South Regional: Florida Gulf Coast sends Georgetown home
Eddie Murray helps put an exclamation point on Florida Gulf Coast’s upset with a dunk in the second half.
Florida Gulf Coast 78, Georgetown 68: Sherwood Brown scored 24 points and Bernard Thompson had 23 to lead Florida Gulf Coast to an incredible NCAA Tournament debut, a stunning win over second-seeded Georgetown last night in the second round of the South Regional in Philadelphia.
The Eagles (25-10), in their second season of being eligible for the NCAA Tournament, became just the seventh No. 15 seed to beat a No. 2.
“We didn’t come here and have the attitude that we’re just glad to be here,” said point guard Brett Comer, who finished with 12 points,10 assists and just two turnovers. “We decided we can play with anybody, and we did.”
A night after America’s oldest university, Harvard, pulled off a major upset over third-seeded New Mexico, one of its youngest — Florida Gulf Coast’s first student was admitted in 1997 — got one that was even bigger.
The Eagles’ big run gave them a 52-33 lead with 12:28 to play. The Hoyas staged a furious rally to get within 72-68 with 52 seconds left, but Florida Gulf Coast went
6 of 10 from the free-throw line to seal it.
“In the second half, we pushed the ball, we got out, we ran, we made shots, got some alley-oop dunks to energize the crowd. I’m very proud of our players,” said coach Andy Enfield, whose wife — supermodel Amanda Marcum — was shown several times on the arena’s big screen.
Florida Gulf Coast is a state university in Fort Myers with about 12,000 students. The Eagles beat the University of Miami earlier this season.
It was another disappointing NCAA exit for Georgetown, which has lost to a double-digit seed in its past four appearances.
“I wish I could,” Georgetown coach John Thompson III said when asked if he could figure out the losses to lower seeds. “Trust me, more than anyone on Earth, I’ve tried to analyze it. I don’t know.”
North Carolina 78, Villanova 71: P.J. Hairston scored 23 points, James Michael McAdoo added 17 and No. 8 seed North Carolina unleashed a flurry of three-pointers to subdue Villanova in Kansas City, Mo.
The win gave coach Roy Williams his 700th career victory.
The ninth-seeded Wildcats (20-14) erased a 20-point deficit that North Carolina (25-10) built in the first half and then nearly climbed out of a nine-point hole in the final minutes after the Tar Heels hit three consecutive three-pointers and again appeared to take control.
North Carolina shot 11 of 21 from three-point range while getting outrebounded 37-28.
JayVaughn Pinkston had 20 points and Darrun Hilliard 18 for Villanova.
Florida 79, Northwestern State 47: Erik Murphy had 18 points to lead four players in double figures and No. 3 seed Florida shut down the NCAA’s highest-scoring team in Austin, Texas.
The Gators (27-7) turned the game into a rout with a 19-1 run in the second half and held the 14th-seeded Demons (23-9) to their fewest points this season — 34 below their average.
San Diego State 70, Oklahoma 55: Jamaal Franklin scored 21 points, James Rahon had 17 and No. 7 seed San Diego State beat No. 10 Oklahoma in Philadelphia.
The Aztecs (23-10) did nothing spectacular but everything well and used a modest 8-0 run late in the second half to snap a tie score and take control.
Romero Osby scored 22 points for the Sooners (20-12).