OMAHA, Neb. — Kyle O'Quinn has long been a known commodity in the after-thought of a conference in which he plays.
Now everybody seems to know his name.
The gregarious 6-foot-10, 240-pound center is the face of the 15th-seeded Norfolk State Spartans. That's the lovable little engine of a team that shocked second-seeded Missouri in the NCAA Tournament on Friday and, as O'Quinn said in the afterglow, messed up a lot of folks' brackets — and, he jokingly added, even his own.
They've captured the imagination of the nation, and everyone wants to know if O'Quinn and Norfolk State (26-9) can do it again Sunday against the tournament-tested Florida Gators (24-10).
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
A No. 15 seed has never made it to the round of 16.
"When you've made history and continue to try to make history, it's kind of hard to refocus," O'Quinn said Saturday. "We know what's on the line. We know what we can do. We know the good feeling we had last night. We don't want it to end."
Florida has made the NCAA Tournament 12 times in Coach Billy Donovan's 16 years as coach, won a couple national titles and reached a regional final a year ago.
The Gators, who beat Virginia 71-45 on Friday, have seen this story before and know Norfolk State is going to have a home-court advantage at the CenturyLink Center.
"Everyone loves the Cinderella story, underdog stories. Even if you're neutral, you just love those stories," said Florida center Patric Young.
O'Quinn, a virtual unknown outside the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference until Friday, had 26 points and 14 rebounds against Missouri.
Two or three hours after the upset, O'Quinn said, he had accumulated about 2,100 new Twitter followers to more than double his total. "Once-in-a-lifetime feeling," he said.
Lawrence leads Georgetown women
Angie Lawrence scored a career-high 27 points —20 in the second half — and the Georgetown women earned their first trip to the NAIA national tournament semifinals with a 70-63 win over Rogers State (Okla.) in Frankfort on Saturday.
The Tigers (24-9) became the second Mid-South team to reach the semifinals in the 32-year history of the event. Georgetown will face Union (Tenn.) on Monday. Union beat Biola (Calif.) 74-52.
Lawrence has scored 52 points in Georgetown's three tournament games. She averaged only 4.7 points during the regular season.
Rogers State pulled within 58-57 late in the game, but Georgetown held on down the stretch, making 7 of 9 free throws in the last four minutes.
Georgetown men fall
Georgetown's men won't be joining the women in the NAIA semifinals.
The 14th-seeded Tigers were held to 39 percent shooting in an 83-76 loss to No. 11 seed Mountain State (W.Va.) in Kansas City, Mo.
Russ Middleton scored 18 points to lead the Tigers (26-9). Jordan Demercy added eight points and 11 rebounds.
Mountain State (26-8) was led by Cam Miller with 20. The Cougars will play Oklahoma Baptist on Monday .