Cutting Down the Nets: Sleeper teams arise on Friday while higher seeds survive and advance; round of 32 ready to go

There’s always madness in the tournament, it’s just whether we so-called “analysts” can call them out. Yes, Joe Lunardi of ESPN gets the tournament field together and passes it to the Dick Vitale’s of the world, but even they can only do so much. The unpredictability of the madness is why the TV ratings are at a high and why four networks combine to carry every game (costs $ 11.8 million per game).

History was made on Friday for one school. Florida Gulf Coast was a school with an enrollment of 11,291 students located in Fort Myers. It’s a school that specializes in engineering, environmental studies, and investigation concentration. When you type in “What does Florida Gulf Coast stand for?” on google now, let’s just say that the academics were kicked down the websites at the top.


#15-seed Florida Gulf Coast Win First Tournament Game in School History as Eagles Shock #2-seed Georgetown, 78-68

It was the seventh time in the history of the tournament that a #15 beat a #2. In their first ever tournament, the FGCU Eagles shocked the country with a massive victory. Senior guard Sherwood Brown (6’4, 200 lbs) scored 24 points while sophomore guard Bernard Thompson (6’3, 166 lbs) put up 23 points. Markel Starks scored 23 points for Georgetown, but the Hoyas just did not have an answer for Florida Gulf Coast defensively. Otto Porter, the Big East Player of the Year, scored 13 points, but was 5/17 from the field and really struggled. The run of belief started at the end of half, where Florida Gulf Coast went on a 13-4 run to take a 24-22 lead at the break. It was the fourth time this season that Georgetown had allowed more than a point per possession, as FGCU scored 78 points on 76 possessions. We all watched a possible Cinderella get her slipper fit. Florida Gulf Coast plays seventh-seed San Diego State on Sunday, who beat tenth-seed Oklahoma, 70-55, on Friday.

Brackets were busted as the Eagles advance. How did this happen? There’s a certain level of room that a team has to leave for a sleeper to arise. Georgetown has not reached past the Round of 32 since 2007, so the Eagles saw that coming in. They cause match-up issues though, as their speed is quite amazing. Their height is special too, as they were tight with Georgetown in a rebounding battle that frankly, the Hoyas should have won. What a game, and what a way for a school to that was only eligible for the second year to make the tournament, to make themselves known to the nation. This is why we love the madness.


Friday Scores

Midwest- #2 Duke 73, #15 Albany 61 – Duke plays #7 Creighton Sunday

West- #12 Ole Miss 57, #5 Wisconsin 46 – Ole Miss plays #13 La Salle Sunday

East- #9 Temple 76, #8 NC State 72 – Temple plays #1 Indiana Sunday

East- #2 Miami 78, #15 Pacific 49 – Miami plays #7-seed Illinois Sunday

Midwest- #7 Creighton 67, #10 Cincinnati 63 – Creighton plays #2-seed Duke Sunday

West- #13 La Salle 63, #4 Kansas State 61 – La Salle plays #12-seed Ole Miss Sunday

East- #1 Indiana 83, #16 James Madison 62 – Indiana plays #9-seed Temple Sunday

East- #7 Illinois 57, #10 Colorado 49 – Illinois plays #2-seed Miami Sunday

South- #15 Florida Gulf Coast 78, #2 Georgetown 68 – Florida Gulf Coast plays #7-seed San Diego State Sunday

West- #2 Ohio State 95, #15 Iona – Ohio State plays Iowa State Sunday

#8 North Carolina 78, #9 Villanova 71 – North Carolina plays #1-seed Kansas Sunday

South- #3 Florida 79, #14 Northwestern State 47 – Florida plays #11-seed Minnesota Sunday

South- #7 San Diego State 70, #10 Oklahoma 55 – San Diego State plays #15-seed Florida Gulf Coast Sunday

West- #10 Iowa State 76, #7 Notre Dame 58 – Iowa State plays #2-seed Ohio State Sunday

South- #1 Kansas 64, #16 Western Kentucky 57 – Kansas plays #8-seed North Carolina

South- #11 Minnesota 83, #6 UCLA 63 – Minnesota plays #3-seed Florida


Saturday Scores

Michigan the first to reach the Sweet 16

Midwest: #4 Michigan 78, #5 Virginia Commonwealth 53 – Mitch McGary scored 21 points and racked down 14 rebounds to lead the Wolverines to a Sweet 16 contest with the winner of Kansas/North Carolina next week. It was Shaka Smart’s worst loss in his head coaching career for VCU. The Rams’ defense had no answer for Trey Burke and company, who roll into the next round. No magic for VCU this year.


Saturday Predictions

Check my twitter @JohnFanta13

Today’s Picks: Michigan St. over Memphis, Louisville over Colorado St., Arizona over Harvard, St. Louis over Oregon, Marquette over Butler, Gonzaga over Wichita St., Syracuse over California.