NEW YORK (WFAN) — College basketball fans saw a familiar sight Tuesday night: Wichita State winning a game in the NCAA Tournament.
The Shockers beat Vanderbilt 70-50 in a First Four matchup. For senior guards Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker, it was their eighth career win the Big Dance.
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“They’ve become national college basketball icons,” Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall told WFAN’s Mike Francesa on Wednesday.
“We’ve just been riding the coattails of these young men, but the beautiful thing is we’ve got some guys who have learned from them, that are young players in our program that are going to be really good in their own right.”
Despite their 25-8 record, the Shockers were given an 11 seed and forced to win an extra game to reach the field of 64.
Marshall said injuries took a toll on the team early in the season and likely hurt their reputation with the selection committee. The coach noted that the Shockers, who face sixth-seeded Arizona on Thursday night, were without four of their top eight players in marquee games against Southern California, Alabama and Iowa — all losses.
“They don’t ask me my opinion. I get asked after the fact, but the people that are in that committee room never call me for advice,” Marshall said when asked about his team’s seeding. “So I’m just glad to be a part of this tournament. You know how I feel about us. It’s one of the best sporting spectacles in our country. And I thought we were going to be a 10, maybe a nine, but we had some injuries, and it hurt us.”