The Washington Times-Herald

March 29, 2013

March Madness never disappoints

Glade's Games

By Dennis Glade
Washington Times Herald

WASHINGTON — March Madness - two words have seldomly went together as well as those two do. March Madness has become such a polarizing national event that some casual fans don't even realize that 'March Madness' isn't the name of the tournament the teams are vying to win.

Year after year casual and die hard college basketball fans look forward to the month of March for the insanity they know will ensue. March almost never disappoints the masses with a multitude of upsets that we somehow just didn't see coming.

The upsets in the NCAA Tournament are what makes March so mad, but shouldn't we see these upsets coming from a mile away? Everyone from the 70-year-old secretary who picks all the favorites to the hardcore basketball fan who picks a No. 16 seed to get to the Final Four.

The most enjoyable part of March Madness is when you have entered bracket pools for money with your buddies and then forgetting all of that when you can see No. 14 Harvard get its first tournament win ever by defeating No. 3 New Mexico on the first Thursday of the tournament. We all make these picks we think will be dead on, but we just want to see great games and great stories.

Which brings us to No. 15 seeded Florida Gulf Coast University.

We haven't see a story as fantastic as FGCU and its charasmatic coach Andy Enfield ever. He's a former college basketball player, who was in at the start of a company, TractManager, which is now worth close to $100 million.

He quit the private sector in 2006 in favor coaching college basketball.

Seems to good to be true, doesn't it?

He's also married to a former lingerie model-turned housewife, who appeared on the cover of Maxim and in an ad for Victoria's Secret before settling down with three children with Enfield.

The couple met at an NCAA Tournament game in 2003, and their first date was at Taco Bell in New York City. This story is unbelievable before you get to the fact that Enfield's team is setting the tournament on fire.

No. 15 seeds have only upset the No. 2 seed seven times in tournament history, and they don't take apart a powerhouse like Georgetown.  That's exactly what the Eagles did, while throwing alley-oops that would make Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers blush.

Soon after beating Georgetown the #DunkCity hashtag was born and the Twitter explosion had begun. That would have been enough to put FGCU on the map, but then the Eagles defeated No. 7 San Diego State to advance to Friday's Sweet 16 against No. 3 Florida.

Enfield has been inundated with media requests to peer into his great story, and he's been smiling for the last week, and you can't blame him. The Eagles tournament run is exactly what we love about March. FGCU was founded in 1991, and has only been a Division I basketball team for two years.

Whether or not they win Friday against Florida in Arlington, Texas doesn't matter. Their story is stuff of legend already.

The small college in Fort Myers, Fla., is on the map for good now. The jokes of it sounding like an online college like the University of Phoenix are over.

The Eagles have already assured they will always be remembered as the Cinderella of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, but the final words to the fairy tale still need to be written, and you can be assured Andy Enfield will do so with a smile on his face.