NCAA First Round 9:57 PM: Winthrop plays Villanova; first meeting between two teams

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Winthrop men’s basketball is set to make its 11th NCAA tournament appearance Friday night when they take on the 5th-seeded Villanova Wildcats inside Farmer’s Coliseum. Tip-off is set for 9:57 p.m.

Winthrop earned a 12-seed after finishing the season with its 11th Big South Championship behind a 23-1 overall record. This is the second-highest seeding in the tournament in program history. Villanova received an at-large bid after falling to Georgetown in the BIG EAST quarterfinals. The Wildcats finished the season 16-6. 

WINTHROP (23-1, 17-1 Big South)

vs. Villanova (16-6, 11-4 BIG EAST)Mar. 19, 2021 | 9:57 p.m.
LocationIndianapolis, IN | Farmers Coliseum
Television/Live StreamTNT | pxp – Kevin Harlan / analyst – Dan Bonner, Dana Jacobson  
Radio94.3 FM/104.1 The Bridge | pxp – Dave Friedman / analyst – Mike Pacheco
Westwood One / pxp – Craig Way / analyst – Donny Marshall
Live StatsStatbroadcast
Game NotesWinthrop | Villanova
Social MediaYoutube (Winthrop Athletics) | @Winthrop_mbb @winthrop_mbb 129943 | Facebook (Winthrop Athletics) 
#EverStand #ROCKtheHILL

Series Record: 0-0
Series Streak: 0-0
Kelsey vs. Villanova: 0-0


  • Winthrop is currently 3-8 all-time against BIG EAST schools
  • The last time the Eagles took on a BIG EAST school was on Mar. 16, 2017 when they faced No. 4 Butler in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament
  • The Eagles last win over a BIG EAST school came in 2007 when they took down Notre Dame, 74-64, in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament, the program’s only tournament win
  • Eagles enter the game ranked 18th in the nation in forced turnovers per game and also one of the best rebounding teams in the country ranked 9th in rebound margin and 14th in offensive rebounds per game
  • The Wildcats are second nationally in fewest turnovers per game and 3rd in assist/turnover ratio
  • Winthrop ranks 15th in the nation in scoring margin and 30th in scoring offense
  • Villanova is 29th in the nation in three-point field goals per game and 30th in free throw percentage


  • Voted the 2020-21 Big South Conference Coach of the Year
  • In his ninth season at the helm of the Winthrop program and holds a career record of 186-94
  • The 186 victories rank second all-time in program history and is 4th in Big South history
  • Moved into 2nd all-time in Big South history with 110 conference wins
  • Has led the Eagles to three Big South Conference Titles (2016-17, 2019-20, 2020-21)
  • Is the 3rd Winthrop coach to lead the Eagles to multiple conference titles
  • First coach in Big South history to reach 100 wins in first five seasons


  • Won 20 or more games for the second straight season and 5th time under Kelsey
  • Eagles have three wins over teams ranked in the Top 12 of the Mid-Major Top 25
  • Featuring the top scoring bench in the country, the Eagles average 36.7 ppg from its non-starters
  • Eagles have 11 players averaging 11.1 minutes per game or more and three averaging 20 or more
  • Chandler Vaudrin was named the Big South Conference Player of the Year and was also voted the Big South Tournament MVP
  • Vaudrin leads the team in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals
  • Vaudrin was also recently named to the NABC Division 1 All-District First Team (District 3)
  • D.J. Burns Jr. and Charles Falden also earned recognition being named All-Big South Honorable Mention
  • Over the last 47 games the Eagles have a record of 43-4
  • Set a program-record with 21 straight wins to start the 2020-21 season
  • The Eagles have won three of the last five Big South Championships
  • Currently own the best record in the history of the program with its .958 winning percentage


  • Led by 19-year head coach Jay Wright (488-188, 610-273)
  • Wright is a two-time Naismith National Coach of the Year award winner (2006 and 2016) and BIG EAST Coach of the Year six times
  • The Wildcats have four players averaging double-figures, led by Jeremiah Robinson-Earl with 15.7.
  • On top of scoring, Johnson-Earl leads the team in rebounds, blocks and steals
  • The Wildcats are making their 15th NCAA Tournament appearance in 16 seasons
  • Villanova is 28-14 in NCAA Tournament appearances under Wright
  • Robinson-Earl and Collin Gillespie were 2-of-3 BIG EAST players to earn Player of the Year honors
  • Robinson-Earl and Gillespie also earned NABC Division 1 All-District First-Team honors

For everything Winthrop basketball visit or follow us on social media @Winthrop_mbb (Twitter), winthrop_mbb (Instagram).


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