10. Florida Atlantic (10-2)
Nearly every fan of this sport knew nothing of Florida Atlantic before last season, but they’ve spent the first two months of this season trying to prove that last year’s Final Four was no fluke. This team is loaded with talent and have won most of the games on their schedule, with a head scratcher against Bryant their big mistake through two months. This weekend they got that marquee win they’ve been hoping for, and boy did they earn it.
Though the Owls have already beaten Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, Butler, and several other solid teams, none of that compares to their work in Las Vegas on Saturday afternoon. They faced off against a strong Arizona squad and survived a double overtime thriller with a 96-95 victory. Johnell Davis was masterful with 35 points and 9 rebounds against the Wildcats while Jalen Gaffney had 20 points as well.
Did that Bryant game really happen? Florida Atlantic has worked hard in recent weeks to erase that sour taste and a double overtime thriller against a Top 5 team certainly helps. The Owls aren’t a perfect team by any means but have talent, experience, and know how to win together as a team. Surely this is the favorite, even in their first season in the AAC. A true road game at Florida Gulf Coast awaits before New Year’s and then its conference season for the Owls.