March 14, 2007
Notre Dame won't let Winthrop sneak by
Gregg Marshall wants to fly under the radar.
But it's not working, not with a bevy of talking heads forecasting his Winthrop squad to upset Notre Dame on Friday in Spokane, Wash., when the two teams meet in the NCAA tournament's first round. The 11th-seeded Eagles will arrive out west with a national profile that some have compared to last year's Cinderella story, George Mason.
"It's kind of hard to be the next George Mason when you've already been named that," said Notre Dame forward Zach Hillesland. "We're not looking at them as a Cinderella story, they're just another quality team that got into the NCAA tournament."
Actually, the Irish see the Eagles as something a little more. Aside from Winthrop's 28-4 record that includes an in tact 18-game winning streak, Notre Dame sees a first round opponent that's grabbed a lion's share of attention from this match-up. So much for the publicity due a program that overachieved in the Big East and earned Mike Brey coach of the year honors.
The perceived lack of publicity fits the Irish just fine.
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