2013 NCAA Tournament: Florida Gulf Coast Looking for Vindication Against Florida

Eileen Blass-USA Today Sports

Florida Gulf Coast has set the NCAA Tournament on fire. For the first time ever a No. 15 seed will be heading to the Sweet 16. With an 81-71 victory over San Diego State, Florida Gulf Coast set up an epic state rivalry matchup against the Florida Gators. Coincidentally the Gators turned down a scrimmage with FGCU earlier in the year.

Andy Enfield, head coach of Florida Gulf Coast, surprised many at the end of the game when he said Florida turned down a scrimmage before the 2012-2013 NCAA season. Enfield said, “We tried to scrimmage them in the preseason, so now we get our shot.”

How hard is it going to be for Enfield to motivate his team against a team that showed no respect. The answer is pretty easy. If I was Enfield, I would hit on that hard during my locker room speech. This motivation could be enough to keep the shoes fitting on Cinderella Florida Gulf Coast.

Florida Gulf Coast already beat state rival Miami in an away matchup earlier in the year (63-51). The team will now look to keep its historic run going and matches up well against Florida.

Florida Gulf Coast ranks 49th in points (73.1), 87th in rebounds (36.6), 92nd in assists (14.0) and 49th in field goal percentage (.460). Florida on the other hand ranks 64th in points (71.9), 158th in rebounds (35.1), 33rd in assists (15.0) and 8th in field goal percentage (.484).

Florida comes into the matchup with the better overall record and the more impressive resume. The David vs. Goliath battles haven’t phased Florida Gulf Coast yet. Why should the matchup against a team that shunned them once be any different?

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