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FAU vs. Kansas State final score, results: Owls punch ticket to Final Four with upset win over Wildcats

Sporting News 3/26/2023 Sam Jarden
© Provided by Sporting News

Nine days ago, Florida Atlantic University had never won an NCAA Tournament game. Now it's heading to the Final Four.

The Owls' magical March Madness run continued with a thrilling upset win over Kansas State on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. It made FAU the first team to punch its ticket to the 2023 Final Four in Houston.

The team from Boca Raton, Fla., overcame an incredible effort by Kansas State's Markquis Nowell, who finished with 30 points and 12 assists. For the third time in the last 12 years, the Wildcats' tournament run has ended in the Elite Eight.   


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KSU led by as many as seven points in the second half, but the resilient Owls never stopped battling. An 18-4 run down the stretch turned the tide in FAU's favor, and it fended off a late Wildcats rally to secure the win.

"When you see a group of guys, coaching staff, players, everybody pulling in the same direction every single day even when it's hard, special things happen," head coach Dusty May said after the win. "We're still going." 

MORE: Watch March Madness live on Sling TV

The Sporting News was tracking all the key moments from Florida Atlantic's upset win over Kansas State in the Elite Eight. 

FAU vs. Kansas State score

1 2 F
FAU 42 37 79
Kansas State 38 38 76

FAU vs. Kansas State live updates, highlights

(All times Eastern.)

8:49 p.m. — It's hard to pick FAU's best player tonight, but my vote goes to Vladislav Goldin. The big man from Russia finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds, including some crucial ones down the stretch. Other standouts include Alijah Martin (17 PTS) Bryan Greenlee (16 PTS, 4-6 3PT) and Johnell Davis (13 PTS, 8 REB, 6 AST). 

8:44 p.m. — Kansas State may have fallen just short tonight, but let's take a moment to appreciate the brilliance of Markquis Nowell. He was magnificent again tonight, finishing with 30 points and 12 assists. The kid from Harlem has a bright future.  

8:41 p.m. — Your East region champions: the Florida Atlantic Owls. Who picked that in their bracket ten days ago?

8:37 p.m. — In just their second tournament appearance, the Owls are heading to the Final Four in Houston. What a remarkable story, and what a run for Dusty May and his squad. It's going to be a wild night in Boca Raton. 

8:31 p.m. FINAL — The Wildcats can't get the shot off, and it's all over! Florida Atlantic University is going to the Final Four! The magical run continues! 

8:30 p.m. — Forrest gets fouled again, and he'll step up to the line for two more crucial free throws. Again, he swishes both. KSU needs a three now with seven seconds left. 

8:28 p.m. — Nowell zips a pass inside to Tomlin, who lays it in to bring the deficit back down to one point with 8.6 seconds left. KSU will have to foul again. 

8:26 p.m. — FAU's Michael Forrest gets fouled with 17.9 seconds left on the clock. He swishes both to make it 77-74. That's clutch.

8:23 p.m — Nowell misses on a wild layup attempt, and Kansas State fouls Boyd again to stop the clock with 30 seconds left. Boyd makes the first but misses the second. The Wildcats quickly move it up the court, and Cam Carter hits a huge triple to cut the lead to a single point! This game is not over yet!

8:22 p.m. — Nowell is fouled and knocks down two free throws to make it 74-71. Martin airballs a three on the ensuing FAU possession, and the Wildcats have a chance to tie this game with 42 seconds remaining.

8:19 p.m. — Nowell makes it a three point game from way downtown! Unbelievable! Goldin misses a dunk on the other end, but FAU gets the rebound and a foul is called on N'Guessan. That's his fifth, and he too has now fouled out. Boyd misses the front end of his one-and-one, but Martin comes up with the rebound and gets it to Davis for a layup! This has been a heck of a game. 

8:16 p.m. — Now Greenlee picks up his fifth foul! He's been red hot, so that is an equally big loss for the Owls. Massoud calmly hits both of his free throws to make it 72-66. 

