Florida Gulf Coast University was a relatively unknown institution until this past week, as they have stormed into March Madness and effectively taken over as the main attraction.
The school was not established until 1991, didn't hold its first class until 1997 and is only in its second year of NCAA tournament eligibility. It has an enrollment of 12,683, nestled in the suburbs around Fort Myers, Fla., on a beautiful campus on the beach.
The team generated a little interest when it was revealed that head coach Andy Enfield's wife was supermodel Amanda Marcum of Maxim, Elle and Vogue fame. But this was only seen as a little fun fact for a team that was just happy to be included.
Ranked as the 15th seed in the South region, FGCU had a matchup with No. 2-ranked Georgetown and was thought to be an easy victim for the powerful Hoyas, who had just won the Big East. The pride of the Atlantic Sun Conference would not bow out easily, however.
The FGCU Eagles shocked the world, playing with Georgetown in the first half and outplaying them in the second. But it was the way they did it that really impressed everyone. Their fast-paced, high-flying style and contagious energy made them a joy to watch.
They became only the seventh No. 15 seed to advance, drawing San Diego State in the third round. They showed their win over Georgetown was no fluke as they handled the Aztecs with relative ease.
And they were back playing that electric style, with a number of huge dunks and a relentless energy that persisted from start to finish.
Their loose style and penchant for shooting three-pointers and throwing down massive slam dunks really have captured the attention of the nation.
Then they did the chicken dance on the bench, and that just brought everything to a whole new level. Also, in regards to their incredible dunks against Georgetown, this video is hilarious and awesome at the same time and is just one more reason to love this team.
They are more than just a Cinderella team this year; FGCU is a legitimately lovable underdog who wins in style and seems to have a blast doing it. If there's any team to get behind this year, it's the Eagles.
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