And you can count Kennesaw State athletic director Vaughn Williams as a big fan.
“I am very excited for them,” Williams said. “They are showing America what the A-Sun is all about.
The 15th seeded Eagles opened the tournament with a 78-68 upset win over second-seeded Georgetown, and followed that win with an 81-71 win over San Diego State in the third round.
With the two victories Florida Gulf Coast became the first 15 seed to ever advance to the Sweet 16, and the Eagles will try to advance to the Elite Eight when they face third-seeded Florida on Friday in Arlington, Texas.
“Everyone was concerned about the conference when Belmont left,” Williams said.”But (FGCU) has done what Belmont couldn’t do. They are showing what a mid-major program can do.
“America has adopted Florida Gulf Coast.”
Not only is Williams excited about how well the Eagles are carrying the banner for the conference, but with each victory, all the schools in the Atlantic Sun get a slightly bigger piece of the NCAA tournament revenue.
Each conference is awarded monies from the tournament based on the performance of its teams in the tournament over the previous six years. In 2012, the A-Sun was awarded $1.4 million from tournament revenue. That money goes to help fund the A-Sun yearly budget, but after expenses, each school will receive a small bonus payment for its general fund. Those amounts were not specified.
For each game the Eagles play, the conference earns an additional $245,000 this year.