After making one of two free throws with 10 seconds remaining in the overtime period, redshirt freshman Zach Johnson capped off a fantastic performance with a massive block of Divine Myles' layup attempt. As Christian Terrell brought the ball back with time expiring, fans almost instantaneously streamed onto the court as their desire to put on their dancing shoes was quenched on Sunday night.
In front of a sellout crowd at Alico Arena, FGCU battled foul trouble and injuries in this instant classic. Despite starting the game on a 10-0 run, the Eagles trailed Stetson 35-30 heading into the break before it became a back and forth affair in the second half.
Down low, Joe Dooley and staff we're forced to get creative as both Demetris Morant and Marc-Eddy Norelia ended up fouling out. The Eagles made it a priority to feed the ball to Antravious Simmons, who had his best game in an FGCU uniform with 21 points and 12 rebounds. On the other end of the floor, Kevin Mickle made an abundance of great plays as the Eagles pulled the defense/offense switch with him and Simmons.
In the backcourt, Florida Gulf Coast was without Julian DeBose and Rayjon Tucker for the majority of the game due to injury. In their absence, the young tandem of Christian Terrell (15 points, 5 rebounds, & 5 assists) and Zach Johnson (19 points, 5 assists) came up huge. As the Eagles and Hatters traded baskets down the stretch, both Terrell and Johnson took it upon themselves to attack the hoop and finish or get to the charity stripe.
And as Johnson's block put the nail in the coffin, the national coverage accompanied it as America was reminded of the "#DunkCity" that captivated their hearts in 2013. And while the team and university still dons the nickname, Joe Dooley has rebranded this program with a defensive minded approach. One that has lead to three 20-win seasons in a row. Don't get me wrong. As we witnessed today, the Eagles still have a multitude of players that can throw down some impressive slams.
This new-look FGCU team will most likely be a 16 seed in the NCAA Tournament; on the BracketMatrix.com, a site which accumulates all the bracket predictions from around the web, the Eagles have an average seed number of 15.97.
Florida Gulf Coast will find their tournament foe and destination on Sunday, March 15 when the selection show airs on CBS at 5:30 pm ET.