Florida Gulf Coast University became the first No. 15 regional seed to ever reach the round of 16 at college basketball’s national men’s tournament with a 81-71 win over San Diego State.
Florida Gulf Coast, which was seeded 15th out of 16 teams in the South region, followed its opening-game upset of No. 2 Georgetown University with today’s victory against seventh-seeded San Diego State in Philadelphia.
The Eagles (26-10) advance to play the third-seeded University of Florida in the final 16 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament on March 29 in Arlington, Texas. Florida Gulf Coast is a school of 13,000 students in Fort Myers that held its first class in 1997 and started playing at college basketball’s top level in 2007.
Six other schools won NCAA tournament games as a No. 15 regional seed since the field was expanded in 1985. Five of the six had lost their second game by at least 11 points, with Coppin State in 1997 coming the closest to reaching the final 16 with a 82-81 second-round loss against Texas.
Top regional seeds Kansas and Indiana both won earlier today, with Kansas defeating No. 8 North Carolina 70-58 in the South and Indiana rallying past No. 9 Temple in the East. Ohio State, the No. 2 seed in the West, beat Iowa State 78-75 on a last-second 3-pointer. Florida reached the final 16 with its 78-64 victory today over No. 11 Minnesota.