This is what March Madness is all about. The team with no chance of winning, beating two of the top teams in the nation to advance to the Sweet Sixteen and face the top basketball program in their state. The No. 15 seeded Florida Gulf Coast Eagles will take on the No. 3 seeded Florida Gators with a spot in the Elite Eight on the line with most of the country rooting for the Eagles.
The Eagles are everyone’s favorite underdogs. They held on to push back a late surge by the No. 2 seeded Georgetown Hoyas and rolled over Jaamal Franklin and the No. 7 seeded San Diego State Aztecs. Florida Gulf Coast is a fun team to watch because they share the ball and have fun playing their high-flying style of basketball. However, their next opponent will be ready and waiting for them.
Florida has beaten all non-Big 6 conference opposition by double-digits this season; expect Billy Donovan’s squad to continue to do the same against the Eagles. The Gators have won both NCAA tournament games so far by double-digits and have more confidence than they have had all season.
Florida Gulf Coast will have every non-Florida and non-Mercer Bears (the Eagles stole the Atlantic Sun’s lone spot in the NCAA tournament from the Bears) fan rooting for them Friday night. Unfortunately for the Eagles, hope doesn’t win basketball games. Florida Gulf Coast will keep it close for the first half, before Florida pulls away in the second half like the Gators have all done season.