#15 Florida Gulf Coast defeated #7 San Diego State 81-71 to continue undoubtedly the greatest Cinderella story in college basketball history, and perhaps, sports history. The Eagles are the first 15th seed to advance to the Sweet 16 in NCAA Tournament history and have defeated no. 2 seed Georgetown and #7 seed SDSU along the way.
The Eagles silenced the Aztecs tonight with excellent contributions from guards Sherwood Brown and Bernard Thompson, who combined for 40 points, 4 assists, 12 rebounds and 7 steals. Point guard Brett Comer was also solid for Florida Gulf Coast as he contributed 10 points and an excellent 14 assists.
Also along the way the team has established itself as college basketball’s version of the Los Angeles Clippers‘ “Lob City” as their high-flying dunks and fast paced play have become part of what makes them basketball’s next giant killer.
By this point, their story has become even greated.
For the school it’s in its sixth year as a Division I basketball program and their second season of postseason eligibility, has taken the sports world by storm over the past few days, defeating the Hoyas and the Aztecs while becoming America’s favorite team in the process.
FGCU basketball is not a fluke. They are a very well coach team under Andy Enfield, have a loose run-and-gun style and play at one of the fastest paces in college basketball. This pace as well as their swarming defense has led to their success in their first two games of the NCAA Tournament.
One of their best qualities is their resiliency and boast a “never say die” attitude as they have gone on clutch runs to remain in their games and then break it open late, converting shot after shot to take all hope out of their opponents.
Their next opponent is no.3 Florida in the unconventional battle for Florida and, as they proved yet again tonight, do not write off the Eagles. FGCU and Florida match up very well against each other as they both play at a fast pace. The Eagles can once again utilize their excellent three-point shooting against the Gators and if stick with the game plan, use their swarming defense and smart rotations, FGCU will be an extremely tough foe for Flroida.
It’s America’s Cinderella story against the mighty big time school in the Gators and head coach Billy Donovan and becomes the battle for the Sunshine State, with eyes all over the nation watching. The perfect story line, perfect scenario and perfect opportunity for the Eagles. Now only one question remains? Will the most unlikely team make it to the elite eight and shock the world again?
This epitomizes why March Madness is one of the best sporting events throughout the year.