Florida Gulf Coast jumped out to an 11–0 lead and never looked back. By halftime, the Eagles—who are still known as “Dunk City” despite decidedly few dunks—had a 21-point lead. Fairleigh Dickinson only got within 15 once in the second half, and FGCU prevailed 96–65.
Why it matters
FGCU will have a shot to make history by becoming the first No. 16 seed ever to beat a No. 1 ... but more likely it’ll just be getting an all-expenses paid trip to Raleigh where it’ll be throttled by North Carolina in front of a de facto home crowd. Still, it’s nice to see the Eagles flying again after a two-year absence from the Big Dance.
Florida Gulf Coast faces North Carolina at 7:20 p.m. on Thursday. Despite Dunk City’s impressive performance on Tuesday night, it’s unlikely the Eagles will upend a UNC team fresh off stymieing fellow No. 1 seed Virginia in the ACC tournament championship game.