If you wondered why you’d never heard of the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles until this week, it’s because they haven’t been around long enough to make a name for themselves–that is until now.
This is just the program’s second year to be a full-fleged member of men’s Division I basketball. Before last season, they weren’t even eligible to make the NCAA Tournament. Now, they are taking it by storm.
In the second round of this year’s Big Dance, the Eagles became just the seventh N0. 15 seed in tournament history to defeat a No. 2 seed when they shocked the nation and ousted the Georgetown Hoyas in the round of 64.
As if that wasn’t enough, the Eagles just became the first ever No. 15 seed to advance to the Sweet Sixteen after defeating the No. 7 seed, San Diego State Aztecs.
But the Eagles aren’t just winning–they are winning in impressive fashion.
In their match-up against the Hoyas, the Eagles went on a 21-2 run in the second half to finish with a double-digit victory in which the outcome was never truly in doubt. Against the Aztecs, the Eagles again went on a second-half rampage, outscoring their opponents by eleven in the final two quarters to again win by double-digits.
Up next, the Eagles will take on fellow Floridians, the Florida Gators in the Sweet Sixteen. Is there any magic left in the Eagles’ run? We will know soon enough, but one thing is for certain: college basketball fans have taken notice. We now know exactly who the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles are.
Welcome to the big time.