With a little less than 9 minutes left in the first half of Florida Gulf Coast's 81-71 win against San Diego State on Sunday at the Wells Fargo Center, Eagles' red shirt-sophomore forward Eric McKnight streaked toward the basket.
With an assist from sophomore guard Eric Comer, McKnight grabbed the ball out of the air with one hand and threw it down in the most emphatic dunk of the weekend. It was one of many high-flying acts by the Eagles, who produced some of the most outstanding plays at the regional tournament.
Florida Gulf Coast's win in the game could be called another stunning victory, but the outcome shouldn't have been a surprise to anyone who watched the Eagles dismantle Georgetown on Friday.
Florida Gulf Coast came in as a 15 seed, won two games, and stole the hearts of any fan at the Wells Fargo Center who wasn't rooting for Georgetown or San Diego State. With their lob passes and flashy athleticism, the Eagles often unified the otherwise impartial spectators at the Wells Fargo Center.
On Friday, Oklahoma and San Diego State fans could be heard loudest as Florida Gulf Coast took down Georgetown. On Sunday, the Aztec entourage were overpowered by the contingencies of Duke and Creighton.
The Eagles had a crowd advantage throughout the weekend, despite having one of the smaller fan bases in attendance.
But Florida Gulf Coast wasn't the only team who produced memories at a historical tournament. Here's a look at some of the sights and sounds of second-play in Philadelphia.
Brett Comer, Florida Gulf Coast. As the point guard, Comer was often on the other end of the seemingly endless string of alley-oops that the Eagles threw down on their opponents. Comer scored 12 points, with 10 assists and six rebounds in Florida Gulf Coast's win against Georgetown and followed that up with 10 points and 14 assists against San Diego State.
McKnight's dunk. It got the loudest reaction from the crowd of any play from the entire weekend and gave the Eagles the lead a little more than halfway through the first half. On the ensuing possession, McKnight blocked a San Diego State layup, bringing the crowd to its feet again.
Creighton. The Blue Jays band did a Billy Joel medley at halftime of Creighton's game against Duke on Sunday that included "We Didn't Start the Fire" and "Piano Man." Perhaps the Creighton band was minding its surroundings, as the Billy Joel sellout banner was rolled up in the rafters at Wells Fargo.
Duke. Though this really qualifies as "more fans," the Blue Devils' faithful were nonetheless the loudest throughout the weekend. The Duke crowd was also usually going against not just the other team's fans, but the entire building. It seemed that no matter who your team was, whether they were on the court on not, you were rooting against Duke.
Florida Gulf Coast. The Eagles entered the tournament tied for the lowest seed in the region, and exited as the only 15 seed in NCAA tournament history to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. Florida Gulf Coast's loose style of offense, rich with assists and dominant in transition, will be a tough guard for No. 3 Florida, who awaits the Eagles in the next round.