Kansas State fell short of making its first Final Four since 1964 after losing to Florida Atlantic on Saturday, but the Owls gained an unlikely fan as they continue their magical run: Wildcats head coach Jerome Tang.
As Florida Atlantic continued to celebrate punching its ticket to the school's first Final Four appearance, Tang visited the locker room to give a congratulatory speech and let them know they were the toughest team the Wildcats had played this season, and they can win it all.
"Your toughness, your togetherness, your ability to make plays for each other, the way you communicate with each other, nobody can beat y'all," Tang said. "So just stay together. Don't get distracted between now and then. 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 y'all and going to be rooting for you."
Florida Atlantic team members thanked Tang for his words before he left the locker room.
"Y'all the toughest son of a guns we've played all year long."
Jerome Tang went to the Florida Atlantic locker room to congratulate them and wish them luck in the Final Four 🤝#MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/jiF2N2Wl0U
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 26, 2023
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In his postgame news conference, Tang said the Elite Eight loss "hurts right now" as the Wildcats pulled off a tournament run that wasn't expected before the season. Kansas State was picked last in the Big 12 preseason poll.
"So very thankful for the fun and the ride that we've had this year," Tang said.
Meanwhile, the Owls will await the winner of San Diego State vs. Creighton, in hopes of making their first national championship game.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Kansas State coach Jerome Tang congratulates Florida Atlantic for win