If the FGCU basketball team has any reservations about Friday's Sweet 16 game against the University of Florida, it didn't show it during a boisterous pep rally at Alico Arena on Monday night.
The Eagles were joined on their home court by more than 3,500 students and fans to gear up for the showdown with the No. 3 seed Gators and celebrate the team's unprecedented climb into the national spotlight after becoming the first 15 seed to advance to the Round of 16 in the NCAA tournament.
Kaitlyn Brandt, a junior from Gainesville, said it's still hard to imagine the relatively unknown school making a run in the tournament.
"I can't believe it," she said, adding she is rooting for the Eagles over her hometown university. "This isn't real life."
Senior Allie Huber, originally from Indiana and a huge college basketball fan, was one of hundreds of students in line for the pep rally.
"I'm really excited to see something like this down here," she said.
Huber admitted to attending one regular-season game this year, but said she knew the Eagles were talented. She has the team going to the Final Four in her bracket.
She said her family back home made fun of her when she told them of the team's slam dunking prowess.
"Everybody was like 'Oh, ha-ha, they love to dunk, yeah, whatever,'" she said. "And now we are Dunk City."
"Dunk City," the newly coined moniker for the team that has caught on nationally after a series of FGCU players' spectacular slam dunks in the first two rounds of the tournament, was a major theme.
Local rapper and FGCU student Black Magic registered 200,000 hits on his "Dunk City" rap video featuring Bambi on YouTube. They performed it at the pep rally.
Even university President Wilson Bradshaw and coach Andy Enfield have embraced the "Dunk City" nickname with Bradshaw leading a "Dunk City" chant during the rally.
Enfield said the term reflects the team's style of play.
"If you watch us play, everyone around the country is enjoying the fact we are playing differently than a lot of teams," he said. "With all the dunks and the high-octane offense, and the up tempo, I think it's refreshing to a lot of people."
Enfield inadvertently set off thousands of boos from the crowd when he referred to the Gators as one of the tops teams in the country.
As popular as Enfield is, it was the players who were the real stars of the rally as they hyped-up the crowd with their Eagle dance and "Dunk City" chants.
Senior forward Eddie Murray sent the crowd into a frenzy when he took it upon himself to rename Fort Myers.
"I"m glad we put FGCU on the map," he said. "We are no longer in Fort Myers, we are in Dunk City."