Florida Gulf Coast University made history on Sunday as they beat San Diego State 81-71 to become the first 15-seed to advance to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament.
The Eagles upset No. 2 seed Georgetown in the round of 64 and followed that up with Sunday’s win over SDSU. "Our goal was to make history and we did it," said Eagles coach Andy Enfield.
No one knew that FGCU could be this good. In fact, most of the world didn’t even know that the school existed before this weekend. To help you get better acquainted with the Cinderella story of this year’s tournament, here is a list of five essential water cooler facts about the school.
1. Their team manager is clearly psyched.
Has a college kid ever been more excited about anything? I can't think of another instance. Nothing beats a sober dude doing the chicken dance on national television. Just think of the possibilities: If he busts out something so awesome for a victory in an early round of the tournament, what can we expect from a trip to the Final Four or — dare I say — a championship? I'm rooting for the Eagles just to see this bro get even crazier.
2. Courtney Jolly, a former professional monster truck driver and beauty queen, is an alumna.
I don't know how many former beauty queens turn out to be professional monster truck drivers, but this is one more than I ever expected. Courtney Jolly won the Swamp Buggy Queen title, but I'm going to go ahead and count it. Jolly had a solid racing pedigree; she grew up watching both her father and mother race, and both her sisters are horse barrel racers (like, they’re actually on horses). She started driving monster trucks while she was still in undergrad and had to have her trucks custom fitted for lefty controls since she sustained a crippling childhood injury to her right hand as a child. She currently sells real estate.
3. You can major in death investigation.
FGCU students have the option to major in Death Investigation, which is basically just real life CSI or Law and Order: SVU. You choose to specialize in either identifying human remains or analyzing psychological profiles. If only I had known about this program before I declared as a sociology major.
4. Their fight song sucks ...
George Krumenacker, the composer of “Follow The Eagle,” has a great name, but that’s pretty much all this song has going for it. I know fight songs are supposed to be over the top, but there’s way too much going on here. Why is the cymbal the featured instrument? It’s like they got the cowbell guy from SNL to hit that thing. For a school founded in 1991, the tune is fairly generic. It’s not like there’s a lot FGCU history to harken back to. Can I get a little hip hop groove? Maybe some four-on-the-floor kick drum to jam out to? Show some creativity, guys.
5. ... But at least they have an awesome t-shirt.
This t-shirt is as pleasing to my eyes as "Follow The Eagle" is offensive to my ears. It's forward-thinking, with bold colors and stylish diagonal lines. The best part? It’s only $11.99 from the bookstore. My plan: Buy it now, stash it away, and collect major kitsch points when I wear it at my tournament party in a few years. In this economy, it’s the only safe investment you can make.