Shockers reach second Sweet 16, coach Gregg Marshall ends long wait for second weekend
Wichita State finally has its moment in the spotlight, and it might last a little longer.
The Shockers became the first team to dispatch a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament by defeating Mark Few's Gonzaga 76-70 in a game when Wichita rarely trailed.
As the top teams in the West region crumble, No. 8 Wichita State is suddenly the highest seeded team in its regional semifinal, with No. 12 Ole Miss and No. 13 La Salle facing off Sunday. One of those three teams will go to the Elite Eight.
For several years, Wichita State and its coach, Gregg Marshall, have been waiting for a postseason breakout. The Shockers advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2006 -- its only Tourney appearance between 1988 and 2012 -- but lost to a Final Four-bound George Mason team. Meanwhile, the sixth-year coach Marshall will head to his first Sweet 16 in his career after going 1-8 in the Tournament at Wichita State and Winthrop.
On Saturday, Gonzaga showed its close call with 16th-seeded Southern in the round of 64 was not a fluke. Against Gonzaga, Wichita State launched 14 of 26 three-point attempts, including five field goals beyond the arc in the final 6:06.
The Bulldogs, though, continue to have trouble advancing in the NCAA Tournament. The Zags are four years removed from their last Sweet 16 and haven’t reached an Elite Eight since 1999 under Dan Monson.