CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Win or lose tonight, some day the players and coaches from Florida Gulf Coast will be able to reflect on what they've been able to accomplish.
Quite simply, the Eagles, the No. 15 seed in the South Region, are now the answer to a "Jeopardy" question after becoming the lowest-seeded team to ever advance to a Sweet 16.
But now that it's here, Florida Gulf Coast isn't about to pat itself on the back or succumb to nerves.
No, when the Eagles take the court against No. 3 seed Florida at 9:57 tonight at Cowboys Stadium, expect to see the same loose but focused team that has become one of the biggest headlines in sports over the past week.
Starting forward and former Parkersburg South standout Chase Fieler has been at the center of this incredible run, converting momentum-swinging dunks and battling it out with the best players Georgetown and San Diego State could throw his way.
Yet even in a win as monumental as the one over the No. 2 seed Hoyas last Friday, the most impressive thing the Eagles (26-10) have been able to do is regroup and play well a second time in a win over the No. 7 seed Aztecs on Sunday.
"We were able to refocus coming off a great upset over a No. 2 seed and that is really hard for a No. 15 seed to do," Fieler said. "I'm sure [San Diego State was] focused but we were able to stay loose, we never got nervous, we played our style of game and really enforced it on the team we played. San Diego State was a great team, we just happened to make a better run and basketball is a game of runs. We had the last one and were able to put the game away.
"We're just able to stay focused and now we're pushing to get more."
It's a remarkable attitude for such an upstart program to carry. After all, FGCU is just in its second year of NCAA tournament eligibility, but Fieler said this kind of coming-out party was going to happen eventually.