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Tough Shockers ground Ohio State to advance to Final Four

Mar 30, 2013, 9:50 PM EDT

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In his inspirational, televised pregame speeches, Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall has repeatedly told his team to “play angry”. The  No. 9 Shockers did just that in the Elite Eight, showing innate toughness and a refusal to back down in a 70-66 upset of No. 2 seed Ohio State.

Wichita State’s physical play and ability to absorb punishment from a bigger team had fans on social media buzzing.

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Carl Hall (eight points, six blocked shots) got decked by this painful-looking DeShaun Thomas elbow to the jaw early on [click the image to put it in motion], but didn’t miss a minute of play as a result.

Cleanthony Early went down with what board-certified arthroscopic surgeon* Reggie Miller speculatively diagnosed as an “achilles tear” but returned to the floor to finish out a 12 point, seven rebound, two block game.

The game looked like a laugher in Wichita State’s favor for roughly 30 minutes, until Ohio State mounted a furious comeback in the latter stages of the second half. WSU’s miscues and lack of poise during that stretch prompted fan comparisons to Kansas’ Sweet Sixteen flameout to Michigan from the day before. In the end, however, the Shocker backcourt weathered Big Ten pressure and closed out the victory by drawing fouls and getting to the line. Point guard Malcolm Armstead, an Oregon transfer, had an excellent game, scoring 14 points to go with seven boards, three assists and three steals.

Gregg Marshall’s coaching stock has just begun to heat up. This Final Four for the Shockers marks the first time a Missouri Valley program has gone to the last weekend since Larry Bird and the 1979 Indiana State Sycamores. Expect to see plenty of people in black and gold trying to figure out which Peachtree they need to turn right on in Atlanta this time next week.

*Reggie Miller is an announcer and former NBA player with no known medical training. Something he may want to bear in mind in the future.

Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.

  1. inhokewetrust - Mar 30, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    Ok Ohio state fan…..tell me again why u would rather have Craft over Burke…..
    Must hurt to have MICHIGAN still playing thanks to a OHIO kid……

    • httv14 - Mar 30, 2013 at 10:04 PM

      Michigan hasn’t made the final four either…

    • florida727 - Mar 30, 2013 at 11:21 PM

      Man, the B1G is laying the proverbial egg in this tournament. They were supposed to be the “best basketball conference in America”, and if Florida wins tomorrow not a single one of their teams will have made the Final Four? Doesn’t sound like the best in anything to me. Go Gators! (Begin the thumbs-downs, I don’t care, my team is still playing.)

    • lethimplaycoach - Mar 31, 2013 at 11:48 AM

      Hard to comprehend facts:

      OSU had Aaron Craft. Burke committed to Penn State. Ohio State then went and got a commitment from Shannon Scott, who was also highly ranked in recruiting, like Burke. Burke, then decommited to Penn State. But by that time, Ohio State had two point guards, in Craft and commitment from Scott.

  2. barkleyblows - Mar 30, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    I would like to say Wichita State is good……….. but I can’t. That’s the bad thing about the tournament. Bad teams make runs. Any team looks good when the other team shoots 20+ percent for the game.

    Now we have to see the guy with the 6+ inch space between his eyes and the other guy with the 4+ inch gap between his teeth. Oh and now we have to here how good Wichita state isn’t. Thank you Ohio State.

    • thejjtrain - Mar 30, 2013 at 10:32 PM

      Beat Iona, nearly choke against Iowa State in all but a home game, beat Arizona whose only good win was Florida in December. That just screams Greatness.

      • barkleyblows - Mar 30, 2013 at 10:50 PM

        When did I say Ohio State was good?? Not once in any of my posts did I say Ohio State was good. Moron.

    • shockerinpa - Mar 30, 2013 at 11:10 PM

      Okay, Buckeye fan/student. It’s “now we have to ‘hear'”, not ‘here’. I hope at least you’re an undergrad and not a PhD candidate. And it’s Wichita State not ‘state’…of course, I guess I shouldn’t expect you to know the difference.

