Men’s Basketball: Owls fall out of AP Top 25 following loss at Middle Tennessee

This is the second time this season that FAU exited the Top 25 poll.


Jaden Wiston

Center Vladislav Goldin takes it into the paint for a hook shot against Middle Tennessee on Jan. 26, 2023.

Zachary Watts, Staff Writer

For the second time this season, FAU Men’s Basketball (24-3, 14-2 C-USA) fell from the Associated Press Top 25 Poll (AP Poll) that came out Monday afternoon.

The drop in the latest poll came after a 74-70 loss this past week to conference opponent, the Middle Tennessee State University Blue Raiders (17-11, 10-7 C-USA). Similarly to the last time the Owls dropped from the AP Poll, this resulted from a road loss. 

Despite dropping to 33rd in the poll, the Owls still remain atop the C-USA standings. They hold a one-game lead over the University of North Texas Mean Green (23-5, 14-3 C-USA). With the remaining four games on the schedule being conference opponents, they must finish strong with hopes of holding out as the top seed. 

As for their March Madness hopes, the Owls actually moved up a spot to the tenth seed in  ESPN analyst Joe Lunardi’s most recent bracket prediction. 

As they look to close out the season, the Owls still hold onto an undefeated record of 15-0 on their home court. Their next two games will be their last home matchups of the season, both in  which they’re heavily favored, according to ESPN analytics.  They’ll face off against the University of Texas at San Antonio Roadrunners (8-20, 2-15 C-USA) on Thursday, Feb. 23, before taking on the University of Texas at El Paso Miners (12-15, 5-11 C-USA) on Saturday. 

FAU will count on their depth, which has them ranked first in the NCAA in bench points per game, for their push through the finish line. The team features three players averaging double digits in points per game: sophomore guards Johnell Davis and Alijah Martin, as well as sophomore center Vladislav Goldin.

The Owls’ consistency all over the floor has also allowed them to reach this point. They boast a field goal percentage of 46.6 (T-68 in the country), an offensive rating of 113.7 as well as a 96.3 defensive rating.

As the regular season comes to a close, the Owls aim to finish atop C-USA and earn their first NCAA Tournament berth in more than 20 years. 

Zachary Watts is a staff writer for the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories email [email protected] or tweet him at @ZachWatts1_