The Florida Gulf Coast Eagles came away with one of greatest upsets in NCAA Tournament history Friday night in Philadelphia as the 15 seed took down the 2 seed Georgetown Hoyas. A closely contested first half turned into a near blowout early in the second half, as the Eagles took a commanding lead and held on to complete the shocking upset of the Hoyas.
The Hoyas were given a test of their own medicine in this game, in a number of different ways. Georgetown, known for playing a Princeton-style offense, was victimized at the defensive end by several backdoor cuts that led to easy layups for the Eagles. The Hoyas, an athletic team from the powerful Big East conference, were embarrassed by a slew of amazing dunks from the Eagles that excited the crowd and quickly turned the fans in attendance against the heavily favored Hoyas. Finally, Georgetown, a team known for its suffocating defense, had difficulty getting their offense going, as they shot just 38% from the field. Big East player of the year Otto Porter scored just 13 points on 17 field goal attempts, as he and the rest of the Hoyas struggled to make shots until the final minutes of the game, and even then they still lost by 10.
Everything that a 2 seed should be in the first round, the Hoyas were not. It was Florida Gulf Coast that dictated the pace of the game, played stout defense, could not be contained on offense, and finished baskets at the rim with athletic highlight reel plays. The starting backcourt of Sherwood Brown, Bernard Thompson, and Brett Comer combined for 59 points and 12 assists, as they looked the part of a veteran and battle tested trio of guards, and not the part of an inexperienced collection of guards at a school with little division one experience, which is the case with Florida Gulf Coast.
For Florida Gulf Coast, it was a complete role reversal, as they played the part of the favorite, dominating large stretches of the game, and confidently finishing off their opponent to advance to the next round. Meanwhile, for Georgetown, it was a continuation of their recent tournament fortune, or to put it more accurately, misfortune. The Hoyas have lost to a double-digit seed in their last five trips to the NCAA Tournament, since making the Final Four in 2007, as the disappointments and humiliations for Georgetown in March continue; however, it’s possible that none will end up being more memorable than this one.
Bryan Zarpentine is a New York Mets writer at RantSports.com. He also writes frequently about the NFL, College Football, College Basketball, and International Soccer. Follow him on twitter @BZarp and add him to your network on Google+.