      Ohio State could have shot better and played more aggressively. Maybe the outcome would have been different. I bet there are several Big 10 teams saying the same thing about their play against the Buckeyes.

      Give credit when it’s due. The Shockers didn’t cave like the Chickenhawks did against Michigan.

      Be a good loser…emphasis on the last word.

      • shockerinpa - Mar 30, 2013 at 11:17 PM

        My apologies to Buckeye fans and students…Sir Charles’ jealous fan (see below) is a Pussycat fan from Kentucky. Now it all makes sense…..he’s an illiterate from Kentucky AND has had WAY too much time to WATCH other teams play.

    • mborofsky - Apr 3, 2013 at 12:57 PM

      So, Wichita Sate is a “bad team”. Do you suppose that because they currently have the #1 defense in the NCAA tournament (holding all of their opponents to under 35% shooting), that may, just may be the contributing factor to their win over Ohio State?

      Pitt was ranked 20th in the Nation and finished 4th in the Big East, having beat Syracuse, Marquette and losing to Louisville by only 2 points, yet Wichita State beat them by 18 points; again holding them to under 31% shooting.

      Assuming that they beat Louisville Saturday or even make it a very close game, what will you attribute that to? If they hold Louisville at 35% shooting (for a team that averages 50.1% shooting) what will be your comment(s) then? A good and solid defense can cause a good and solid offense to rush and miss shots.

      Comments about the physical attributes of a player, Really? How gosh and tactless is that. And for the record, it is Wichita State, you poor loser. By the way, your moniker is very appropriate maybe it should read barkleyblow-hard. A WSU fan

  3. bigmeechy74 - Mar 30, 2013 at 10:00 PM

    Jesus that was almost the biggest collapse of all time… Thank goodness they held on

    • 8man - Mar 30, 2013 at 10:21 PM

      Yeah. I was thinking that when it got down to 3. Hopefully the Shockers learned something tonight about putting your opponents away. Of course, they couldn’t make a free throw down the stretch. They have a week to practice.

  4. harvupdyke - Mar 30, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    Glad to see the inbreds from Columbus didn’t move on. Would hate to see what kind of tattoos final four memorabilia would bring.

    Look forward to watching the pompous a-holes & walmart fans that support the corn & blue see their OVERRATED team go down.

    Stick to football deadbeats.

  5. tr5079 - Mar 30, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    Haters gonna hate.

  6. badgerbuck - Mar 30, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    If Michigan does not get into final four,then big ten really was overrated conference big east the best if Louisville gets in with Syracuse already in.

  7. ddrace - Mar 30, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    First Final Four in school history? Nope. But you have to go back to 1965. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wichita_State_Shockers_men's_basketball

  8. akirchstein - Mar 30, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    You can’t shoot 23% in the first half and expect to come back and win. Ohio State obviously did not take the Shockers seriously. It showed in the way they did not attack in the paint. It would have been a miracle if they had come back from that deficit. The Shockers deserved this one.

  9. eagles512 - Mar 30, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    Miller also said, with the buckeyes down 12 with 6 minutes left, that they had to win the next 5 minutes.

  10. barkleyblows - Mar 30, 2013 at 10:52 PM

    Don’t worry losers… Kentucky will dominate next year again.

    • gopherz - Mar 30, 2013 at 11:02 PM

      DREAM ON PUSSY-CATS;

    • woodstakes - Mar 31, 2013 at 1:09 AM

      Well, they sure were good this year… what team did they lose to in the Kentucky State High School Tournament again…..

  11. gopherz - Mar 30, 2013 at 11:09 PM

    OHIO ST. was a complete no show; hell wichita st. could not even beat a VERY weak EVANSVILLE TEAM lost to them 2 times; they should hang their head in SHAME.

