PHILADELPHIA — College basketball, meet Florida Gulf Coast.
A school so new it wasn’t eligible for the NCAA tournament until last year busted a load of brackets Friday night.
With 24 points from Sherwood Brown and a healthy dose of swagger, FGCU upset second-seeded Georgetown 78-68 in the second round of the South Regional.
“This is our first time being in the NCAA tournament. To actually go out there and win that first game, it means something really special to us,” said Brown, who was the first of the players to head toward the Florida Gulf Coast cheering section with several seconds still on the clock.
The Eagles used a 21-2 second-half run to pull away from the Hoyas and then held on in the final minute to become just the seventh No. 15 seed to beat a No. 2.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling. We played a very tough team in Georgetown. They have great players. They’re a historic school,” forward Chase Fieler said. “So being a newer school it’s very exciting for us to be able to win a game like that and for the NCAA history. That’s exciting and impressive to be a part of that.”
Bernard Thompson had 23 points for Florida Gulf Coast, the champions of the Atlantic Sun Conference.
FGCU (25-10) will play seventh-seeded San Diego State, which beat No. 10 seed Oklahoma 70-55, in the third round on Sunday.
“We decided we can play with anybody and we did,” said FGCU point guard Brett Comer, who finished with 12 points,10 assists and just two turnovers.
Comer was part of a play late in the game that almost brought down the house, throwing an alley-oop pass from the corner that Fieler grabbed and threw down with a one-handed dunk.
“Nothing special. It’s something me and him have done this year,” Comer said. “We knew what was going to happen there. Time and place didn’t matter. I knew he’d catch it. You saw the result. The whole place went nuts and we really got the momentum from there.”