As March Madness is almost here, we take a trip down memory lane and look back at some of the best viral moments in NCAA tournament history. Here is Mid-Major Madness’ take on the memorable 2013 Florida Gulf Coast team, also known as Dunk City:
When a 15-seed upsets a No. 2 seed, the first reaction of fans who filled out a bracket is most likely to rip it up. There goes a Final Four team. Or even worse, the pick for national champion.
But in 2013, when No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast soared past second-seeded Georgetown, the nation was captivated. Dunk City took flight on the national stage, and a phenomenon was born.
The Eagles prevailed over Georgetown 78-68 on March 22, 2013, in Philadelphia. Thanks to a 21-2 second half run FGCU took a 19-point lead only to see the Hoyas storm back to pull within four in the final minute. Their high-flying acrobatic dunks stole the show as they had five dunks in the final 20 minutes.
Sherwood Brown scored 24 points, and Bernard Thompson had 23.
This win was the school’s first NCAA Tournament game and was a massive upset. Georgetown was playing in its 29th March Madness. The salary of then-Georgetown coach John Thompson III was about 13 times more than that of Florida Gulf Coast coach Andy Enfield ($150,000) at the time, according to Darren Rovell.
Two days later Florida Gulf Coast took the air again and defeated seven-seed San Diego State 81-71 to become the first 15-seed to make the Sweet 16.
The school had only been in Division I for six years and eligible for the postseason for two years, according to USA Today.
Dunk City took over Twitter during its run:
Kidding aside, only the champion of this tournament will accomplish more than FGCU has. Thanks for the memories #DunkCity— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) March 30, 2013
That’s awesome RT @nickcicero: I'm glad that someone in the Ft. Myers city hall has some SEO skills. #DunkCity pic.twitter.com/EhwmIa9hTz— Todd Olmstead (@toddjolmstead) March 25, 2013
Dunk City. Dunk-Dunk City.— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) March 24, 2013
Dunk City is expanding to an outright territory.— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) March 24, 2013
Andy Enfield's Florida Gulf Coast is playing with the confidence of a team that has a super model for its baby mama. Up 2 on Hoyas at break.— Braden Gall (@BradenGall) March 22, 2013
The Eagles’ run came to an end in the Sweet 16 against third-seeded Florida 62-50. The Gators scored 16 straight points in the first half to seize control of the game.
It was a dream season for FGCU. The team won 26 games, which is tied for the most in school history and the Eagles racked up 148 dunks on the season.
In addition to winning the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament by beating top seed Mercer, the Eagles topped Miami 63-51 in their second game of the season. The Hurricanes went on to claim a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, so FGCU knocked off two No. 2 seeds in one season.
The team was unanimously inducted into the inaugural class of the FGCU athletics Hall of Fame.
The Eagles won the ESPY for Best Upset of the Year and was ranked No. 25 in the final USA Today Coaches Poll.
So where are some of them now?
Enfield parlayed this Sweet 16 run into the job at USC. Now in his ninth season with the Trojans, he has led them to three NCAA Tournaments and should make the field again this year.
Brown played in the NBA G League with the Maine Red Claws. He is currently playing professionally in Romania.
ASUN Tournament MVP Brett Comer is currently on the Dayton coaching staff as the director of basketball operations.
As we look back at NCAA tournament history, it’s undeniable that the 2013 FGCU team certainly made its mark.