SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Finally, on its seventh try, Winthrop did it. Against Notre Dame, of all teams.
Craig Bradshaw, a random import from New Zealand, scored 24 points and Torrell Martin added 20 and a career-high 11 rebounds as previously hollow Winthrop beat hallowed Irish 74-64 Friday in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Winthrop, which had been 0-6 in previous tournament appearances, blew all of its 20-point lead in the second half before surging in the final two minutes to end Notre Dame's first NCAA appearance since 2003.
The 11th-seeded Eagles (29-4), the little school from Rock Hill, S.C., lost in the final seconds to Tennessee last year in the tournament. They came from that defeat _ and a frenetic Irish rally in this game _ to advance in the Midwest Regional.
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Last June, Winthrop coach Gregg Marshall accepted the College of Charleston's offer to become its head coach _ for almost twice his Winthrop salary of about $500,000. But 24 hours later, he said "No, thanks," and stayed on course with his below-the-radar Eagles.
Good move. Charleston is home. Never even made it into the tournament after a 22-11 season. And Marshall is one win from the NCAA regional semifinals.
The sixth-seeded Irish, led by 14 points from Colin Falls, finished 24-8.
Down 54-34, Notre Dame stormed back to take a 63-62 lead with 2:21 left. From then on, it was all Winthrop.