Hoosiers and Shockers clash in NCAA Tournament

Omaha, NE (SportsNetwork.com) - The seventh-seeded Wichita State Shockers and the 10th-seeded Indiana Hoosiers will meet up in the second round of the NCAA Tournament's Midwest Region on Friday afternoon at CenturyLink Center Omaha.

 

The winner of this game will take on either Kansas or New Mexico State in Sunday's third round.

 

The Shockers captured the Missouri Valley Conference regular season title, but were upset in the conference tournament by Illinois State in the semifinals (65-62). Still, Gregg Marshall's squad enters this event with a stellar 28-4 overall record and is participating in a school-record fourth straight NCAA Tournament. This marks Wichita State's 12th trip to the Big Dance overall, who are 13-12 all-time.

 

Indiana's NCAA Tournament resume' represents a much larger body of work. The Hoosiers, who posted a 20-13 record this season, are participating in their 38th NCAA Tournament, the eighth under Tom Crean's direction. Indiana boasts of eight Final Four appearances and has captured five NCAA championships.

 

These two teams have met just once prior, a 75-54 Indiana win in the Hoosier Classic in 1989.

Indiana brings a lethal offensive attack into the postseason. The Hoosiers averaged an impressive 77.5 ppg this year, doing so on .466 shooting, a number aided by a .403 showing from behind the arc. The 3-pointer is a big weapon for Indiana, as the team converts 9.3 per outing.

Junior guard Yogi Ferrell is a dynamic playmaker for the Hoosiers and is both a prolific scorer (16.1 ppg) and deft distributor (4.9 apg). For his efforts, the veteran guard was named to the All-Big Ten First-Team. James Blackmon Jr. can also fill up the basket (15.8 ppg). The 6-4 youngster was all-conference honorable mention, along with being named to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team. Troy Williams (13.1 ppg) is yet another scoring threat on the roster for Indiana.

 

While Indiana enjoys getting up and down the floor, Wichita State is much more methodical in its approach, relying more in stifling defensive play. The Shockers are allowing just 55.8 ppg this season to rank seventh nationally in that category. WSU is holding foes under 40 percent shooting (.398) and lives comfortably in terms of rebounding (+5.3) and turnover (+3.9) margins.

 

Scoring depth comes in the form of three of the five starters averaging double figures. Junior guard Ron Baker is the best of the bunch. He is pouring in 15.0 ppg, fueled in part by his team-high 76 3-pointers. Fellow junior Fred VanVleet is next in the scoring column at 12.7 ppg and tops the team in assists (170) and steals (58). Senior forward Darius Carter is also in double digits at 11.2 ppg, while fellow senior Tekele Cotton is just under that mark at 9.6 ppg.

 

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