La Salle in the Sweet 16: Philadelphia story is no underdog's tale

"He's in the record book behind Wilt Chamberlain, which is awesome, Galloway said. "I can't say that."

La Salle is only the fifth No. 13 seed to reach the Sweet 16 as it tries to be the first to reach the Elite Eight. The Explorers are making their first NCAA appearance since 1992.

It sounds like a good story, but don't call it a feel-good story.

"We're a school that's won a national championship," ninth-year Coach John Giannini said. "This is our 12th NCAA tournament. It's not our second year of eligibility. This is a school that has the third-most national players of the year. We play in one of the top six conferences in the country. So we're not rags to riches."

La Salle was a national power in the 1950s, winning the NIT in 1952 and the NCAA title in 1954, and finishing second to San Francisco in 1955.

The Explorers were led by Tom Gola, one of the great players in college basketball history. Gola was four-time first-team All American and still holds the NCAA career rebounding record with 2,201.

The program has since had a few missteps and hiccups. The 1969 team was 23-1, but probation kept it out of the NCAA tournament.

Former Lakers coach Paul Westhead led La Salle to tournament appearances in 1975 and '78, but the Explorers haven't been back since Speedy Morris' team made it in 1992.

Just don't say La Salle is lucky to be back now. The Explorers are the only team left standing from the five-bid Atlantic 10, a highly respected mid-major league.

Florida Gulf Coast may have defeated Miami, but it also lost to Lipscomb — twice.

La Salle beat Villanova, won at VCU and also defeated Butler.

"This isn't an upset thing," Giannini said of La Salle. "This is not a low-major success story who all of a sudden gets on a big stage, and wow…. I don't think you could possibly call a school out of the Atlantic 10 that gets to this level a surprise."

Who ever suggested that?