Remembering Forgotten March Madness Legends: Florida Gulf Coast University’s Sherwood Brown
During any other year, the NCAA Tournament would be in full swing, but after it was canceled, college basketball fans have had to figure out how to get their fix.
With nothing to look forward to, I figured there is no better excuse to reflect on the past, and as a result, I’m planning on spending the next couple of weeks answering “Hey, whatever happened to that guy?” by looking back at some forgotten March Madness legends.
I personally don’t know what it’s like to root for your school during March Madness because Boston College hasn’t been relevant since Jared Dudley established himself as a force to be reckoned with, and based on the current state of things, the only time the Eagles will be acknowledged on Selection Sunday in the foreseeable future is when they’re cited as a “bad loss” that could prevent a team on the bubble from getting an invitation.
As a result, I’m forced to find other ways to get emotionally invested in the tournament, which typically involves a simple formula: I tell myself this is the year my bracket won’t transform into a dumpster fire before jumping on the bandwagon of the scrappy underdog that inevitably sparks the inferno that dashes my hopes and dreams.
Every sport has its fair share of Cinderella stories but the unique nature of March Madness helps set college basketball apart when it comes to giving teams you didn’t even know existed the chance to make some truly improbable runs.
I’ll never forget watching George Mason string together upset after upset on its way to the Final Four and remember how blown away I was when Steph Curry introduced himself to the world by putting on an absolute show to help Davidson make it to the Elite Eight. However, I don’t know if there’s a single dark horse whose unexpected surge was more enjoyable to witness than Florida Gulf Coast University’s brief moment in the spotlight in 2013.
It’d barely been a decade since the school’s basketball program was created and the Eagles only had two seasons of Division I experience under their belt when they earned the right to represent the Atlantic Sun Conference in The Big Dance as a 15 seed.
As a result, it was a forgone conclusion that they’d be handily dispatched by Georgetown in the first round before heading back to Ft. Myers. However, the Hoyas got a very rude welcome when they inadvertently crossed the border into Dunk City.
The 78-68 victory was the very definition of a team effort, and while most of the high flying antics came courtesy of Brett Comer and Chase Fieler, the scoresheet was topped by Sherwood Brown, the senior shooting guard who came one rebound shy of a double-double while keeping his college career alive for one more game.
FGCU retained its underdog status heading into the second round against San Diego State but the Aztecs resisted their opponent’s aerial assault about as well as the Russian pilots at the end of Top Gun, and thanks in part to Brown’s 17 points and impressive glass cleaning, the Eagles were off to the Sweet Sixteen.
Sadly, the run came to an end against Florida, as Brown’s 14 points weren’t enough to stop FGCU from losing by a score of 62-50. The dream had ended but this video featuring every dunk set to a remix of a Tyga song will live forever.
It was one hell of a way to cap off your time in college and Brown attempted to ride the momentum into the NBA Draft but failed to find a home before opting to take his talents to play professionally in Israel for a year. After that, he played a couple of seasons in the G League for the Maine Red Claws while keeping the Dunk City legacy alive.
Brown is still living the basketball life to this day and spent the most recent season grinding away in Romania, and based on his most recent Twitter activity, he looks back at that magical run just as fondly as the rest of us.
Thanks for the memories.