FGCU makes history, first 15 seed in Sweet 16

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by Matt Mitchell

Bio | Email | Follow: @MattM_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on March 24, 2013 at 10:14 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 25 at 7:26 AM

Playing loose and easy, little-known FGCU beat San Diego State 81-71 on Sunday to become the first No. 15 seed to reach the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.

"We don't take ourselves too seriously," said Florida Gulf Coast coach Andy Enfield, whose players tossed him in the air and poured water on him in raucous celebration before his postgame interviews. "We try to have fun, get serious when we have to.

"Our goal was to make history and we did it."

The next opponent for the upstart state school will be the main campus, third-seeded Florida, on Friday night in the South Regional semifinal in Dallas.

"We tried to scrimmage them early in the season in the preseason," Enfield said. "Now we get our shot."

Bernard Thompson had 23 points and Sherwood Brown added 17 for FGCU, the 16-year-old school in just its second season being eligible for postseason play.

In its first-ever NCAA tournament game on Friday, the Atlantic Sun champion busted brackets everywhere with an upset win over No. 2 Georgetown, a game the Eagles took control of with a 21-2 run in the second half.

It went much the same way against San Diego State.

This time the run was 17-0 and Brown, who was saddled early in the second half with foul trouble, had eight of the first 10 points of it. When it was over the Eagles led 71-52 with 4:19 to play and the only decisions left were how the players and fans were going to celebrate.

Brown stuck out his tongue after every big basket, often in the direction of the hundreds of Eagles fans jammed into one section.

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