photo via NYTimes.com
Before Florida Gulf Coast University shocked us all by beating the University of Georgetown, if someone would’ve mentioned FGCU, our collective response would’ve been, “FGCU who?” Yet, when the Eagles knocked out the Hoyas by playing shutdown defense, going on large runs, and high flying dunks, they earned the attention of a nation; only to follow up that performance with a more impressive victory over San Diego State. After another dominant performance, we remain enchanted by this year’s Cinderella team who’s become the first 15 seed to reach the Sweet 16 in the tournament’s long history.
But not everyone slept on FGCU. A very small percentage of brackets predicted the Eagles’ historic rise in their first NCAA Tournament appearance ever.
According to Yahoo Sports,
· 47,950 brackets (1.5 percent) picked #15 FGCU to win their game over No. 2 Georgetown
· 18,583 picked them to also win their Round of 32 game and make the Sweet 16
· 4,982 picked them to also win their Sweet 16 game and make the Elite 8
· 1,591 picked them to also win their Elite 8 game and make the Final Four
· 696 picked them to also win their Final Four game and make the Championship
· 337 picked them to also win the NCAA Championship
In ESPN’s Tournament Challenge, out of 8.15 million brackets, “Just 0.95 percent of brackets picked the Eagles to reach this round, and a whopping 2,354 brackets have them winning it all. Interestingly, 0.3 percent of brackets predicted the Florida-Florida Gulf Coast matchup in the Sweet 16.”
Right now, FGCU are the darlings of the dance, but don’t let the media hype fool you. According to BetVega.com, FGCU went from 1000/1 odds to 100/1 odds of winning it all. This proves their stock is rising, however, Vegas hasn’t completely abandoned the Louisville, Indiana, or Florida bandwagon just yet. Respectively, the odds of them winning it all are 3/1, 5/1, and 5/1. If you played it safe with any of those three teams, it seems you were smart to do so because you have a greater chance of receiving a payout than FGCU’s risk takers. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what keeps us vested in the tourney year after year? The thrill of watching david slay goliath is cool, but nothing beats cashing out. Whether it’s 100/1 or 3/1 odds, winning it all is priceless.
FGCU’s next big test comes on Friday at 9:57PM/ET when they face their state ‘rivals’, the No. 3 seed Florida Gators.
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