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NCAA West Bracket: Wichita State Shocks the World

wichitastateohiostate-wrOK, how many had the Wichita State Shockers winning the West Bracket? Anybody? Of course not. I didn’t even have them winning it going into last night’s game. In a bracket that featured the #1 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs and the Big Ten tournament champion Ohio State Buckeyes, nobody was paying much attention to the Shockers. But the Shockers as the bracket’s #9 seed beat both of them.

Here is a look at the Shocker’s memorable run:

Round of 64– The Shockers take on the #8 seed Pittsburgh Panthers. This game is memorable for the defensive job they did on Pitt’s Tray Woodall, holding him to two points. Who can forget Woodall’s tearful press conference crying as he apologized to his teammates and the fans for what he said was the worst game he’d ever played. Perhaps he can feel a bit better now knowing that he was beaten by a pretty good team.

Round of 32– The Shockers get hot from the three point area late in the game as they hit five in a row to take down the #1 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs. The story after this one was the failure of the Bulldogs’ best team of their 15 consecutive to make it to the NCAAs to be knocked out so early. Perhaps now their fans can feel somewhat less embarrassed about that. In fact, the Zags probably gave the Shockers their toughest of the four games.

Sweet Sixteen– Two Cinderellas meet as the Shockers take on the LaSalle Explorers. Memories of 2006 probably went through the Shockers fans heads. They faced fellow Cinderella that year in the George Mason Patriots and watched the Pats move on to the Elite Eight and eventually the Final Four. They were not going to let that happen this time as they blew out the Explorers.

Elite Eight- The Shockers came into this game against the #2 Ohio State Buckeyes as -170 underdog. But they raced out to a 13 point lead at the half and extended it to 20 with 12:00 to play with suffocating defense. The Buckeyes were held to a season low 22 first half points and they held off a late Ohio State rally.

So what about the Final Four where they will face either the Louisville Cardinals or the Duke Blue Devils? At this point, do you want to count them out? They will be getting points as well which makes them even more attractive. With the way they play defense, you will also want to bet heavily on the under.

So when you filled your brackets out and picked a team from Kansas to advance to the Final Four, you likely had the Kansas Jayhawks. Some of you might have had the Kansas State Wildcats. But yet it is the Wichita State Shockers that will represent the state at the Final Four this time. But after watching this tournament, this is no fluke. The state’s best team will be in Atlanta.

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