FAU basketball: Owls fans flock to NRG Stadium for Final Four semifinal vs. San Diego State

FAU basketball fans mingle out side Houston's NRG Stadium before Saturday's Final Four semifinal between the Owls and San Diego State.
FAU basketball fans mingle out side Houston's NRG Stadium before Saturday's Final Four semifinal between the Owls and San Diego State.

HOUSTON — While the success of the FAU men’s basketball team is great for the coaching staff and players alike, another population enjoying the run is the team's fans.

From students to alumni, there’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to FAU athletics in terms of the basketball team and the new football regime led by Tom Herman.

Besides what the Owls have accomplished in reaching the Final Four and what the next couple of days might show, there’s one thing for certain: Dusty May will remain the head basketball coach at FAU.

Fans have been asking May to stay in Boca Raton to lead this program into the future and it seems like their wishes will be granted.

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Three hours before Saturday's tip-off of the FAU-San Diego State semifinal, there were crowds upon crowds of FAU fans waiting to get into NRG Stadium to possibly witness history in person.

One fan who had been waiting outside of the stadium for hours in the hot Houston heat was Adam Hoff, a sophomore majoring in architecture.

He said that May staying with FAU is significant, especially with the move to a different conference for the program.

“It's huge for the program. We're going into a bigger conference next year in the AAC and I think he's the right man to lead us into that future,” Hoff said. “To lead us into that new direction, he's the guy for the job, you know?”

Hoff is here with his friend, Drew Scuilla, also a sophomore, and he said that May is a big variable to a perfect formula.

“Retaining that formula is gonna be huge, it’s only gonna help the university, the program, the fans are gonna keep showing out. It was necessary,” Scuilla said. “There's nobody that can replace what Dusty [May] does.”

For Hoff, it was a no-brainer to travel to Houston.

“Personally, when I applied to FAU, I would have never thought I'd see this in my time as a student,” Hoff said. “And it's … I don't want to say it's once in a lifetime. I hope Dusty [May] brings us back, but you can't miss out on an opportunity like this.”

Majoring in business management, Scuilla said to be in a big stadium to watch FAU basketball is an “awesome opportunity” that he couldn’t pass on.

Laresa McIntyre, chasing her masters in accounting, had just moved to Seattle for work as she was finishing up her degree. However, she had to make the trip to Houston for FAU’s Final Four appearance.

“It’s absolutely grand for the university,” McIntyre said. “I know FAU is just beyond excited about the opportunity and I think it's a great way for me to finish up my degree!”

McIntyre said that she was ecstatic to hear that May will be retained as the head coach, calling it an “excellent move” and said that “he’s a great addition to the athletics program.”

FAU senior Rachel Luther hasn’t missed a basketball game, whether it be the men’s or women’s team, at home in two seasons. Majoring in criminal justice, she also makes time to avidly follow the basketball team on non-game days.

She believes the move to bring back May to FAU is nothing but beneficial.

“I think it's huge, especially with what he's built already,” Luther said. “Just how much further he can take FAU. Look how far we've gotten already. Nowhere but up!”

Luther said that it’s insane that the year she graduates is the season where FAU has the best season in the athletics’ history. Part of her knew that May would come back even if the interest from bigger programs was high.

Unfortunately for Luther, she won’t be in attendance in Houston, but with the relationships she has with the players, she said that they make the fans feel like family and she'll be watching the game on TV like many other Owls fans.

Luther, Hoff, Scuilla, and McIntyre all have the same prediction. FAU will defeat the Aztecs and move on to the national championship game on Monday night.

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: FAU basketball fans at NRG Stadium to see the Owls play San Diego State