No. 9 FAU stuns No. 8 Memphis with wild last-second layup in controversial finish

Nicholas Boyd beat Florida Atlantic past Memphis with a game-winning layup in the first round of Friday night's NCAA tournament.  (AP/Michael Conroy)

Nicholas Boyd beat Florida Atlantic past Memphis with a game-winning layup in the first round of Friday night’s NCAA tournament. (AP/Michael Conroy)

Memphis nearly walked away with a win Friday night, giving Penny Hardaway and the Tigers a very direct route to the Sweet 16.

But after a missed attempt by Memphis on a time-out, Florida Atlantic was given one last chance — and it was capitalized.

Nicholas Boyd, after catching an inbound pass in the corner with 5.5 seconds left, drove to the basket and sank a game-winning layup in the final seconds to give No. 9 FAU the 66-65 win over No. 8 Memphis at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

That marked FAU’s first-ever NCAA tournament win and sent the Owls through to the second round, where they will face Fairleigh Dickinson for a Sweet 16 berth. No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson defeated No. 1 Purdue earlier Friday in only the second such upset in tournament history.

Boyd’s final layup came after a chaotic sequence that almost certainly should have resulted in a Memphis timeout. After turning the ball around in midfield in the final seconds, the Tigers finally kicked the ball free again. Tigers guard Jayden Hardaway then dived on it in a scramble and appeared to have full possession when several Tigers players called for a time-out.

However, officers did not see the calls. They called a jump ball instead.

Since that’s unverifiable and the Owls had the possession arrow, they got the ball in the last 5.5 seconds on the clock. That set up Boyd’s final layup and ultimately gave them the win.

The elder Hardaway was not happy.

“It was a crazy game from start to finish,” Hardaway said. via Bill Bender from Sporting News. “It hurts more to give up a layup for a win. … We needed a stop, and we couldn’t get that one stop.”

Giancarlo Rosado led FAU with 15 points off the bench, and Johnell Davis added 12 points and five rebounds. Boyd added eight points and his last layup was only his third field goal of the night.

Kendric Davis led Memphis into defeat by 16 points. DeAndre Williams added 13 points and 13 rebounds. They were the only two Tigers players to score in double figures.

The Tigers haven’t made the Sweet 16 since 2014 and just last year were coming off a seven-year tournament dry spell. If they had gotten past FAU, the route to the second weekend of the tournament might have been the easiest – given the FDU’s incredible excitement over the Boilermakers.

Instead, FAU gets this chance at their second tournament appearance in the school’s history.


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