March Madness Star Booed After 'Disrespectful' Move in Game's Final Seconds Backfires
If Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, had been a classroom Sunday, and sportsmanship the subject, March Madness fans would have handed Florida Atlantic guard Alijah Martin an F.
With No. 8-seeded Florida Atlantic having nothing more to do than run out the final seconds to celebrate a 78-70 win over No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson, the kind of antics often associated with college sophomores, which Martin happens to be, took place, according to the New York Post.
The final seconds were ticking away as Martin made the moment all about him with a fancy dunk that not only earned him boos from fans who saw the move as a violation of the unwritten rules of sportsmanship but left him humiliated because the stunt failed.
Florida Atlantic’s Alijah Martin tries a huge dunk with the game out of hand in the final seconds and hears boos.
FAU head coach Dusty May appears to apologize to FDU head coach Tobin Anderson, who was upset.🏀 #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/Is2rIF8GJx
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) March 20, 2023
Instead of punctuating the school’s first appearance in the NCAA’s Sweet Sixteen and the team’s trip to Madison Square Garden for its next game, Martin ended the game with the clang of the ball bouncing high off the rim blending with the sound of the buzzer.
“That is not right,” an announcer said on the air after the stunt while one tweeting fan called the episode “pathetic and embarrassing” and another labeled it “disrespectful.”
Really cool missed dunk by FAU’s Alijah Martin!
— David Cobb (@DavidWCobb) March 20, 2023
Not only did Alijah Martin try a wind-mill dunk as the clocks running out against a 16 seed, but he missed it. Pathetic and embarrassing.
— Ball Withdrawal (@BallWithdrawal) March 20, 2023
Class act by Tobin Anderson. Respectable coach. Very classless act by #15 Alijah
Martin for Florida Atlantic. #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/Jho2LD9tGl
— Hayden Victoria (@RealHaydenVic) March 20, 2023
Florida Atlantic coach Dusty May apologized for the stunt to Fairleigh Dickinson head coach Tobin Anderson as they shook hands after the game.
“I apologized to him for that but also reminded him we’re the adults,“ May said, according to The Associated Press.
”We’ve got to fix that behavior. It’s part of the game. I apologized to him,” he said.
The dunk attempt at the end of the FAU-FDU game was disrespectful and selfish, yes, but Alijah Martin doesn’t deserve death threats for it… like come on people!
— Lolmin🎱 (@Lolminate) March 20, 2023
Fox News noted that Martin did not show up for the post-game press conference.
After the game, May went out of his way to praise Fairleigh Dickinson, according to the Post.
“Hats off to FDU. Incredibly hard to prepare for. Such a tough matchup. And their scrappiness, physicality, was exceptional. We just made enough plays to win. We settled in against their press and just had enough in us,” he said.
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