FGCU comes up short in tournament

The FGCU men's basketball team huddles up during a practice at the Amway Center in Orlando

Coach Leonard Hamilton seemed to take exception to a question about Gulf Coast having a "mystique" about them. Goodwin pulled his jersey up to his nose, hands on his head as he headed back to the locker room.

Both the FSU men's and women's tennis teams will be at home to take on Clemson and Duke, respectively. "I never thought that my phone would be able to get that many notifications, that many text messages and missed phone calls and stuff like that". We're breaking down every first-round game in the field of 68, plus looking ahead at which teams will make the run to the Final Four.

And that was without Demetris Morant.

"This team's had a rough go at it the last ten days or so", said UF Coach Mike White. Tevin Glass added nine points and nine rebounds. "We'll get an X-ray and have our doctor look at it and hopefully it it's good".

The Florida State-Florida Gulf Coast winner NCAA tournament 2017 winner faces the winner of Maryland-Xavier in the second round on Saturday.

But they kept fighting.

Despite the Noles getting out to the early lead, FGCU was unfazed and unafraid.

"There's nothing mysterious about them at all", Hamilton said. It goes against EVERYTHING you were taught in fifth grade rec basketball, yet somehow Morant ended up making 64 percent of his free throw attempts this way. He would score a team high 25 points on 11-17 shooting and brought down nine rebounds -- second to Jonathan Isaac who had 17 points and 10 boards. Florida State held on for an 86-80 win. The Seminoles size made offensive rebounds and second chance points a near impossibility for the Eagles, and that lead to transition buckets and slams on the other end.

Then Dooley switched things up.

Despite having the game within five twice in the final minute of the game, the Eagles were unable to force turnovers and knock down shots, falling to the third-seeded Seminoles.

Atlantic Sun regular-season and tournament champion FGCU came in as the victor of 19 of its previous 21 games. The Eagles used a 4-of-12 shooting performance from beyond the arc to take advantage of Florida State's 0-of-5 mark from distance in the first 20 minutes. The Eagles got the building rocking with two huge posterizations.

Brandon Goodwin led FGCU with 28 points and Zach Johnson added 17 points. The Gators responded with gusto, splashing four straight threes as part of a 12-2 run to retake their eight-point lead and then using a 12-1 run (as part of a 24-6 scoring stretch) to go up a game-high 16 points with 8:35 to play.

While FGCU looked to be locked into its typical offensive rhythm, FSU didn't back down despite going almost five minutes without a basket, going five for their last five shots at the end of the half to take a 40-36 lead at the half.

We showed what we can do.

They made a big comeback and played with a lot of heart, but in the end, there was no soaring in Orlando. "He made good decisions with the ball, and we're going to need more of that for him as we move through the remainder of the tournament".

If there was one positive for FGCU after Thursday, it's that the additions going into next season are greater than the subtractions.

The Eagle support system is confident they can come out on top to keep them - and Southwest Florida - in the Big Dance. We're proud of our guys. They ain't coming out of that tunnel today. "I'm excited for what we have to come".

The Eagles weren't willing to just walk away.