Our View: Florida Gulf Coast? Really?

Posted: March 29, 2013

They’re the talk of “March Madness,” those hoopsters from Florida Gulf Coast University — as well they should be, given their groundbreaking achievement as the first 15th seed ever to advance to the NCAA basketball tournament’s “Sweet 16.”

Now, if folks can only get the name of their school right. Steve Fisher, whose San Diego State team the Eagles soared past in the third round, called FGCU “Florida State” — an unconscionable faux pas, especially after you’ve spent two hours watching kids with decidedly identifiable logos on their unis torch your squad.

And TBS, one of the networks telecasting the tournament, flashed an updated score for a game involving “Florida Golf Coast.” If Eagles coach Andy Enfield is feeling like Rodney Dangerfield, he’s not letting on. He’s far too unassuming for that.

Rest assured though, unforced errors of nomenclature notwithstanding, these Eagles are getting more than their share of respect. And the primary reason is their free-wheeling, high-flying, I-alley-oop-therefore-I-am style of play. They’re the type of team, we suspect, that knows how to play with house money.

Livin’ on a prayer? No, these Eagles are living a dream, and we’ll see if it continues tonight when, as fate would have it, they lace ’em up against the bellwether program in their home state, Billy Donovan’s Florida Gators.

For some perspective, consider this: Mr. Donovan and the Gators were putting the final touches on a second consecutive national title the spring before the FGCU program played its first Division I game. That was six years ago.

The Eagles have flown a long way since then, even for a “golf” college.