We have our first punched ticket to the NCAA Tournament. The Florida Gulf Coast Eagles defeated the Mercer Bears today 88-75 to win the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament and clinch an automatic bid. For the Eagles, they made it through the Atlantic Sun Tournament pretty easily as a number-two seed defeating North Florida in the first round 73-63 and then in the semifinals defeating the number three seed Stetson 72-58.
This is a big deal for Florida Gulf Coast University because this is the first time in school history it is going to the NCAA Tournament. This is only the program’s sixth season as a Division I member. The Eagles finished the season with a record of 24-10 and took on some tough teams to get to this point.
FGCU took on the likes of VCU, Miami (FL), Duke, St. John’s, and Iowa State, capping off the streak by beating sixth-ranked Miami (FL) 63-51.
Although the Eagles are from a small conference they are a very dangerous team! This is the second time in nine days that they defeated Mercer. We will see on Selection Sunday where the Eagles are seeded but right now they will rejoice because they know that they will be in the NCAA Tournament.
All is not lost for Mercer either. Even though they did not get into the NCAA Tournament, the Bears won the Atlantic Sun regular season title, earning them an automatic berth in the NIT.
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