Some people may call Wichita State a Cinderella story going to the Final Four in Atlanta. I simply look at Gregg Marshall's club as a very good basketball team.
Yes, my friends, the Shockers were seeded ninth in the Big Dance, and that was probably fair considering the team did not win the Missouri Valley Conference regular season or tournament championship. There were a pair of losses to Doug McDermott and a very good Creighton team in March.
But let's not forget that Wichita State started the season at 15-1 and was ranked 15th in the nation at one point. There was an impressive early-season win over VCU, a BracketBusters victory over Detroit and some other solid showings.
In the tournament, Wichita State has been a T-E-A-M. On any given night, one of six or seven players could lead the squad in scoring. That helps make them dangerous, the balance. Four players scored in double figures against Ohio State in the regional final, and two others had at least eight points.
The Shockers also have played outstanding defense against opposing guards in this tournament. Tray Woodall of Pittsburgh was 1-of-12 from the floor. Kevin Pangos of Gonzaga, a fine outside shooter, went 6-of-17. Ramon Galloway of La Salle, having a super run in his own right in his first three tourney games, was 4-of-15. Aaron Craft went 2-of-12.
Names like Malcolm Armstead, Cleanthony Early, Carl Hall, Ron Baker and Tekele Cotton have been vital in this great run by the Shockers. Come on, how many fans across America really knew about these guys?
When the Buckeyes cut a 20-point lead down to three, Cotton made a key trifecta with 2:21 left to provide the knockout punch that sent the Shockers packing for Atlanta.
It has been a great story so far, coming 30 years after Jimmy V's incredible run with the NC State Wolfpack to win it all in Albuquerque. Can Wichita State pull this off? Anything is possible this season, baby!