Florida Gulf Coast upsets Georgetown
by Jack Carey, USA TODAY Sports
PHILADELPHIA — A school that did not exist until 1991 has made Georgetown disappear from the NCAA tournament.
Florida Gulf Coast, the 15th seed in the South Regional, shocked second-seeded Georgetown 78-68 Friday night, marking the seventh time in NCAA history that a 15th seed has beaten a No. 2 seed.
The Eagles, in just their second year of eligibility for the tournament and their sixth year as a Division I program, pulled away from a two-point halftime lead with a confident display of offensive basketball in the second half that left the Hoyas reeling until they put on a late rally that drew them within four points with 52 seconds left.
So now, the Atlantic Sun Conference champion from Fort Myers, which coach Andy Enfield says has often been confused by recruits with Gulf Coast Community College in Florida’s panhandle, has let the world know just what it is: one of 32 teams still playing in the tournament.
And a confident one at that.
A soaring one-handed alley-oop dunk by forward Chase Fieler with 1:56 left put an emphatic exclamation point on the upset and brought the crowd to its feet.
The stunning result marked the fifth consecutive time Georgetown has been eliminated from the tournament by a double-digit seed since reaching the Final Four in 2007.
Sherwood Brown had 24 points and Bernard Thompson finished with 23 as the Eagles (25-10) sent the Big East regular-season champion Hoyas (25-7) home early.
The crowd at the Wells Fargo Center was chanting “F-G-C-U” as the clock wound down.
Georgetown had trouble scoring at various times during the season (see a 37-36 win against Tennessee and a 46-40 escape from Towson), and the Hoyas’ shooting woes had them in another rock fight in the early going against the upstart Eagles.
FGCU made only eight of 26 shots in the first half but still led 24-22 at halftime because the Hoyas made only nine of 27 (and shot 3-for-8 from the foul line).
The Eagles came out in the second half and quickly pushed the lead to 29-22 on a three-pointer by Brown and a short jumper by Fieler.