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Owls hold FAU campus celebration after advancing to Final Four

Fans gather outside Eleanor R. Baldwin Arena to welcome Owls home
FAU Owls fans celebrate while welcoming basketball team back to campus, March 26, 2023
Posted at 12:17 PM, Mar 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-26 22:31:27-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — The Owls returned to campus Sunday amid much fanfare.

Less than 24 hours after beating Kansas State in the NCAA tournament's East Region final in New York to earn the school's first-ever Final Four berth, the Owls held a campus celebration outside their home court.

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The team plane arrived at Palm Beach International Airport at about 8 p.m.

FAU players and coaches then boarded a charter bus to take them back to the Boca Raton campus, where they were greeted by a swarm of supporters chanting "F-A-U" outside the Eleanor R. Baldwin Arena.

WPTV's Matt Sczesny was there for the celebration and spoke to head coach Dusty May and some of the players upon their arrival.

Senior guard Michael Forrest had the net that the Owls cut down at Madison Square Garden draped over his shoulder as he spoke with Sczesny, calling the experience in New York "amazing."

When Sczesny asked May how his weekend went, May displayed his sense of humor.

"Fairly well," May said, laughing. "It went great."

Now that the spotlight is on FAU and his "grounded group" of Final Four-bound players, May said the team won't change its approach headed into next weekend.

Matt Sczesny speaks with FAU Owls head coach Dusty May, March 26, 2023
WPTV's Matt Sczesny speaks with FAU head coach Dusty May about how the Owls handle the success of being a Final Four team, March 26, 2023, in Boca Raton, Fla.

"Whatever our routine was last Monday, that's what it's going to be tomorrow and on and on and on," May said. "The team that wins this championship is going to be the one that handles the distractions the best."

The nation-leading 35-3 Owls were undefeated on their home court this season. FAU won a Conference USA championship in its final season before moving to the American Athletic Conference, earning just the second-ever NCAA tournament berth in school history.

May said his players will need to be "very disciplined" and "focus on what's important" as they handle their newfound stardom around campus before heading to Houston to take on San Diego State in the Final Four.

"This will all be here nine days (from now) when our season's over," May said.