OK, unless you have been living under a particularly large rock, you know that Florida Gulf Coast beat Georgetown (i.e. the team picked by this author to win a bracket or two) and then beat San Diego State to make it to the Sweet 16. You also know that the FGCU’s coach’s wife was a supermodel. Or is. Not sure if that is like being President, where you always get to call yourself a supermodel. So, yeah, quite a story! But, with FGCU beating Miami and playing Florida this week in the Sweet 16, how do YOU rank the Florida college basketball programs?
First, let’s identify all the schools by conference:
- ACC: Florida State, Miami
- Atlantic Sun: FGC, Stetson, Jacksonville, North Florida
- Big East (old): South Florida
- Conference USA: Central Florida
- MEAC: Bethune-Cookman, Florida A&M
- SEC: Florida
- Sun Belt: Florida Atlantic, Florida International
Third, let’s rank the remaining 10 teams:
- Florida. 4 Final Fours. 2 National Championships. A 70% winning percentage in NCAA tournament games. Conference championships! Very easy selection.
- Florida State. The Seminoles have been invited to 10 Big Dances. The 10-10 record means an average of at least one win per invite. Not too shabby. Had a nice ACC run last year too.
- Miami. In the last 33 years, Miami has been invited to 5 NCAA tournaments, with a record of 4-5 (and counting).
- South Florida. The USF Bulls have only been invited to 3 NCAA tournaments, and are 2-3 overall. Struggling to get anywhere in the loaded Big East.
- Florida Gulf Coast. The Eagles have never lost in the NCAA tournament! Who can top that? Have to put these guys at #5 already.
- Florida A&M. With a 1-3 record in their 3 appearances, Florida A&M nestles right in behind FGC.
- Central Florida has had four one-and-dones in the NCAA tournament. Still looking for that first win in March Madness though. Gotta put them below the Eagles.
- Florida Atlantic. One tournament appearance, about a dozen years ago. Yawn.
- Florida International. Coached by Richard Pitino, the last and only NCAA tournament appearance was in 1995.
- Jacksonville State. Like the two schools above them, they had a one and done, albeit in 1986.
As you can see, Florida Gulf Coast is already #5 on the list of NCAA tournament wins. An argument could be made that they are now the #4 program in the state. Only a matter of time before conference realignment turns its eye towards these guys. Conference USA?
What do you think? Is too much credit being given for this one year? Too little?