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Sun, Feb 7, 2016

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College Basketball Insider

Florida Dunk Coast advances to Sweet 16 to play Florida

PHILADELPHIA -- Three days ago almost nobody knew what FGCU stood for, where the school was located or anything about any of its players. But now Florida Gulf Coast is trending, the official website is operating only because officials secured additional servers, and the Eagles are the first 15 seed in NCAA tournament history to make the Sweet 16.

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That's the result of Sunday's 81-71 win over San Diego State.

Florida Dunk Coast is headed to Arlington.

To play Florida.

For a trip to the Elite Eight.

And how perfect is this story?

This Atlantic Sun member that didn't even hold its first class until 1997 is the biggest deal in college basketball, and not only because it's the first 15 seed in the Sweet 16. No, it's more than that. It's the way the Eagles did this, how they got here. With lobs on lobs on lobs on lobs and dunks on dunks on dunks on dunks. Understand, this remarkable run that started here at the Wells Fargo Center with Friday's win over Georgetown and continued with Sunday's destruction of San Diego State didn't feel fluky. For 80 straight minutes, Florida Gulf Coast was the aggressor, the attacker, way more than just a so-called low-major getting fortunate by hitting lots of 3-pointers.

They don't look lucky.

They look fun and terrific.

How the Eagles finished second in the Atlantic Sun and lost twice to Lipscomb is one of life's great modern mysteries, and it's worth exploring at some point. But for now let's just enjoy all the running and gunning and lobbing and dunking. March Madness has its Cinderella, and midnight seems really, really, really far away.

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