I had no idea what to expect when I excitedly stepped into the Wells Fargo Center for a full day of college hoops coverage; All I knew is that there were 8 teams, 4 games, and 12 hours full of basketball…heaven if you ask me. I had no idea that I would be front and center to witness history, but that’s exactly what happened when Florida Gulf Coast University, an unknown university to those who don’t attend or live in Fort Myers Florida, defeated basketball powerhouse Georgetown.
The game started with a sparse crowd that seemed to favor Georgetown, which is only 2.5 hours south in Washington, DC, but the FGC contingent let you know they were in the house. They were easily the most rambunctious group of the day and were on their feet during most of the game.
Georgetown lead the majority of the 1st half, but never seemed to have control over the game. Florida Gulf Coast was hanging with one of the top basketball teams in the country and they knew it. It gave them the last thing you want to give an under dog…confidence. By the beginning of the 2nd half there was an excitement in the air as we all realized that we could be witnessing the biggest story in sports. The crowd that favored Georgetown early was now heavily pulling for Florida Gulf Coast and the team fed off of every bit of their energy using it to go on a 21-2 second half run.
Although we all couldn’t believe what we were seeing and FGCU clearly had “The Juice,” in the back of our minds we all felt an inevitable Georgetown run was imminent. Even up to the final minute when FGCU, who outscored the Hoyas 25-11 in transition, were clearly in control and had literally run away with the win we needed to hear that final buzzer to make sure we could officially confirm we were witnesses.
The atmosphere in the Wells Fargo Center last night was one of shock, excitement, and disbelief. There was an energy in the air that one can only experience during March Madness, where upsets of this magnitude are possible, but improbable. We were front and center to watch David defeat Goliath. We witnessed history.
Notable Post Game Quotes and Observations:
* Albany seemed to feel as if they’d won by making Duke work for the win. The players were clearly pleased with their play. They felt they left it all on the court against a perennial powerhouse. They even walked around the concourse after the game and seemed to enjoy the attention they were getting from fans.
* Duke seemed a bit sloppy, but were obviously glad to get the win. They didn’t forget the stink of last year’s Lehigh upset, and obviously didn’t want to go out like that again.
* There was post conference joking about Mason Plumlee’s sky hook and Seth Curry’s bank shot 3 pointer.
* When asked about those sleeping on Duke after the game Mason Plumlee said, “Doesn’t really matter to us what people are talking about. We’re very confident. I thought it was a good win today, and we’re just focused on us.”
* Coach Krzyzewski was asked to talk about what it meant to have big game experience: “Every game we play is a huge game. We almost always get opponent’s best shot where people are not afraid to lose. They’re going to gain something if they win against us, but they’re also not going to lose anything if they lose to us.”
* Cincinnati was obviously very disappointed by loss. I felt as if they always thought they could go on a run to close out and win the game, but clearly underestimated a very confident Creighton team.
* Georgetown was shell-shocked by the loss to Florida Gulf Coast. They entered the post game press conference unsuccessfully trying to hide emotions. The look of defeat on the players and coach John Thompson III face was saddening. Even the members of the press seemed to feel sorry for them and limited their questions.
* Watch out for Florida Gulf Coast. This is a very confident team lead by a charismatic coach. They seem to have fun off and on the court, and can run you out of the gym. Their style of play is very exciting.
* I think the crowd was still stunned from the Georgetown upset by the time Oklahoma and San Diego State played. Good game, but not fully appreciated as most were still in disbelief.
Follow me on twitter @dahurtlocktress as I continue to give live updates from Philadelphia.