Florida Gulf Coast is hoping Chris Sale helps them repeat as March Madness Cinderellas
You could say that Chris Sale is an honorary member of Dunk City. After all, he was drafted out of Florida Gulf Coast University in 2010 and last year became the first student-athlete to have his jersey retired by the school.
So, with the FGCU Eagles men's basketball team back in the NCAA March Madness tournament after missing the cut in 2014 and 2015, it makes sense that they would call upon their esteemed alumnus to help them repeat as March Madness Cinderellas:
My favorite part of the Florida Gulf Coast basketball game notes ... pic.twitter.com/5em6M9zdha— Bret Strelow (@bretstrelow) March 16, 2016
In 2013, after upset wins over Georgetown and San Diego State, the Eagles became the first-ever No. 15 seed to reach the Sweet Sixteen. Three years later, they're a No. 16 seed -- as in, the seed that has never won a first-round game against a No. 1 seed in March Madness history. Clearly, the team is hoping Sale and his AL-best 274 strikeouts last season gives them the boost they need.
To start, it meant including the four-time All-Star, apropos of nothing, in the game notes for their First Four matchup against Fairleigh Dickinson Univeristy -- and if their 96-65 win is any indication, we'd say it worked. But facing down No. 1 seed North Carolina on Thursday might require more drastic measures. Like having the 6-foot-6, 180-pound Sale suit up on the court.
Or at least taking him out to dinner.