Dusty May turned some heads once the matchup against Tennessee became official for the Florida Atlantic coach when he said the Owls would “study Australian rugby rules and get ready for the Vols.”

Of course, that was a reference to Tennessee’s physical style of play during the win over Duke to reach the Sweet 16 and face FAU.

On Wednesday, May said the Vols’ intensity and physicality stand out and, “They play every possession like it’s their last.”

About the rugby rules comment, May clarified, “I know that was taken a certain type of way. I had not seen the Duke game. Just had seen some comments. Rick Barnes is a legend.” He also added that it was meant as a compliment and that you want your team to be as physical as Tennessee.

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Tennessee sports betting officially launched on November 1, 2020. Tennessee was the first SEC state to legalize sports betting.

The game will be played in New York’s Madison Square Garden, and May said that won’t be a distraction.

“Our guys aren’t afraid of the moment or the lights,” he said. “If we lose to Tennessee, it’ll be because they beat us.”

FAU players appear ready for a physical game, too.

“We’re bringing our hard hat,” Giancarlo Rosado said. “We know Tennessee is physical, but we ain’t worried about that. We’ll be ready to compete.”

Nick Boyd added, “Everybody has been callin’ our phone asking if we’re ready to bang with Tennessee. That’s going to be the challenge. We’re a smaller group, but we’ve got heart.”

H/T Wes Rucker and Ben McKee.