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FAU had memorable games vs. Alabama in other sports

When Florida Atlantic faces traditional powers there are always many fans of the other school who have never heard of FAU before.

While I'm sure there are many Alabama fans who may not be familiar with FAU, there are likely some Crimson Tide faithful who remember the Owls from a few years back in some other sports besides football.

After all, two of the best moments in FAU's athletics history involved facing Alabama.

In 2002, FAU made the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament for the first and only time. The Owls' opponent in the first round? Alabama.

FAU was a No. 15 seed and gave Alabama, a No. 2 seed, a very tough game in Greenville, S.C. Leading for a few minutes in the second half (see above picture).

Alabama beat FAU 86-78, but lost to Kent State in the second round.

FAU's baseball team had better success vs. Alabama in 2002 as the Owls defeated Alabama to win the Tuscaloosa Regional. FAU advanced to the Super Regional and to this day it is still the only time an FAU team has advanced out of a regional in an NCAA tournament in any sport. The Owls also swept Alabama in a three-game series to start the 2012 baseball season,

Of course, one doesn't have to go to far to find a football connection either, although Saturday's game was off by a year of being a homecoming of sorts for former FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger.

Schnellenberger, a fund-raider for FAU, was an assistant coach under Paul Bear Bryant from 1961-65 and was part of three national championship teams there.

Here's more on Schnellenberger's Alabama connection.

September 21, 2012

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