NCAA South Region: Florida Gulf Coast stuns Georgetown
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."
Said Fieler: "That might be the highest I've ever jumped. We'll have to check the video. Brett has great vision. That was his 10th assist. He just threw it up and I had to go get it."
North Carolina 78, Villanova 71 • P.J. Hairston scored 23 points, James Michael McAdoo added 17 and North Carolina unleashed a flurry of 3-pointers to subdue gritty Villanova in Kansas City, Mo., giving coach Roy Williams his 700th career victory.
The never-say-die Wildcats (20-14) erased a 20-point deficit that North Carolina built in the first half.
Florida 79, Northwestern State 47 • Erik Murphy had 18 points to lead four Florida players in double figures and the Gators shut down the NCAA's highest-scoring team Friday night in Austin, Texas.
No. 3 seed Florida turned this one 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.
San Diego State 70, Oklahoma 55 • Jamaal Franklin scored 21 points, James Rahon had 17 and San Diego State beat Oklahoma in Philadelphia to earn its third NCAA Tournament victory.
Kansas 64, Western Kentucky 57 • Jeff Withey scored 17 points and top-seeded Kansas struggled to put away scrappy Western Kentucky in a victory in Kansas City, Mo.
The Jayhawks (30-5), flummoxed by the Hilltoppers' full-court pressure, trailed 31-30 at halftime.
Minnesota 83, UCLA 63 • Andre Hollins scored 28 points and Minnesota rolled past punchless UCLA in Austin, Texas, a game that could be Bruins freshman Shabazz Muhammad's last in college and coach Ben Howland's final one leading the program.