Shockers face entertaining, inexperienced Thundering Herd
SAN DIEGO (AP) — No. 4 seed Wichita State (25-7) vs. No. 13 seed Marshall (24-10)
First round, East Region; San Diego, Friday, approximately 1:30 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: The Shockers are making their seventh straight NCAA Tournament appearance and 15th overall. They reached the Final Four five seasons ago. The Thundering Herd is making its first appearance since 1987.
NOT SHOCKING: Behind seniors Shaquille Morris and Landry Shamet, Wichita State secured its ninth straight 25-win season with a quarterfinal victory in its American Athletic Conference Tournament debut. The Shockers then lost to Houston.
IN SAN DIEGO: WSU is 2-2 all-time in San Diego, including an 83-69 loss to Kawhi Leonard and the San Diego State Aztecs at Viejas Arena on Dec. 4, 2010. Before that, their only other visit came in the first month of their first season under Hall of Fame coach Ralph Miller in December 1951. During a three-day stop as part of a barnstorming tour of the Southwest, they beat the Aztecs twice before losing to a team from the San Diego Naval Training Center.
CONNECTIONS: Marshall coach Dan D’Antoni is the older brother of Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni. Before he got the Marshall job, Dan was an assistant under his brother at various stops in the NBA. Not surprisingly, the Thundering Herd runs a lot of NBA plays, which the players say makes them the most fun team in the nation.
THEY SAID IT: “You look at a team like Wichita, veterans, they have that program history where they come in every year and expect to make that run in the tournament,” Marshall guard Jon Elmore said. “So that’s a team that you can kind of look up to in a way, going through the year and as you raise your program. Now we’re to the point where we want to beat teams like that. Wichita is a class act. You never hear anything bad. You only hear how good they are and how great their players are.”
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