No. 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast has done it again, this time in historical fashion in an 81-71 win over No. 7 seed San Diego St. With the huge upset, the Eagles are now the first No. 15 seed to advance to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA’s history.
FGCU opened up their first ever NCAA tournament with an upset over No. 2 Georgetown in a spectacle that featured high-flying dunks and one ridiculous alley-oop. The Eagles weren’t as flashy in the big win over San Diego St. but went on a 17-0 run early in the second half to take the lead and put away the Aztecs for good.
Brett Comer was amazing once again for the Eagles, finishing with 10 points and 14 assists while Bernard Thompson led all scorers with 23 points. Sherwood Brown led FGCU over Georgetown and followed it up with another big night Sunday. Brown shot six-for-eight from the field with 17 points, eight rebounds, and two assists in the upset.
Jamaal Franklin led the Aztecs with 20 points and 11 rebounds in the losing effort. San Diego St. led by as much as five points early in the game, but FGCU picked up momentum and came within one at the half. After the huge run to start the second half, the Eagles held off the Aztecs the rest of the way, boosted by a crowd that was ready for more madness.
The Eagles now move on to the Sweet 16 and face No. 3 seed Florida on March 29. The Gators are coming off a 78-64 win over Minnesota and are a much better team than FGCU on paper. Paper has never amounted to much when the NCAA tournament comes around, and FGCU’s recent play has made a believer out of the entire country.
FGCU has everyone’s attention now and will surely be ready to play in the Sweet 16. The Eagles have already made it known that they are athletic and can run the floor, making the Gators road to the Elite Eight that much more difficult.
The Eagles have nothing to lose but plenty to gain which makes for a great upset recipe. The Gators will hear all about before the two teams meet on March 29. Can FGCU continue their magical run with an even bigger upset in the Sweet 16?