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Shocker Madness 2015

Final: WSU 70 Notre Dame 81

Last Thursday night, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish ended Wichita State’s chance at a second Elite Eight appearance in three years. The Shockers lost 81-70. 

KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports from Cleveland…

Notre Dame’s offense talked a big talk going into Thursday night’s sweet sixteen game. Unfortunately for the Shockers, they walked the walk too
 
Junior Guard Fred VanVleet couldn’t help but give it up for the Irish.
 
“Any time you've got four guys out there that are knocking down 3's, it puts pressure on the defense," VanVleet says. "We got a lot of open looks ourselves and we just didn't knock them down. So, like I say, I give them credit for making theirs.”
 
The loss marks the third heartbreaking NCAA tournament for the Shockers, who went the farthest in 2013, with a surprise trip to the Final Four. Despite the losses, Junior Ron Baker was proud to sum up this season, but not in one word as he was asked to do.
 
“I'm not an English major, that's pretty tough for me, a lot of new people come together and finishing the season like we have today," Baker says. "No one expected us to be where we are right now. When you've got eight, nine new faces coming into your program, a lot of people probably didn't expect us to make it this far.”
 
There is one thing that no one can take away from the Shockers’ 2014-2015 resume: they are one of the 16 best teams in the nation and the best team in Kansas.
 
Photo Credits: Sean Sandefur and Hugo Phan
 
 

Final: WSU 78 KU 65 Wichita State advances to the Sweet Sixteen

Photo Credit: Sean Sandefur

The Wichita State Men’s Basketball team will be moving on to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years. The Shockers defeated the Kansas Jayhawks 78-65 on Sunday. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur was at the tournament and has this report.

Wichita State has managed a three-peat—a three-peat of stealing the spotlight. First, a surprise visit to the Final Four in 2013, then an electrifying 35 and 1 season. And finally the Shockers defeated their powerhouse neighbors, the Kansas Jayhawks, who they haven’t played in 23 years.

On top of all of that, the court was full of stellar, Kansas-bred talent.

“It’s definitely one of the biggest wins I’ve been a part of," Wichita State Junior Guard Evan Wessel says. "Definitely hits home, being a Wichita kid, growing up a Wichita State fan.”

Wessel kept the crowd on their feet with three, monster three-pointers in the second half. He, along with Fred VanVleet, Ron Baker and Tekele Cotton make up a formidable veteran core. Head Coach Gregg Marshall says experience makes all the difference in big games.

“It’s a huge advantage," Marshall says. "These guys know me, I know them. We kinda think alike at times. They have a wonderful understanding of our system and what we’re trying to achieve out on the court.”

Wichita State will bring that veteran experience to Cleveland on Thursday, where they’ll play the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

Final: WSU 81 Indiana 76 Wichita State advances to the Round of 32

Photo Credit: Sean Sandefur

The Wichita State Men’s Basketball team has defeated the Indiana Hoosiers in their first game of this year's NCAA Basketball Tournament.

Leading the Shockers in scoring and setting the tempo for much of the game was Junior Guard Fred VanVleet.

Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean said his team couldn’t shut him down.

“The bottom line is, Fred VanVleet did an excellent job of controlling the game for Wichita State,” Crean said.

The win sets up a dream matchup for Kansas basketball fans. Wichita State will play the Kansas Jayhawks on Sunday.

Wichita State Head Coach Gregg Marshall talks about the historic teams his players have been tested by.

Junior Guard Ron Baker talks about what changed down the stretch in the 81-76 win over the Indiana Hoosiers.