Garden and will head to Houston to play the winner of Sunday's South Region final between Creighton and San Diego State.

The winningest team in Division I this season had never won an NCAA Tournament game before ripping off four straight, all by single digits.

Nowell, the 5-foot-8 native New Yorker, was incredible again at The Garden, with 30 points, 12 assists and five steals, coming off a record-breaking Sweet 16 game. He didn't get enough help.

Martin scored 17 points, including a huge 3 down the stretch, the 7-foot-1 Goldin had 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Michael Forrest made four clutch free throws in the final 20 seconds for the Owls.

Nae'Qwan Tomlin was the only other player in double figures for Kansas State (26-10) with 14 points.