Winthrop’s stay in the NCAA tournament was short-lived. The Eagles lost to Arkansas-Pine Bluff 61-44 in Tuesday night’s play-in game. If you didn’t see the game, the score pretty much says it all. You aren’t going to win many games scoring just 44 points, especially in the postseason.
Winthrop coach Randy Peele and players discuss loss to Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Arkansas-Pine Bluff will move on to face number one seed Duke on Friday in Jacksonville.
Let’s give a tip of the hat to Randy Peele and the Eagles for a job well done. Most of us were leaving Winthrop for dead early in the season. In fact, there was even some scuttlebutt that Peele’s job could be in trouble. The team responded and rallied and managed to take the automatic NCAA tournament bid by beating regular season champion Coastal Carolina on the Chanticleers home floor.
The Eagles finish the season with a 19-14 record.
It was certainly a nice turnaround for a program that continues to be one of the best mid-majors in the country. The Eagles have played in five of the past six NCAA tournaments and even made it to the second round a few years ago. Despite last night’s disappointing loss, I don’t think there is a program in the state of South Carolina that wouldn’t trade places with the Eagles in terms of postseason appearances and success the past several years.
Q: Which team has played in the NCAA play-in game the most?
A: Ok, this is actually an easy one, but it may win you a bar bet later down the road. The answer, of course, is Winthrop. They have been twice and lost both times. The Eagles played in the first play-in game in 2001 and lost to Northwestern State 71-67.