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Fledgling FGCU program becomes third No. 15 seed in two years to win NCAA game
Andy Enfield has already been living a Cinderella existence. For starters, he convinced a supermodel to go to a St. John's NIT game for a first date. Then he married said supermodel.
For at least a day or so, the former Amanda Marcum will be the second-most famous name in her marriage. Enfield turned Florida Gulf Coast into the story of the NCAA Tournament so far as the 15th-seeded Eagles upset Big East champion Georgetown 78-68.
There are Cinderella stories, and there’s Florida Gulf Coast. For starters:
♦ Florida Gulf Coast didn’t have its first student until 1997.
♦ When it’s campus opened in Fort Myers, the student body got up close and personal with wildlife: “There were a couple dorm rooms and that was it. You’d see wild animals — wild boar, bobcats, alligators — crossing the road. It was unbelievable," FGCU senior Eddie Murray told the Newark Star-Ledger.
♦ FGCU wasn’t even eligible for the NCAA Tournament until two seasons ago.
From an upset perspective, the wins for No. 15 seeds are starting to pile up.
After No. 2 seeds went undefeated in the first round from 2003-11, two lost in the round of 64 last season (Duke to Lehigh and Missouri to Norfolk State). Now, three No. 2 seeds have lost in two seasons.
Or in other words, three of the seven No. 15 wins in the first round have come in the last two tournaments.
As Florida Gulf Coast cheers, Georgetown looks for answers. The Big East regular season champion Hoyas have exited the Tournament in the first weekend in each of their last five trips to the Tournament since reaching the Final Four in 2007.
The teams that upset Georgetown: No. 10 seed Davidson in 2008, No. 14 Ohio in 2010, No. 11 VCU in 2011, No. 11 NC State in 2012 and now No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast.
This latest Georgetown loss wasn’t even close at times. The Hoyas missed 10 consecutive shots at one point in the second half and trailed by as much as 19 in the second. Only a late burst powered by Markel Starks’ free throws and back-to-back threes made it close late.