In a West Region that was defined by upsets and unpredictability, it’s quite fitting that a team named the Shockers emerged victorious.
Wichita State was one of the most impressive teams in the tournament through their first three games while Ohio State struggled to put lesser teams away, so nobody should have been surprised by how quickly the Shockers jumped all over the Buckeyes.
In the end, Ohio State staged a massive rally to cut a 20-point deficit down to three, but a Tekele Cotton three-pointer and some clutch free throws helped Wichita State complete their improbable run to the Final Four with a 70-66 win.
Many will point to a first half of shooting 24 per cent as what did the Buckeyes in, but credit Gregg Marshall and the Shockers for coming up with a game plan that clearly disrupted the Ohio State offence. That game plan was simple, and it was to turn Aaron Craft into a jump shooter instead of a distributor. Craft struggled in that role, shooting a paltry 2-of-12 from the field while dishing out just two assists.
As for the Shockers, no one will expect anything of them against Louisville or Duke in the Final Four, but that’s probably how Marshall’s team is most comfortable after playing the role of underdogs to perfection over the last week and a half.
4 teams seeded 9th or lower have made the Final Four …2 have done so since 1987 (George Mason in 2006 and VCU in 2011)
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 31, 2013
Make it five.
We’ll end with the only way I know how to after a Wichita State win…