ROCK HILL, S.C. - The Winthrop Eagles capped an undefeated season in the Big South Conference by winning the tournament 84-81 over Virginia Military Institute and receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
The men’s basketball team will find out who and where they play in the first round of the NCAA tournament on March 11 during Selection Sunday. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. at the Winthrop Coliseum in time to watch the CBS Selection Show. CBS will broadcast live from the coliseum during the show. Refreshments will be served.
For the third straight year, and seventh time in nine seasons, the Eagles are Big South Conference champions. “We’re going to sit back and enjoy this right now,” said Coach Gregg Marshall. The team’s 28-4 finish is the best in Marshall’s nine seasons.
The conference final between Winthrop and No. 6 seed VMI (14-19) was televised nationally on ESPN and could be heard on Sirius Satellite Radio. A capacity crowd of 6,298 fans witnessed Winthrop become the first Big South team to go undefeated.
Led by senior Torrell Martin’s 17 points, the Eagles held the lead for most of the game but VMI fought to keep it close. As the final seconds ticked off the scoreboard and Keydets’ Reggie Williams missed a 3-pointer to tie the game, Eagle fans rushed the court to congratulate the players and the coaching staff.
Eagles senior Craig Bradshaw was named the tournament MVP.