8:14 p.m. — Alijah Martin drains a HUGE three to make it 70-64, then Keyontae Johnson picks up his fifth foul on the other end! He'll have to watch the final 2:44 from the sidelines. That is a huge blow for Kansas State. Martin drains a pair of free throws to put FAU up by eight.

8:11 p.m. — Greenlee makes two of three to put the Owls up by four points, but he fouls Nowell on the other end. That's his fourth foul, so he'll have to be careful from here on out. Nowell makes one of two, and FAU leads 67-64 with about three and a half minutes remaining. Welcome to crunch time.

8:06 p.m. — Keyontae Johnson, who is playing with four fouls, gets fouled on a drive to the rim. But he misses the front end of a one-and-one, and Tomlin fouls Greenlee on a three-point attempt to send him to the line for three shots. With exactly four minutes remaining, FAU leads by two points pending these free throws. 

8:04 p.m. — Davis makes one of two from the line to give the Owls a 65-63 lead. It's worth noting that FAU is 10-1 in games decided by five points or less this season. Perhaps that will soon be 11-1?

8:00 p.m. — Goldin throws down a one-handed slam to give FAU the lead after his defender fell over to leave him wide open. The Russian gets a rebound on the other and and finds Davis, who is fouled and will head to the line. 

7:56 p.m. — There's the response the Owls needed! Nowell banks in another three to make it 63-57, but a Goldin bucket and a Weatherspoon triple have cut the deficit to just one point. With 6:51 left in the game, Kansas State holds a slim 63-62 advantage. Buckle up, this could be quite a finish.

7:50 p.m. — Kansas State has used a 13-3 run here early in the second half to take control of this game. They lead 60-54 now after Tomlin gets a bucket and a foul to convert on a three-point play. With the clock creeping under ten minutes left, FAU needs to right the ship quickly.

7:44 p.m. — Keyontae Johnson knocks down a three to give the Wildcats their biggest lead of the game at 52-47. He's really turned it on in the early stages of this half. Greenlee responds at the other end with a triple of his own for FAU, but Nowell then proceeds to rain in another one to make it 55-50. Kansas State looks fired up out there right now. 

7:36 p.m. — That is just an outrageous pass by Nowell! He dishes a no-look assist to N'Guessan under the rim for an easy layup. His court vision is seriously on another level. And on the next possession, he connects from deep to give the Wildcats a 49-47 lead. The New York kid is balling at Madison Square Garden.

7:30 p.m. START OF SECOND HALF — We are underway in the second half, and right on cue Johnson knocks down a pair of jumpers to tie things up. After a Nae'Qwan Tomlin layup, the Wildcats have retaken the lead at 44-42. 

7:12 p.m. — What a fun half that was! Nowell leads all scorers with 15 points and 7 assists, while Martin leads FAU with 9 points. Kansas State really needs to get Keyontae Johnson going in the second half, he has just 2 points so far. 

7:09 p.m. HALFTIME — Nowell dishes to Sills for a layup in the dying seconds of the first half, and the teams will head into the locker room with FAU holding a 42-38 lead. The Owls are one half away from an improbable Final Four appearance! 

7:06 p.m. — Goldin gets a bucket to make it 42-36, then he denies Nowell on an attempted layup at the other end. He's given Kansas State a lot of trouble in this first half.

7:00 p.m. — A Johnell Davis layup to restore the Owls' lead is followed by several scoreless minutes. As the clock creeps below 2:00, the drought is broken by buckets from Alijah Martin and then Nowell. FAU leads 40-36 with 44 seconds left in the first half. 

6:49 p.m. — Nowell is starting to heat up. After finding Sills with a nice feed to set up an easy layup, he gets fouled from beyond the arc and knocks down all three free throws. Moments later, he drills a three to give Kansas State its first lead of the game at 32-31. 

6:40 p.m. — Sills gets fouled but manages to finish beautifully through contact for an opportunity at a three-point play. He misses the ensuing free throw, but his teammate Abayomi Iyiola quickly gets a steal and slams home a dunk to make it a two-point game. After two Weatherspoon free throws at the other end, it's 26-22 FAU at the under eight timeout. 

