Florida Gulf Coast stuns heavily-favored Georgetown
Philadelphia, PA, United States (4E Sports) – The Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles pulled away in the second half and doused a late rally to upset Georgetown Hoyas 78-68 in the second round of the South Regional.
Sherwood Brown had 24 points and Bernard Thompson added 23 points for FGCU (25-10), the champions of the Atlantic Sun Conference.
The Hoyas used an 8-0 run to take an 18-11 lead midway through the first half before their offense went cold. It missed nine straight shots and committed five turnovers as the Eagles closed the half on a 13-4 run.
A monster run gave the Eagles its biggest lead at 52-33 lead with 12:28 to play. The Hoyas staged a furious rally to get within 72-68 with 52 seconds left but the Eagles went 6 of 10 from the free throw line to seal it.
Georgetown, a tri-champion of the Big East regular season and one of the top defensive teams in the nation, came in allowing 55.7 points per game.
But FGCU surpassed that number with 9:22 to play when it led 57-40. The Eagles’ shooting percentage of 42.9 percent (21 of 49) also beat the 37.6 percent average allowed to Hoyas’ opponents.
Markel Starks had 23 points for the Hoyas, Big East Player of the Year Otto Porter Jr. had 13 points on 5-of-17 shooting and 11 rebounds.
It was another disappointing NCAA exit for the Hoyas (25-7), who have lost to a double-digit seed in their last four appearances. The last time they made it to the second weekend of the tournament was in 2007, when they reached the Final Four.
The Eagles became just the seventh No. 15 seed to beat a No. 2.
This is FGCU’s first tournament and Georgetown’s 29th, including the 1984 national championship. FGCU is so new it wasn’t eligible for the NCAA tournament until last year. It will play seventh-seeded San Diego State, which beat No. 10 seed Oklahoma 70-55, in the third round on Sunday.