Florida Gulf Coast, which stunned No. 2 seed Georgetown 78-68 earlier tonight, is now the talk of the NCAA Tournament, thanks to its almost perfectly Cinderella quality (the school itself is barely 20 years old, the men’s basketball program has only been around for half of that time, and this is only its second year of Division I postseason eligibility), its eye-popping play on the court, and some… other, off-court reasons.
But for now, let’s focus on that second reason – this is a good basketball team, one that first built a sizable lead on a heavily favored, Big East co-champ Georgetown team, then withstood the inevitable rally to win pretty comfortably at the end. How’d they withstand that rally: by hitting their free throws and occasionally going for broke. With two minutes left, Georgetown had closed the gap to 65-58. FGCU got the ball. Point guard Brett Comer took the ball just outside the 3-point arc, and… threw a wild-looking lob. Such an undisciplined play could only end in disaster, right? That’s just what they wanted you to think:
That was junior forward Chase Fieler on the finish. He had nine points, seven rebounds, and three blocks. All important contributions – but we have a feeling that play above is what people will remember most. Do not take Cinderellas lightly. You can bet the winner of the currently-in-progress Oklahoma-San Diego State game – the winner of which will have to face FGCU for a spot in the Sweet 16 – won’t.