The goal for Winthrop throughout the season is to win an NCAA basketball tournament game. How does coach Gregg Marshall put his team in position to do it?
"You play a great schedule, win some games that you’re not supposed to win, win all the games that you’re supposed to win. The ones that are toss-ups, you’ve got to win those, too," Marshall says. "And that’s what we did.
"If we can finish this conference tournament (with victories tonight and Saturday) that would give us 28-4, and 18 in a row – 14 in the conference plus three in the tournament plus the (ESPN) bracket buster (at Missouri State).
"That’s a pretty good seed in the tournament. If nothing else, by winning the next two games we will have broken through the imaginary glass ceiling that Big South teams can get no better than a 14 seed. We’re not getting a 14 seed this year if win the next two games.
"I don’t know," Marshall says. "I can’t say we’re not getting it because I’ve been disappointed before. I expect it to be anywhere from an eight, nine to a 10, 11. We could be as high as a 9 as low as a 12."
Marshall first went to the tournament in 1994 when he was an assistant at the College of Charleston.
"I remember going to a restaurant, Arizona on East Bay Street," he says. "I was sitting there with a pen and paper trying to figure out who was in and who wasn’t in and who should be in and who shouldn’t be in and (head coach John) Kresse walked up and asked me if we were in or not.
"I said, I think we have a shot. I said, I don’t know but I think we’re in. We didn’t have an automatic bid then so we had to have an at-large bid. Then the team popped up (on the television screen) and the roof blew off Arizona’s restaurant."