Florida Gulf Coast shocks world again
Before the season, the initials weren’t very recognizable.
By now, the initials are definitely known: FGCU. Write them down. Remember them.
The fans at the Wells Fargo Center got to know Florida Gulf Coast University quite well following wins over No. 2 Georgetown and No. 7 San Diego State in the NCAA Tournament.
These No. 15-seeded Eagles are on their way to Arlington, Texas, to face the third-seeded Florida Gators. For the first time in NCAA Tournament history, a No. 15 seed is headed for the Sweet 16.
“We’re FGCU,” coach Andy Enfield said. “Hopefully by now, they’re learning these initials.”
They sure are.
FGCU’s players are having fun, high-fiving, celebrating with bird dances on the bench. And they’re winning on the biggest stage.
“I grew up about 20 minutes from FGCU,” said senior forward Eddie Murray. “I chose FGCU and stayed along for the ride when coach Enfield came along. Did I think we’d be in this position? That’s hard to fathom. I could see us getting better and we still are. I think we have a team where everyone gets along.
“The coaches have a lot of trust and confidence in us and it’s been paying off. We want it to continue as long as we can. We got here through hard work and even though we’re having fun and joking around, believe me, the work is being put in.”
When you’re winning, you can do all the bird dances you want.
“I know I can say for all the players, this was the biggest game for us (because) none of us have played on this stage,” point guard Brett Comer said after dishing out 14 assists. “We are blessed to be here.”
They belong on this stage after busting up brackets throughout the country. Florida could be next.
“We’re not thinking about the next game yet because we’re still enjoying this one,” said forward Chase Fieler. “We’ll take the night and enjoy this and get ready for the next one. This is awesome. We’re going to enjoy every minute of this. We have to because so much has gone into it with our program. We’ve have come so far so fast. We want to keep going and I think that’s natural. But it’s also important to enjoy the moment.”
It’s also important to remember these initials. Who knows how far this group of players can go? This is uncharted territory for sure.
“It’s pretty surreal, but at the same time, we’ve earned it,” Murray said. “No one has given us anything along the way.”