1. Gregg Marshall Is The Best Coach You've Never Heard Of. Marshall has compiled a 165-77 record in eight seasons and made Winthrop a dominant force in the Big South. In his first three seasons, he led the Eagles to a threepeat in regular season conference championships and NCAA tournament appearances. Success like this usually means a future coaching job in the SEC or Big East, right? Well, Marshall recently signed a contract extension that will keep him at Winthrop through 2015, giving you an idea of how much the university invests in the program and its coach. All six of Winthrop s appearances (including this year's) have happened under Marshall s tenure.
2. But ... Winthrop Has Never Won An NCAA Tournament Game. In fact, no Big South team has ever gotten higher than a 14 seed from the selection committee. This year the Eagles finished 23-7 and won both the Big South regular and tournament titles. They also start five veterans, all who helped to give Gonzaga a run for its money in the first round of last year s tournament. In other words, another lousy seed.
3. Winthrop University ... The Harvard Of The South! Well, if Harvard were a public school. The Princeton Review ranks Winthrop as one of the south s top public universities, offering a variety of degrees in the liberal arts. A quick scan through their music s Web page tells me they most likely kick Notre Dame s butt in music and many other fine arts areas, meaning my family could have saved $20,000 a year by sending me to Winthrop instead of Notre Dame and making me eight times the musician I am today. I'd probably have a better sex life, too. — Brandon Hollihan