For about 13 minutes of basketball, Florida Gulf Coast seemed to be a legitimate Elite Eight candidate and possibly the last ones standing out of the Sunshine State.

But Florida already has a college basketball team.

The Gators knocked FGCU down a few pegs Friday night at Cowboys Stadium. They sent these high-flying, instant celebrities right back to whatever rock they crawled from under, back to wherever Dunk City is.

Casual fans and die-hards alike had rallied behind FGCU becoming the first No. 15 seed to make it to the Sweet 16, the ultimate Cinderella story.

FGCU had passed the eye test against Georgetown and San Diego State. The Eagles were the better athletes, more explosive, and given the freedom to do their thing.

But the Gators weren’t impressed in the least by a group of guys that didn’t become their peers until tipoff on Friday night, despite hooping in Florida. They erased that early 11-point deficit and dictated the game tempo from there.

There was just too much size, strength, athleticism and even structure on the Gators’ side. All of those factors translated into FGCU putting in the same amount of turnovers as field goals. Their controlled chaos became more chaotic than controlled.

Point guard Bret Comer was Gator bait with his nine turnovers. And with all of its physical tools, FGCU watched Florida come down with 13 second chance opportunities.

Even when the Eagles made their run at the end of the game, gassing themselves with an ineffective full court press, Florida just straight up gave them big brother treatment.

It was a cool run to follow, that of FGCU. We’ll just have to pick up on the Eagles next season and for now, watch these Gators do work.