Florida Gulf Coast, Not Miami Heat, Is Hottest Story In Sunshine State

By Brian Lester
Howard Smith – USA TODAY Sports Images

Forget about the Miami Heat and it’s billion-game win streak being the hottest story in the Sunshine State.

Florida Gulf Coast is the team grabbing the headlines in the state at the moment after punching a ticket to the Sweet 16 Sunday night.

The Eagles, seeded 15th and not even a decade into the Division I era of their program, soared past San Diego State 81-71 in the round of 32 after opening the eyes of the nation with a 78-68 win over Georgetown on Friday night.

Florida Gulf Coast plays an entertaining brand of basketball, running up and down the floor and often throwing down dunks as if they are layups.

In a college hoops world filled with parity, stunning wins are not easy to come by. But I think it’s safe to say what Florida Gulf Coast has done is as surprising as it gets in the NCAA tournament.

The thing is, the Eagles aren’t some flash-in-the-pan team that has fit comfortably into the glass slipper. They are legit, maybe as legit as any surprise team has ever been in the tournament. They play hard, they are dangerous on offense and they have been sharp on the defensive end of the floor as well.

The players are enjoying every moment of their tournament run and their confidence is as high as it’s ever been.

At some point, the Cinderella story of Florida Gulf Coast has to end doesn’t it?

History says it does, but maybe in this instance the Eagles keep flying.

Perhaps in this instance they keep winning and give themselves a chance to win the national championship.

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