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Best of the NCAA tournament: Day 2

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Sherwood Brown celebrates Florida Gulf Coast's victory (Getty Images)

1. Only six No. 15 seeds had ever won an NCAA tournament game. Florida Gulf Coast made it seven. The Atlantic Sun tournament champion Eagles stunned second-seeded Georgetown, and they did it in style too, throwing down an array of alley-oops, put-back dunks and transition slams. Florida Gulf Coast's victory came in its first ever NCAA tournament appearance and in only its second year of NCAA tournament eligibility after beginning the transition to Division I six years ago. Georgetown, meanwhile, has not made it out of the opening weekend since its 2007 Final Four appearance.

2. The opponent for Florida Gulf Coast will be San Diego State, which helped salvage a disappointing opening round for the Mountain West by outclassing Oklahoma 70-55. As a result, a mildly disappointing season for the Aztecs suddenly could include a Sweet 16 appearance next week if they can just do what Georgetown couldn't and vanquish the No. 15 seed. Another shooting night like Friday from reserve James Rahon would certainly help the Aztecs' cause. The sometimes erratic Rahon sank 6 of 11 shots and had 17 points off the bench.

3. If there's a theme to this tournament so far, it might be teams considered to be NCAA tournament underachievers failing to shed that label. First to fall were Mountain West stalwarts UNLV and New Mexico on Thursday. Then came the Georgetown stunner on Friday evening. And finally, another Notre Dame flop on Friday night. The seventh-seeded Irish were so bad in their 76-58 loss to 10th-seeded Iowa State that players said they'd have preferred a nail biter. "We got our butts kicked," Pat Connaughton told the Chicago Tribune. "And that's something that hurts worse."

4. In a battle between two coaches whose jobs may be in jeopardy, Tubby Smith extended his stay at Minnesota at least two days longer. The 11th-seeded Gophers emerged from a season-ending skid in which they had lost 11 of 16 games, throttling UCLA 83-63 behind 28 points from Andre Hollins and a strong defensive effort from the entire roster. If this was Ben Howland's final game at UCLA, it was a disappointing ending to a tenure that included three Final Four appearances between 2006 and 2008. The Bruins, playing without second leading scorer Jordan Adams, generated little offense, shooting only 31.7 percent.

5. Most successful conference of the opening round: The Atlantic 10, which is sending all five of its NCAA tournament entrants on to the round of 32. Temple survived NC State and La Salle stunned fourth-seeded Kansas State to join Butler, VCU and Saint Louis. Runner-up to the Atlantic 10 was probably the Big Ten, which flexed its muscles and proved itself worthy of its regular season accolades. Of the league's seven entrants, only Wisconsin was eliminated.

Up seven with two minutes to go, most teams would play it safe. Florida Gulf Coast? Not so much. Brett Comer threw a lob pass to Chase Fieler for a soaring alley-oop jam, the highlight of the 15th-seeded Eagles' stunning upset of Georgetown.

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If anyone deserves an opening-round victory, it's this devoted La Salle fan. The Explorers blew an 18-point lead against Kansas State and scored only three second-half field goals, yet they won by two anyway, keeping alive their dreams of going from the First Four to the Final Four.

"It's nice that people don't think of us as nerds. Now everybody at Harvard, not just the basketball team, but everybody has other talents other than being smart. So it's just fun to get that kind of attention."

— Harvard guard Laurent Rivard

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Half one-off Simpsons character, half New World explorer, ALL victorious underdog.

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