2013 NCAA Tournament: Florida Gulf Coast Makes History, Advances to Sweet 16

By Phil Naegely
Florida Gulf Coast
Howard Smith – USA TODAY Sports

For the second straight game, No. 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast kept it close in the first half and then pulled away from their opponent in the second half. Florida Gulf Coast was happy enough to upset No. 2 seed Georgetown on Friday, but it put on yet another show tonight. With its 81-71 victory against No. 7 seed San Diego State, the Eagles’ Cinderella story will continue into the Sweet 16. In fact, they will become the first No. 15 seed to advance to the Sweet 16, and some are wondering if they are the best No. 15 seed ever.

The alley-oops and three pointers from two days ago would continue again. At times in the second half it looked more like a dunk contest than an actual game. The Eagles were having so much fun playing basketball that it also looked like they were the Harlem Globetrotters. Another key to the Eagles advancing on yet again was Christophe Varidel coming off the bench and getting hot from the three in the first half. He went 3-5 and overall had 11 points. The Eagles went on a 16-0 run to distance themselves from the Aztecs in the second half.

It looked like the Eagles had fun playing tonight, and they earned a well deserved win. Not many people knew of Florida Gulf Coast before the tournament, but they have become one of the stories if not the story of the NCAA Tournament so far.  From a fan perspective, it must have been awesome to be in the arena witnessing history, but also watching a fast-paced game. Now our brackets bust even more, but no one probably cares much about their bracket at this point. Even if they do, the Eagles put on a performance tonight that is worth more than anyone’s bracket.

Florida Gulf Coast will now take on No. 3 seed Florida next week.

Phil Naegely is a Soccer writer for RantSports.com. He also writes about College Basketball, MLB, NASCAR, and NBA news. Like him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @afriendofgod512 and add him to your circles on Google+.

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