The NCAA Basketball Tournament is called March Madness for a reason. When 64 schools go at it in a single-game elimination, anything can happen. Never has that been truer than with the men's iteration of the tournament this season. The women's side has a lot of the big guns in the Final Four, featuring two No. 1 seeds, a No. 2 seed and a No. 3 seed. But on the men's side? The highest seed is a No. 4. So when No. 9 Florida Atlantic bounced the No. 3 Kansas State Wildcats, K-State coach Jerome Tang offered his congratulations to FAU following their win.
We Love to Root For the Underdogs
A Cinderella team always tends to get the backing of the general population. While we plebeians attempt to predict brackets to win money or bragging rights over friends, family or co-workers, our hearts are inevitably broken on the first day of the tournament. One such team that has caused that kind of pain this season is Florida Atlantic University.
The Owls entered the tournament as a No. 9 seed after going undefeated in the Conference USA Tournament. Once they entered the Dance, they've seen themselves take out No. 8 Memphis, No. 16 FDU (which bounced No. 1 Purdue in the first round), No. 4 Tennessee and, most recently, No. 3 Kansas State. They won the adoration of many — but in particular the head coach of their latest victim.
Jerome Tang Has Words of Encouragement for Final Four-Bound FAU
Kansas State?s coach had a message for FAU players after losing to them in the NCAA tournament pic.twitter.com/KuclI1kpmB
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) March 26, 2023
After his Wildcats were defeated 79-76 in their Elite Eight matchup, Kansas State head coach Jerome Tang made his way to the opponents' locker room.
"Your toughness, your togetherness, your ability to make plays for each other. Right? Like the way you communicate with each other. There's ... nobody can beat y'all. ... Stay together. Don't get distracted between now and then. Alright? Stay locked in. Keep doing what you're doing. Y'all are the toughest son of a guns we played all year long. Just proud of all. We're rooting for you."
Clearly, they've made a fan out of Tang and the Wildcats. That's elite sportsmanship right there. It's exactly what you want to see from an opposing team. And if FAU can go on to win the tournament as a No. 9 seed? They will have built a cult following.
MORE: Kansas State's Trick Play was the Coolest Play of the NCAA Tournament So Far
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