Coastal Carolina Wins Big South Automatic NCAA Tournament Bid, Could Be Ultimate Cinderella

By Greg Douglas
NCAA Final Four
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

As the regular season wraps up for the power conferences on Sunday, conference tournaments are already in full swing in several conferences that hope to provide the country with a Cinderella come tournament time.

The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers locked up the third tournament spot by winning the Big South Conference championship on their home floor. The Chanticleers ended the regular season as the top seed in the Big South southern region but were not the favorite to win the conference tournament before it began. After the top-seeded High Point Panthers were upset on Friday, the Chanticleers were able to breathe a sigh of relief as the team faced an easier path to the title.

Coastal Carolina capped off an impressive season with a win 76-61 win over the Winthrop Eagles in the Big South Championship game. The Chanticleers were able to hold Winthrop to just 61 points on 19-of-59 shooting from the floor. Warren Gillis, who was named tournament MVP, proved to be the workhorse again for the Chanticleers as the guard scored 22 points while dishing out seven assists in the win that sends the Chanticleers dancing for the first time since 1993.

Coastal Carolina has a record of 21-12 this season, while the Chanticleers have an 11-5 conference record the team will be faced with much tougher competition in the first round. For the Chanticleers, it is pure joy that the team gained admission to the big dance, but can the they prove to be Cinderella like many teams before them?

Coastal Carolina has achieved the ultimate goal this season by winning the Big South Championship making everything past this point just the icing on the cake. The Chanticleers could get a dreaded No. 16 seed come Selection Sunday, but you never know what could happen; a No. 16 seed has to defeat a one seed eventually, right?

Greg Douglas is a College Basketball writer for Follow him on twitter @thegpd93 or add him to your Google Network.

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