Under former head coach Gregg Marshall, Winthrop was a regular participant in the NCAA Tournament, going seven times in Marshall's nine seasons in Rock Hill.
The Eagles last NCAA Tournament appearance was in 2010 under Randy Peele. But fifth-year WInthrop head coach Pat Kelsey has brought the Eagles back to the Big Dance after Sunday's 76-59 victory over Campbell in the Big South Tournament Championship.
The Eagles earned the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with the win which came on their home court.
This came after three consecutive losses in the championship game, losses which Kelsey admits makes this accomplishment all the more sweeter.
"We've been really close the last three years and I've been in some lonely lockerrooms afterwards talking to some distraught young men," Kelsey said.
"You sit in that empty room and realize how close you were and how it is to get back there and there are no guarantees. So to do that (win the Big South Tournament) was special."
For the Eagles, it was their 11th Big South Conference title.
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