    • shockerinpa - Mar 31, 2013 at 12:09 AM

      Ohio State was a no-show in the first half . Wichita State was a clock-watching no-show in the second half. Both teams shot below 38% for the game. You can be a cynic/hater and call it shameful, or you can call it tough defense and/or poor shooting by two very good teams, with one team holding on long enough against a team that has proven it knows how to make a come-back.

      By the way…a Gopher has room to talk about shame? They beat a UCLA team whose star is out due to injury and then get SPANKED by some Gators.

  12. bobinkc - Mar 30, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    Inhale deeply and admit that all is right with the world:

    Jesus is crucified, risen, and coming again!
    Wichita State beat Ohio State to go to the Final Four!
    And, last but not least, my boys Sporting KC whupped Montreal 2-0!

    Does life get any better than this?

  13. buckeyefan1026 - Mar 31, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    It always is tough playing teams like Wichita State because they fight hard for every single rebound and on every possession. The Shockers gained a ton of confidence by beating the #1 seed, and were well rested after a padded victory on thursday. Add that to Ohio State coming off a 40 minute battle against UofA without much depth and it’s a recipe for a WSU win. I’m not sure if Ohio State was tired, or just didn’t get up for the game after an emotional win thursday, but I can tell you Wichita State is a very good basketball team that earned their spot in the Final Four. Gotta love the passion and enthusiasm from WSU’s coach too. Congrats Shockers and thanks for the great season Buckeyes!

    • stevequinn - Mar 31, 2013 at 12:47 AM

      Ohio State showed their heart with that comeback. They just fell short. Wichita State is a really good team….we’ve seen that in the MVC this year. Shame anybody had to lose this game.

  14. chumthumper - Mar 31, 2013 at 1:16 AM

    Hope Wichita State had the decency to celebrate in private because it was more a case of Ohio State running out of time than WSU winning. They better thank their lucky stars the clock ran out when it did or OSU would be wearing the t-shirts. Just get out of Dodge and hope that is all out of your system ’cause I doubt that will happen against Louisville or Duke.

  15. stanmrak - Mar 31, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    Ugh! Intentional fouls!!! Is anyone else sick of ‘em as much as i am??? Please fix the rule.

  16. niallofthenine - Mar 31, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    This might of been the first time I was pulling for pOSU (piece of Sh!T University).
    I really respect Matta. Classy individual and coach. Not like My Aorta Meyer.
    It’s pOSU’s fans that do the institution injustice. They are just not good ambassadors for the school.

  17. jrs45 - Mar 31, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    inhokewetrust,

    Pretty sure 90% of your good players are from Ohio.

    Woodson
    Howard
    Burke
    Etc.

  18. whodeytn - Mar 31, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    Hope Wichita State had the decency to celebrate in private because it was more a case of Ohio State running out of time than WSU winning. They better thank their lucky stars the clock ran out when it did or OSU would be wearing the t-shirts. Just get out of Dodge and hope that is all out of your system ’cause I doubt that will happen against Louisville or Duke.
    =======

    Oh get over it already you sore loser idiot

  19. beardog1000 - Mar 31, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    When are these teams going to realize they cannot win the big games without rebounds and accurate free throws? That would have made the difference in this game. This “one & done” crap has got to go! Also, they acted like they afraid of Wichita state – why not drive and make them foul you???

  20. chevyvanrockin - Apr 1, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    So sad spectators have to be like this…every single player is amazing, doing things I am pretty positive most of us are not, with amazing backgrounds and stories of strife and fighting to be where they are, representing whichever school- same guys, different teams. I get that some degree of banter is expected, but the degree of profound ignorance found in some of the comments in this thread are ridiculous. Shame on you, if you had the capacity to feel shame, other than the type you feel when you sit in silence after you have expressed your unvalued opinion about sports players, imagining your witty insults mean something and the sudden reality that you’re really just bitter and pathetic so you’ll then, what, angrily touch yourself while thinking of your mom before you change your diaper? Because that is how sad you seem.

    WSU is a great team, but they pretty much all are. Blast away. I hope the urine you are sitting in is warm and makes you break out in a severe rash.

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