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USATSI

People have been debating FAU as much as any other basketball program for more than seven months now, believe it or not.

Was that a lucky Final Four run last March — or were the Owls legitimately great all season and a totally unsurprising participant in the sport's final weekend? Is FAU really a preseason top 10 team — or is that ranking just an overreaction to an incredible run that featured wins over Memphis, Tennessee and Kansas State but could've easily ended in the first round of the NCAA Tournament?

For every believer, there seems to be three haters. The discussion is ongoing and unlikely to stop anytime soon. So it's easy to understand why FAU coach Dusty May was thrilled Wednesday night to put the past in the past and get what's long been next season underway with a 75-62 victory over Loyola Chicago.

"[It was nice] just to put closure on last year," May said afterward. "It was a special season, but as a coach, as a program and as a group of players still chasing their individual goals and dreams, it was nice just to move on to the next chapter and see what this team can become."

After going 35-4 last season, FAU is now 1-0 this season thanks in part to a season-opening 19-point, 10-rebound, four-steal performance from Vladislav Goldin, the 7-foot-1 center from Russia who is one of five returning starters from that Final Four team. Nicholas Boyd added 13 points and three steals. And Johnell Davis and Brandon Weatherspoon each finished with 12 points, giving Florida Atlantic four starters in double-figures against a Loyola Chicago program that made the 2018 Final Four but finished just 10-21 last season.

Florida Atlantic remains No. 4 in Thursday morning's updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. The Owls' next game is Tuesday against Eastern Michigan. Their first contest against a power-conference opponent will be Nov. 23 against Butler in the ESPN Events Invitational in Florida that also features Texas A&M, Penn State, Iowa State, Boise State, VCU and Virginia Tech.

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Top 25 And 1 rankings

Biggest Movers
Rk
Teams
 
Chg
Rcrd
1 Kansas Hunter Dickinson finished with 21 points and eight rebounds in Monday's 99-56 win over North Carolina Central. The Jayhawks' next game is Friday against Manhattan. -- 21-6
2 Purdue Zach Edey finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks in Monday's 98-45 win over Samford. The Boilermakers' next game is Friday against Morehead State. -- 25-3
3 Duke Kyle Filipowski finished with 25 points and seven rebounds in Monday's 92-54 win over Dartmouth. The Blue Devils' next game is Friday against Arizona. -- 21-6
4 FAU Vladislav Goldin finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds in Wednesday's 75-62 win over Loyola Chicago. The Owls' next game is Tuesday against Eastern Michigan. -- 21-7
5 Marquette Kam Jones finished with 20 points and four assists in Monday's 92-70 win over Northern Illinois. The Golden Eagles' next game is Friday against Rider. -- 21-6
6 Houston Damian Dunn finished with 18 points and three rebounds in Monday's 84-31 win over Louisiana-Monroe. The Cougars' next game is Saturday against Texas A&M Corpus Christie. -- 24-3
7 UConn Alex Karaban finished with 22 points and seven rebounds in Monday's 95-52 win over Northern Arizona. The Huskies' next game is Saturday against Stonehill. -- 25-3
8 Creighton Trey Alexander finished with 20 points and five assists in Tuesday's 105-54 win over Florida A&M. The Bluejays' next game is Saturday against North Dakota State. -- 20-8
9 Miami Norchad Omier finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds in Monday's 101-60 win over NJIT. The Hurricanes' next game is Friday against UCF. -- 15-14
10 Arkansas Tramon Mark finished with 16 points and three assists in Monday's 93-59 win over Alcorn State. The Razorbacks' next game is Friday against Gardner Webb. -- 14-13
11 USC Boogie Ellis finished with 24 points and eight rebounds in Monday's 82-69 win over Kansas State. The Trojans' next game is Thursday against Cal State Bakersfield. -- 11-16
12 San Diego St. Jaedon Lee finished with 27 points and 10 rebounds in Monday's 83-57 win over Cal State Fullerton. The Aztecs' next game is Friday at BYU. -- 21-7
13 Tennessee Dalton Knecht finished with 17 points and three rebounds in Monday's 80-42 win over Tennessee Tech. The Vols' next game is Friday against Wisconsin. -- 21-6
14 Texas A&M Hayden Hefner finished with 19 points and four rebounds in Monday's 78-46 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Aggies' next game is Friday at Ohio State. -- 15-12
15 Michigan St. Michigan State missed 19 of the 20 3-pointers it took in Monday's 79-76 OT loss to James Madison. The Spartans' next game is Thursday against Southern Indiana. -- 17-11
16 Kentucky D.J. Wagner finished with 13 points and four assists in Monday's 86-46 win over New Mexico State. The Wildcats' next game is Friday against Texas A&M Commerce. -- 19-8
17 Arizona Kylan Boswell finished with 18 points and five rebounds in Monday's 122-59 win over Morgan State. The Wildcats' next game is Friday at Duke. -- 21-6
18 Baylor Ja'Kobe Walter finished with 28 points and six rebounds in Tuesday's 88-82 win over Auburn. The Bears' next game is Thursday against John Brown. -- 20-8
19 Gonzaga Gonzaga returns three of the top seven scorers - among them Anton Watson, who averaged 11.1 points and 6.2 rebounds last season - from a team that advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament and adds prominent transfers Ryan Nembhard, Graham Ike and Steel Venters. The Zags open the season Friday against Yale. -- 22-6
20 Texas Ithiel Horton finished with 17 points and five rebounds in Monday's 88-56 win over Incarnate Word. The Longhorns' next game is Friday against Delaware State. -- 17-10
21 Saint Mary's Aidan Mahaney finished with 15 points and five assists in Monday's 107-28 win over Stanislaus State. The Gaels' next game is Thursday against New Mexico. -- 23-6
22 N. Carolina Armando Bacot finished with 25 points and 13 rebounds in Monday's 86-70 win over Radford. The Tar Heels' next game is Sunday against Lehigh. -- 22-6
23 Illinois Terrence Shannon finished with 16 points and five rebounds in Monday's 80-52 win over Eastern Illinois. The Illini's next game is Friday against Oakland. -- 20-7
24 Villanova Eric Dixon finished with 15 points and six rebounds in Monday's 90-63 win over American. The Wildcats' next game is Friday against Le Moyne. -- 15-12
25 St. John's Joel Soriano finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds in Tuesday's 90-74 win over Stony Brook. The Red Storm's next game is Monday against Michigan. -- 16-12
26 Alabama Grant Nelson finished with 24 points and seven rebounds in Monday's 105-73 win over Morehead State. The Crimson Tide's next game is Friday against Indiana State. -- 19-8