Sweet 16 Regional Reset: Will Florida Gulf Coast prevail in South?
Holy cow. Florida Gulf Coast is in the Sweet 16. That's going to be the story until games tip off Friday in Arlington, Texas. The sheer improbability of a No. 15 seed making the Sweet 16 is interesting enough, but toss in an entrepreneur coach with a supermodel wife, and the tale gets too juicy to pass up. But once the ball goes up at Jerry Jones' Football Basketball Emporium and House of Chicken and Waffles, the story becomes less about the Eagles' improbable run and more about how long they can survive in a group with three other teams that -- given the proper set of matchups and circumstances -- can win the national title.
Florida, Kansas and Michigan all have been ranked No. 2 or No. 1 at some point this season. All three are deep and boast a wealth of ways to beat opponents. This group contains perhaps the No. 1 pick in this year's NBA draft (Kansas guard Ben McLemore), possibly the nation's best point guard (Michigan's Trey Burke) and the only team in the nation (Florida) that lands in the top five in Ken Pomeroy's rankings in both adjusted offense and adjusted defense.
Because of this, Friday night in north Texas sets up as possibly the most interesting night of this year's tournament. Cinderella will try to keep dancing against a Florida team that is hoping to make the Elite Eight for the third consecutive season. In the other matchup, top-seeded Kansas faces a Michigan team that fired on all cylinders for the first time in weeks in its win against VCU on Saturday in the round of 32.
One of two things will happen this weekend. Either Florida Gulf Coast will make history and become the ultimate fan favorite at the Final Four, or the winner of the South Region will head to Atlanta with an excellent shot of leaving as the national champ.
"I know a lot of the players on Florida's team," Enfield said Sunday. "I know Billy Donovan and their coaching staff. I recruited a lot of their players at Florida State. They are great people. We have a tremendous amount of respect for them, the players and the coaching staff, and I just think Coach Donovan is one of the best coaches in the country and has been for many, many years. We competed against Florida when I was at Florida State. I believe I'm 3-2 against the Gators as an assistant coach."
Team With The Most At Stake
Number to Ponder