NCAA Basketball March Madness

2013 NCAA Tournament: Five Reasons Why Florida Gulf Coast Will Make The Final Four

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Florida Gulf Coast Will Make More History This Weekend

John David Mercer-USA Today Sports

The Florida Gulf Coast Eagles are the hottest team in the NCAA right now. They made history in this year's post-season NCAA Tournament by becoming the first No. 15 seed to make the Sweet 16. Some people may think that Florida Gulf Coast is a fluke. They are definitely the real deal. Florida Gulf Coast ranks 49th overall in the NCAA in points per game at 73.1. They average 36.6 rebounds per game, which ranks 87th in the nation. In addition, they are No. 92 when it comes to assists per game and 49th in field goal percentage. Florida Gulf Coast flew under the radar for the majority of the season.
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Reason No. 5 - Strength of Schedule

Mark Dolejs-USA Today Sports

Florida Gulf Coast had a tough schedule this season. They faced some good teams, consisting of the Virginia Commonwealth Rams (VCU), Miami (FL) Hurricanes, Duke Blue Devils, the St. John's Red Storm, and Iowa State Cyclones. These games should let others know that they have been tested by better teams throughout this season. Three weeks ago, people were calling Florida Gulf Coast a community college on twitter. Now, they are the Cinderella team.

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Reason No. 4 - Florida Gulf Coast Has Beaten Good Teams

Howard Smith-USA Today Sports

Florida Gulf Coast has beaten some really good teams this season. In the early part of their 2012-2013 season, they beat the Miami (FL) Hurricanes, 63-51. Some people want to downplay this victory because Miami's Durand Scott was injured during this game. Regardless of what you think, this win accounts for something. Last weekend, they upset the No. 2 seed Georgetown Hoyas and the No. 7 seed San Diego State Aztecs. Florida Gulf Coast is not a fluke. They are the real deal. If you do not think so, then ask Georgetown and San Diego State. This weekend, they will be watching Florida Gulf Coast play the No. 3 seed, Florida Gators.

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Reason No. 3 - Their Defense

Eileen Blass-USA Today Sports

Although Florida Gulf Coast was out-rebounded in both tournament games last weekend, they managed to overcome this by holding opponents to 69.5 points a game. Florida Gulf Coast forced Georgetown to have 14 turnovers and San Diego State to have 17 turnovers. They play with a great deal of heart and enthusiasm, two things that will not show up on the box score.

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Reason No. 2 - Their Offense

Kevin Jairaj-USA Today Sports

Sherwood Brown and Bernard Thompson are the leading scorers for their team. While Brown scored 24 points against Georgetown and 17 points against San Diego State, Thompson has scored 23 points in both games of the tournament thus far. Both players are excellent rebounders, as well. They represent the perfect guard combination that could carry their team to a Final Four. Moreover, these two players are a huge reason why Florida Gulf Coast averages 79.5 points a game in the NCAA Tournament. Likewise, Florida is averaging 78.5 points a game. Expect a high-scoring game when these two teams square off this week.

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Reason No. 1 - Florida Gulf Coast Has Nothing To Lose

John David Mercer-USA Today Sports

Florida Gulf Coast has already surpassed everyone's expectations, including their own. They have nothing to prove. Everything that happens from this moment forward is icing on the cake. They have already made history. Do not be surprised if they make more history this upcoming weekend by becoming the first No. 15 seed to make a Final Four.