FAU’s Alijah Martin criticized for ‘disrespectful’ move in final seconds of win over FDU

The No. 9 seed Florida Atlantic Owls are in the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history after their win over No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson on Sunday night.

Unfortunately for them, that wasn’t the biggest topic of conversation after the game.

Instead, it was the dunk attempt that Owls star guard Alijah Martin decided to go for even though the Knights were no longer looking to foul them. They accepted their efforts weren’t enough when the clock stopped in a 78-70 loss.

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Joe Munden Jr., #1 of the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights, shoots the ball against Alijah Martin, #15 of the Florida Atlantic Owls, during the second half of the second round game of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Nationwide Arena on 19 of March. 2023 in Columbus, Ohio. (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Martin’s windmill attempt didn’t go through the rim, and it didn’t sit well with the fans in the stands either.

A great deal of booing rang out from the seats as both teams began to walk up for the customary handshake. The unwritten rules of basketball state that layups or dunks made when teams admit defeat are unnecessary and frowned upon.

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The fans did their part in the stands, and the FDU players were also seen not shaking hands with Martin after the game. They made sure to congratulate the rest of the Owls except him.

It also appeared that FAU head coach Dusty May apologized to FDU’s Tobin Anderson for Martin’s actions at the buzzer.

Social media also raged at his decision to go for the dunk.

«Really cool missed FAU’s Alijah Martin dunk!» David Cobb of CBS Sports he sarcastically tweeted.

«FAU should be eliminated from the tournament for that botched dunk,» added the Washington Post’s Tramel Raggs. «The basketball gods aren’t going to let that go.»

It also appears that Martin decided not to attend the post-game press conference because he likely knew what questions were being thrown at him.

We’ll see what the «Gods of Basketball» have in store for Martin and the Owls as they head to Madison Square Garden to take on the No. 4 seed Tennessee Vols in the Sweet 16 on Thursday.

Alijah Martin, #15 of the Florida Atlantic Owls, celebrates a basket against the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights during the first half of a second round game of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Nationwide Arena on March 19, 2023 in Columbus, Ohio.

Alijah Martin, #15 of the Florida Atlantic Owls, celebrates a basket against the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights during the first half of a second round game of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Nationwide Arena on March 19, 2023 in Columbus, Ohio. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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Martin finished the game with 14 points, but it was the Owls’ Johnell Davis who dropped 29 points to lead FAU in a win over FDU.