Sunday, March 31, 2013
Medcalf: Wichita State keeps on dancing
By Myron Medcalf
LOS ANGELES -- On Saturday night, Gregg Marshall danced.
The Wichita State head coach swayed back and forth as he held his family members. The school's band blasted Aretha Franklin's "Respect" in the background, while Marshall inhaled the mood created by the vibrant gathering around him. Then, he shuffled toward the ladder to cut down the nets.
Wichita State players hugged one another on the court. Shockers fans in the stands screamed. Some bewildered supporters slapped the shoulders of friends. All smiled.
That scene followed Wichita State's 70-66 upset victory over Ohio State in the Elite Eight at Staples Center. After a dramatic conclusion to a game that had gone from lopsided victory to thriller, the Shockers earned the program's first trip to the Final Four since 1965.
Wichita State held Ohio State to a 31.1 percent clip from the field (second lowest of the season for the Buckeyes) and a 5-for-25 mark from the 3-point line. Per ESPN Stats & Information, Ohio State's 7-for-35 tally outside the paint was its worst effort in its last four NCAA tournament appearances.
Yes, the Shockers will be in Atlanta with Syracuse and the winners of Sunday's matchups between Duke and Louisville in Indianapolis and Michigan and Florida in Dallas.
Wichita State will be just the fifth team with a 9-seed or lower to reach the Final Four. No 9-seed has ever won it all. But …
"We've got a team full of fighters and I don't think we're done yet," Hall said.