6:36 p.m. — Goldin gets fouled and makes both free throws to extend FAU's lead to 24-18. That was Kansas State's seventh foul already, which means the Owls will be in the bonus for the rest of the half. 

6:27 p.m. — Kansas State has started out hot from beyond the arc. Nae'Qwan Tomlin and Ismael Massoud both drain three-pointers to give the Wildcats the lead, then Nowell drives for a layup and gets fouled to earn a three-point play! But the Owls are hanging tough. Russian big man Vladislav Goldin gets a bucket of his own then finds Brandon Weatherspoon on a nice dish to give FAU a 22-18 lead with 10:26 left in the half. 

6:20 p.m. — Alijah Davis just put KSU's David N'Guessan on a poster! Wow, what an incredible one-handed slam! The Wildcats answer at the other end with a Desi Sills three-pointer, and after a Johnell Davis bucket this game is tied 7-7 at the first TV timeout.

6:15 p.m. TIP OFF — Here we go. The referee tosses the ball up into the air and the Elite Eight is officially underway. FAU controls the tip, and just seconds into the game Bryan Greenlee pulls up with no hesitation and buries a three to open the scoring.  

6:13 p.m. — Nowell gets a big ovation from the crowd at Madison Square Garden as his name is called during starter introductions. He grew up about six miles away in Harlem.   

6:09 p.m. — Kansas State had to beak out their viral Lil Baby hype song tradition in the locker room before the game.

6:00 p.m. — One thing to keep an eye on tonight is the status of Nowell's ankle. He rolled it pretty badly in the second half of the game against Michigan State, but he toughed it out and played every minute down the stretch. It certainly didn't seem to bother him too much, as he still dropped 20 points and a whopping 19 assists. 

5:51 p.m. — FAU has won its last ten games in a row entering this Elite Eight showdown, making it one of the hottest teams left in the big dance. But Markquis Nowell might be the star of tournament so far with his incredible performances in K-State's last two games. This should be a fun one.

5:37 p.m. — From Manhattan, Kansas to Manhattan, New York. The Wildcats are in the building. 

5:27 p.m. — The Owls look ready for the biggest game in their school's history.

FAU vs. Kansas State start time

  • Date: Saturday, March 25
  • Time: 6:09 p.m. ET | 5:09 p.m. CT

FAU vs. Kansas State is scheduled to tip off at 6:09 p.m. ET (5:09 p.m. CT) from Madison Square Garden in the heart of New York City.

What channel is FAU vs. Kansas State on?

  • TV channel: TBS
  • Live stream: March Madness Live, Sling TV

TBS will be broadcasting the FAU vs. Kansas State matchup, with Brian Anderson, Jim Jackson and Allie LaForce handling commentary duties from the Big Apple. 

For those without cable, live streams will be available on the March Madness Live app or on Sling TV. 

FAU vs. Kansas State series history

The Owls and Wildcats have never played each other in basketball. Saturday's matchup will be the first meeting between the programs. 

Florida Atlantic has only played eight times against Big 12 opponents in its history, compiling a 1-7 record. The Owls' lone win against Big 12 opposition came against Oklahoma State in 1998. 

2023 NCAA Tournament schedule, scores

Elite Eight

Saturday, March 25

Teams Time (ET) TV Stream
(3) Kansas State vs. (9) FAU 6:09 p.m. TBS March Madness Live, Sling TV
(3) Gonzaga vs. (4) UConn 8:49 p.m. TBS March Madness Live, Sling TV

 Sunday, March 26

Teams Time (ET) TV Stream
(6) Creighton vs. (5) San Diego State 2:20 p.m. CBS March Madness Live, Paramount+
(5) Miami vs. (2) Texas 5:05 p.m. CBS March Madness Live, Paramount+

Final Four

Saturday, April 1 

Teams Time (ET) TV Stream
TBD vs. TBD 6 p.m. CBS March Madness Live, Paramount+
TBD vs. TBD 8:30 p.m. CBS March Madness Live, Paramount+

National championship

Monday, April 3 

Teams Time (ET) TV Stream
TBD vs. TBS 9 p.m. CBS March Madness Live, Paramount+
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