FGCU Hopes to Ride Upset Wave at ESPY Awards

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WHAT: The 2013 ESPY’s

 WHEN: Tonight 9 PM Eastern

WHERE: From Los Angeles on ESPN

If past ESPY Awards results are an accurate barometer, the FGCU men’s basketball team should be the odds-on favorite to win the Best Upset award tonight in Los Angeles.

Of the eight previous winners, three were men’s college basketball teams — more than any other sport. All three — Bucknell, Northern Iowa and Virginia Commonwealth — were honored for defeating a common opponent: Kansas. None, however, was as low a seed as FGCU, which became just the seventh No. 15 seed to win its NCAA Tournament opener and the first in the tourney’s history to advance to the Sweet 16.

Six players and one staff member from last season’s team arrived in Los Angeles on Tuesday afternoon for ESPN’s annual ESPY Awards, where FGCU is one of four nominees in the “Best Upset” category for its defeat of Georgetown in the NCAA tournament last March.

“We’re extremely excited to see the players,” said former FGCU coach Andy Enfield, who left the university in April to become head coach at USC, which is minutes from the host venue for tonight’s awards in downtown Los Angeles.

“It’s ironic that the ESPYS are a mile from our campus here at USC. My whole family is excited. We’ve moved on as a family from Fort Myers. But there will always be a special bond between us. I feel like they’re a part of our family.”

An ESPY Award (short for Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award) is an accolade presented by the American cable television network ESPN to recognize individual and team athletic achievements and other sports-related performances during the calendar year preceding the annual ceremony.

Tonight, FGCU has some stiff competition from Juan Manuel Marquez (known for knocking out Manny Pacquiao), the University of Louisville Ladies’ Basketball Team (for upsetting the overall #1 seed Baylor Lady Bears in the Women’s NCAA Sweet 16), and Texas A&M University football team (for defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide 29-24 behind the arm and legs of Johnny “Football” Manziel) in the Best Upset category. Voting is open until 9 PM Eastern tonight on ESPN.com

h/t Enfield and FGCU Reunite for one day and FGCU At the ESPY’s

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