Tallahassee, Florida - It's safe to say Florida Gulf Coast University was not on a lot of people's radar before the NCAA Tournament.
Now the Eagles are being called America's team - the quintessential underdog making a thrilling run through the tournament and into the Sweet 16.
The team from Ft. Myers is fun to watch with its athletic play and high-flying dunks. It's earned the nickname "Dunk City" and also earned the respect of a lot of fans who have flocked to the Eagles' bandwagon.
State Rep. Matt Hudson, R-Naples, says he's been on the bandwagon for a long time.
His daughter graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University and he used to umpire games there. Hudson says he could not be more excited for the Eagles.
"I've gone to a couple of regular season games this year. Both the men's team and the women's team are just fantastic. The school spirit in that arena is better than almost anywhere I've seen. I love Azul the Eagle and it's great to see how well they're doing in the tournament and catching some people off guard."
Hudson likes to call himself "the self-appointed chair of the Dunk City regional delegation for the five counties that the university serves."
He says the team that's only been a Division 1 basketball program for six years is now on everyone's radar, and deservedly so.
"We all knew about them back home and how good the academics were and how good the athletics were, but I think not necessarily being on the radar screen gave us a little competitive advantage. Now they know who we are, but we're ready."
The Florida Gulf Coast Eagles tip off against the University of Florida just after 10 o'clock Friday night.