The Florida Gulf Coast Eagles have punched the school’s first ever ticket to the NCAA tournament with a win over Mercer in the Atlantic Sun conference tournament championship game. The school also had the honor of being the first school to enter the field of 68 officially with the victory.
While schools like Akron and Gonzaga can wonder about what their chances might be to get to the tournament, FGCU now gets to sit back and wait until next weekend’s Selection Sunday to see who they will take on in the first round.
The Eagles, who improved to 24-10 on the season with the win were the second seed in the conference tournament. Not only did they knock off top seeded Mercer, but they also broke the Bears’ 17 game home win streak. Starting point guard Brett Comer led the team in scoring with 21 points. Comer averaged just 7.5 points per game during the season.
Florida Gulf Coast was also led by Sherwood Brown who posted a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. FGCU has only been in division one for six years and is only three years removed from a season in which they won just eight games.
The contest was close at halftime, with the Eagles hold a 38-36 lead but Mercer faded down the stretch thanks in large part to Brown starting a 14-3 run early in the second period. In the team’s run to the Atlantic Sun championship, the Eagles won every game in the tournament by at least 10 points.
Comer’s 21 points was only the second time this season he had scored more than 20 and was just the second time in his last 10 games that he had even scored in double digits. The point guard also handed out five assists and hauled down two rebounds.
Do you think Florida Gulf Coast can make some noise when the NCAA tournament starts?