March 9, 2013; Macon, GA, USA; Florida Gulf Coast Eagles forward Chase Fieler (20) , guard Brett Comer (0) , forward Eric McKnight (12) and guard Christophe Varidel (5) celebrate following their 88-75 victory over the Mercer Bears in the championship game of the Atlantic Sun tournament at Hawkins Arena. The Florida Gulf Coast Eagles advance to the NCAA tournament with an automatic bid. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

NCAA Tournament 2013: Florida Gulf Coast Earns Automatic Bid

It was a special moment for the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles as they knocked off the Mercer Bears, 88-75, in the Atlantic Sun tournament to earn the conference championship and an automatic bid to the 2013 NCAA tournament.

Florida Gulf Coast earns the first tournament bid in school history.

Early in the season, Florida Gulf Coast was able to take down the Miami Hurricanes, so they clearly showed they have the potential to be a Cinderella story in the first two rounds, although it won’t be easy. The Eagles will likely enter the tournament as a No. 16 seed.

Florida Gulf Coast ends their season on a five-game winning streak and earned a 24-10 record.

Be sure to stay tuned to FanSided.com throughout championship week as we keep you up to date with the latest conference champions and teams that earn automatic bids into the 2013 NCAA tournament field.

Tags: Florida Gulf Coast Eagles March Madness NCAA Tournament

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