The #DunkShow will continue for 40 more minutes this coming week, this time with the Florida Gators as the unwilling spectactors.
Florida Gulf Coast ran another team out of the gym in Philadelphia on Sunday night, this time making San Diego State look like they were the No. 15 seed instead of the Eagles. Brett Comer played the conductor of the #DunkShow to perfection, tossing out 14 assists and scoring 10 poins in the 81-71 win by Florida Gulf Coast.
The Eagles will be the first No. 15 seed to advance to the Sweet 16, a statement that seemed ludicrous when the brackets were announced just a week ago. On that Sunday, we thought it would be a little far-fetched to give the Eagles a shot against the Hoyas on Friday.
They proved us wrong then, and somehow kept the fire churning in the engine all the way into Sunday night.
It wasn't just Comer's beautiful distribution, a unending stream of passes that seemed to find their way into the hands of leaping Gulf Coast players just at their apex, and effortlessly slide into the bottom of the net.
That is how it began though. With a little flip to Bernard Thompson, or Sherwood Brown, or Chase Fieler. You set them up with speed and passing that no team in this tournament will want to face before the month is out.
Even Christophe Varidel came off the bench to knock down three 3-pointers, the Eagles' strength last year, that the #DunkShow seemed to negate the need for this season. Yes, that's right. Months ago, the pattern for what would become the Greatest Show on the Hardwood started taking shape.
Georgetown tried to slow it down and failed. San Diego State tried to keep it boxed in and failed.
The Aztecs walked right into the Florida Gulf Coast trap. It was 35-29 in favor of San Diego State, and then the Eagles started to turn it on, just as the No. 7 seed was seeming complacent with their standing.
Steal, steal, steal. At one point, in the middle of the greatest part of the #DunkShow, the Eagles scored 17 points in a row and ran a two-point game to a 19-point advantage.
The team with the length advantage was getting out-hustled by the team that is so short that Brown, all 6-4 of him, was considered a big man within the Atlantic Sun conference.
There was Thompson repeatedly getting a hand in and taking disrupting the Aztec offense. Off went the break again. The #DunkShow was on!
Thirteen steals, 21 assists: that is how you put the nitro into the gas tank and make the other teams, the ones that should be running the show, spectators to your greatness. Everything was working to perfection for the Eagles, even the coordination of the dancing along the sidelines.
And so we have another mid-major representative in the second weekend of the Tournament, joining the Wichita State Shockers, in an almost Yin and Yang type of contrast. Yes, there are two teams to celebrate in this NCAA Tournament still, two teams to keep cheering to do the unthinkable.
No one gave the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles more than a passing glance in the No. 15 seed spot, and yet this team has captured the attention of the nation so completely, and with so much energy and passion that their athletic site's servers crashed briefly Sunday night.
Everyone wants to be an Eagle, if just for this next week.
If they continue to put on the #DunkShow they did Sunday, can you really blame them?