The Wichita State shockers fell to Miami in the second round of the NCAA Tournament losing 65-57. The game marks the end of an era for WSU senior guards Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet as well as forward Evan Wessel. The trio’s streak at WSU included Three Missouri Valley Conference titles and one MVC Tournament title.
The Hurricanes led big early, before holding on to defeat Wichita State to earn their first Sweet 16 berth since 2013. After trailing by as many 21 in the first half and 13 at halftime, Wichita State fought back and briefly took a 43-42 lead on a 3-pointer by Ron Baker at the 10:24 mark.
Wichita State found its touch after shooting just 24 percent in the first half.
At game’s end, WSU shot 24.1 percent, making 7 of 29 shots. VanVleet scored six points in the first half to go with two assists and three turnovers. Baker scored three points, missing 6 of 7 shots. Wichita State's season ended with a record of 26-9 after winning Tuesday in Dayton and Thursday in Providence.
Videos by Patricia Vizzini
The Wichita State Shockers will take on Miami in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday in Providence, Rhode Island.
The Shockers have a new burst of energy as they look to Saturday's game. Their victory over Arizona on Thursday night had about 200 shouting shocker fans in the stands.
WSU Provost and Senior Vice President Tony Vizzini was one of them.
"It was awesome," Vizzini says. "Last night was unbelievable. I mean, the crowd stood the whole game and it was amazing. The [Arizona] fans just didn't get the intensity we had as fans. The team played awesome."
Going into the tournament, Wichita was an 11th seed and Saturday's opponent Miami was a three seed. Both teams are playing in the southern region.
The game begins at 11:10 a.m. CST on Saturday, March 19 and will be carried by CBS.
Video by Patricia Vizzini