Another cross-country trip

Go west!

No, that's not just advice from Horace Greeley. It's also marching orders for the Winthrop Eagles from the NCAA.

For the second year in a row, the Winthrop men's basketball team will travel hundreds of miles west to compete in the first round of this year's NCAA tournament. The Eagles learned Sunday that, first, they are seeded 13th in the tournament, and, second, they must go to Denver to face the fourth-seeded Washington State Cougars Thursday in the opening round of the East Regional.

The winner will advance to Saturday's second round to face the winner of No. 5 seeded Notre Dame and No. 12 George Mason. If the stars align, Winthrop could face Notre Dame, the team it upset last year in the first round, the first NCAA victory for the Eagles after seven trips to the Big Dance.

While Winthrop fans regard the Eagles-Cougars matchup as a winnable game for the hometown team, most won't be making the trip to the Rockies to see the game in person. Too bad Winthrop couldn't have drawn a first-round game in a closer city.

But take heart, The Herald's intrepid nomads of basketball, Sports Editor Gary McCann and columnist Andrew Dys, again will drive more than halfway across the country to watch the game. And they'll regale readers with tales of the open road all the way along this 1,570-mile journey.

Watch for blogs, podcasts and columns each day. Oh, and they'll be reporting the game, too.


Once again, the Winthrop Eagles must travel hundreds of miles to go to the Big Dance.