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Florida Gulf Coast sank a lot in the NCAA Tournament season 2013.



First-person essay explains madness around Florida Gulf Coast's Sweet 16 run in 2013

The original version of this story ran in The News-Press Saturday, March 23 2013.

PHILADELPHIA — FGCU junior Chase Fieler is not sure he has ever jumped that high. Brett Comer, his sophomore teammate, felt as if the Eagles had closed the deal.

Andy Enfield (second-year FGCU coach) joked that he believed Comer was his flashy, brash playmaker and was now yarn-spinning the team.

Comer actually threw it up before any chasing defense could get him and then the Fieler, who is 6 feet 8 inches, blasted to the ground.

Scott McIntyre/Staff FGCU's Chase Fieler dunks the ball during their game against Georgetown University at the Wells Fargo Center in the NCAA tournament on Friday.

The March Madness highlights of all time were born.

Enfield said, “I have some crazy dudes in my team,” and his 15th-seeded Eagles beat Georgetown 78 to68 on Friday night. This was due in part to an alley-oop late in the game that dropped jaws at Georgetown’s Wells Fargo Center. It also sent many others racing to tweet their disbelief.

I don’t always know where the ball goes, so it ends up being in the hands of a man, who is either laying the ball in or dunking it. I’m like, ‘Great pass, Brett.'”

The true story is FGCU keeps a statistic called the “dunk tank” – it’s up to 139 now with five dunks Friday night – and works in practice on its timing completing plays in transition and in half-court play.

The rest of the world didn’t care how they got there.

John Thompson III, Georgetown’s coach said that he believed the 3-pointers they made in the second period were more crucial. But that was an amazing play.

Fieler witnessed the play being set up from miles away.

Fieler said, “He has been there all year.” He added that he was the team’s leading dunk leader at 59. “Brett is a great visionary. It was just something he threw up. I needed to grab it.”

The basket made FGCU a 67–58 score with 1:56 left. It also slowed Georgetown’s full court pressure march, which had gone from a 52–33 lead in the first half to a 72–68 deficit with less than a minute remaining.

The alley-oop helped FGCU keep its status as an elite athletic team.

“It was somewhat risky. Enfield admitted that this was their style. We have high risk-reward when pushing the ball as this. This year, offense across the country has been down. That style isn’t our favorite.

“I was just watching the ball fly up into the air and Chase went 12-and-ahalf feet to sink it. “Great play,” I replied.

Scott McIntyre/Staff FGCU's Eddie Murray hangs on the rim after dunking over Georgetown University players at the Wells Fargo Center in the NCAA tournament on Friday.

Georgetown after Georgetown: FGCU dunks 2013

Chase Fieler: 58

Eric McKnight, 33

Eddie Murray: 18

Bernard Thompson: 12

Sherwood Brown: 11

Leonard Livingston 6

Brett Comer: 1

Total: 139

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