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This year’s NCAA March Madness tournament is all about the underdog. Although his school had never won an NCAA tournament game before this year, Alijah Martin and the No. 9 seed Florida Atlantic University Owls held off Markquis Nowell and the Kansas State University Wildcats, 79–76, winning the East Regional title and punching their ticket to the Final Four.

The Owls, nicknamed the “Beach Boys” for being from Boca Raton, Florida, started with energy and confidence, as Alijah Martin slammed down a one-handed dunk. From there, the team was just that: a team. They shared the ball, nailed key shots, and out-rebounded the Wildcats 44–22, which helped erase their 22 turnovers.

"We know it's a team effort, and it's going to take the whole unit to really win this game," said Bryan Greenlee, FAU’s junior guard. "It's not just one guy who can shut somebody down. It’s a group effort."

Down 57–50 with less than 12 minutes to go, the Owls didn't flinch. They chipped away at the deficit, coming up with big rebounds and even bigger shots. After a transition three from Brandon Weatherspoon, center Vladislav Goldin outmuscled Kansas State’s Nae'Qwan Tomlin for a pivotal rebound, and slammed it down to regain the lead with 5:36 to go. Kansas tried to penetrate, but the shots didn’t fall, and they never led again. With a chance to tie, KSU’s Ismael Massoud was stripped by FAU’s Johnell Davis, and the Wildcats didn’t get the shot off in the last possession.

Kansas State’s Nowell lived up to his @mr.newyorkcity instagram handle, with another epic performance at Madison Square Garden: 30 points, 12 assists, and five steals. His New York magic just wasn't enough to overcome teammate Keyontae Johnson’s foul trouble and the team play of coach Dusty May’s Owls, who had four players with double-digit points: Alijah Martin (17), Bryan Greenlee (16), Vlad Goldin (14), and Johnell Davis (13).

"In this era where everyone wants the whole pie, these guys continued sharing the pie every single day, and this was the result," May said.

With the East Regional title under their belt, the Owls will take their pie to Houston to play on Saturday for their Final Four debut against No. 5 seed San Diego State University. The winner will play for the National Championship on Monday, April 3rd.