The pumpkin ride of the Florida Atlantic Owls in the 2023 NCAA tournament is over. Florida Atlantic came awfully close to making it to the National championship game, as they lost to the San Diego State Aztecs, 72-71, on a buzzer-beater jumper from Lamont Butler. It was indeed a tough loss for Florida Atlantic basketball, and that’s putting it conservatively.

That being said, Florida Atlantic basketball head Dusty May has nothing to feel sorry about, as the Owls proved that they belong with the best of the best in the nation this season, thanks to their deep run in the Big Dance.

After the game, Florida Atlantic head coach Dusty May expressed nothing but admiration for the Owls for what they have shown during their incredible experience in the NCAA tournament.

“In this era, it’s tough to find great teammates and we have a locker room full of them,” May said, per Jeff Goodman of Stadium.

Seeded No. 9 Florida Atlantic basketball was the lowest-ranked team among all the teams that made it to the Final Four. The Owls’ journey in the tournament started with a win against Penny Hardaway and the Memphis Tigers before stopping the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights in the second round. Then the Owls knocked out the Tennessee Volunteers and the Kansas State Wildcats in the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight rounds, respectively.

Dusty May did a spectacular job steering Florida Atlantic to as far as the Final Four, which not a lot saw happening prior to the tournament. In any case, May and the Owls have gained the nation’s respect.