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NCAA Basketball

2013 NCAA Tournament: Is Florida Gulf Coast the Best No. 15 Seed Ever?

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Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into the 2013 NCAA Tournament, nobody thought that a Sweet 16 berth would be possible for the No. 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast Eagles after a first round matchup with Georgetown.

The Eagles have shocked the nation and became the first ever No. 15 seed to make the Sweet 16. Andy Enfield has his team believing in his system and it has paid off. They have one of the most beautiful campuses in America, an up-and-coming coach and now a Sweet 16 berth in their first ever tournament appearance– what a tough life.

This could be the best No. 15 seed to ever grace the NCAA with it’s talent.

Sherwood Brown is the team’s leader and a vocal team player. He’s also not very camera shy as the attention he and the Eagles are receiving seems right up his alley.

This team hasn’t done anything the boring way either. They make everything look impressive, from their defense to their dunks, they are uber-talented.

Bernard Thompson and Brown led the team for the second straight game, combining for 40 points, 12 rebounds and seven steals. This program was founded just over 20 years ago and in just their sixth season in Division I basketball, they are in the Sweet 16 of the most prestigious tournament in college sports.

March Madness could not get any wilder than this as the team that was given little chance by anyone beat yet another favorite and will advance to the round of 16 while racking up the highlight plays. This team is no fluke, they are for real and they are good.

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NCAA Tournament Profile: San Diego State Aztecs

Record: 26-8

RPI: 26

BPI: 42

Conference: Mountain West Conference

How They Qualified: At-Large Berth

Region: No. 8 in the South

 

Another year in the Mountain West, and yet another year the San Diego State Aztecs were one of the conference’s top teams (tied for first place with the Boise State Broncos in the regular season conference standings).

The MW hasn’t been getting a whole lot of love this year, but this isn’t San Diego State’s first rodeo — not even close. In fact, most fans probably expect the Aztecs to make the tournament on a yearly basis now.

 

What You Need to Know:

Leading Scorer: Aqeel Quinn, Winston Shepard (11.1 PPG)

Leading Rebounder: Winston Shepard (5.3 RPG)

Leading Passer: J.J. O’Brien (2.5 APG)

Bad Losses: Fresno State, Washington

Good Wins: Utah, BYU, Pittsburgh, Wyoming (twice), Colorado State (twice)

 

Needless to say, the Aztecs challenged themselves this season, and got a huge win over Utah. They also played the Arizona Wildcats (only lost by two points) and Cincinnati Bearcats (lost in overtime). Both teams are also part of the field of 68.

Yeah, San Diego State certainly didn’t have an easy non-conference schedule, but that should only benefit it in the dance, a tournament that features an endless amount of talent and a boatload of teams with different playing styles.

The Aztecs made it to the Sweet 16 last season, but that team also had Xavier Thames. The NCAA tournament can be a weird beast, though, so it will be interesting to see if this version of San Diego State can go on a deeper run.

The San Diego State Aztecs are dancing!

Trevor Lowry is a Content Associate at RantSports.com. If you’re a tweeter feel free to follow him @TheTrevorLowry, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

The San Diego State Aztecs will be making yet another appearance in the NCAA tournament.

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