The Sunflower

NCAA Tournament: Shockers seeded No. 4 in East region

Wichita State is selected for its highest seeding in the NCAA Tournament since 2014.

Wichita+State+head+coach+Gregg+Marshall+adjusts+his+tie+during+the+American+Conference+Tournament+semifinals+against+Houston.
Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall adjusts his tie during the American Conference Tournament semifinals against Houston.

Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall adjusts his tie during the American Conference Tournament semifinals against Houston.

Matt Crow

Matt Crow

Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall adjusts his tie during the American Conference Tournament semifinals against Houston.

Wichita State will play in the East region of the NCAA Tournament. The Shockers are the No. 4 seed in the region — their highest selection since receiving a No. 1 seed in 2014.

The Shockers will play No. 13 seed Marshall on Friday in San Diego, California. The game will be broadcasted at 12:30 p.m. (CST) Friday on TNT.

Marshall is in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1988. WSU head coach Gregg Marshall worked as an assistant at Marshall for two years following eight seasons at the College of Charleston. He joined Winthrop as the team’s head coach following his two seasons with the Thundering Herd.

Matt Crow
Wichita State guard Landry Shamet sits during a timeout in the American Conference Tournament semifinals against Houston.

Marshall claimed an automatic bid after winning the Conference USA tournament, upsetting Western Kentucky 67-66 in the championship game. They finished with a 24-10 record against the 184th-best strength of schedule.

Should WSU win, they’ll face the winner of No. 5 seed West Virginia/No. 12 seed Murray State. Villanova is the No. 1 seed in the East region. Should the Shockers advance to the Sweet 16, they’d play the semifinals of the East region in Boston.

Marshall said Saturday he would like to be “positively surprised one year” after the Shockers took an early exit in the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference Tournament.

The Shockers hold a 25-7 record, which is good for No. 20 in KenPom. WSU played the 74th-best strength of schedule. The Shockers have made the NCAA Tournament for seven consecutive seasons. They have won at least one tournament game in each of their last five tournament appearances. WSU has a 10-5 record over their last five NCAA Tournament trips.

In 2016, the Shockers entered the tournament as one of the last at-large teams, selected to play 11-seeded Vanderbilt in the play-in games in Dayton, Ohio. In 2017 Marshall’s 30-win Shockers earned an automatic bid into the tournament after winning the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, but fell to a No. 10 seed.

The No. 4 seed has a .803 winning record over 13-seeds over the last four years. Last year, all No. 4 seeds advanced to the Sweet 16. Florida advanced to the Elite Eight last year as a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

In 1997, four-seed Arizona became the first team in the 64-team format to defeat three No. 1 seeds — Kansas, Kentucky and North Carolina — en route to the national title.

Houston and Cincinnati joined WSU in representing the American Athletic Conference in the tournament. Houston drew a No. 6 seed in the West, and Cincinnati drew the No. 2 seed in the South region.

EAST REGION: 

No. 1 Villanova

No. 2 Purdue

No. 3 Texas Tech

No. 4 Wichita State

No. 5 West Virginia

No. 6 Florida

No. 7 Arkansas

No. 8 Virginia Tech

No. 9 Alabama

No. 10 Butler

No. 11 Saint Bonaventure/UCLA

No. 12 Murray State

No. 13 Marshall

No. 14 Stephen F. Austin

No. 15 Cal State Fullerton

No. 16 LIU Brooklyn/Radford


Teams coming to Wichita: 

Midwest region

No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 16 Penn

No. 8 Seton Hall vs. No. 9 NC State

West region

No. 6 Houston vs. No. 12 San Diego State

No. 3 Michigan vs. No. 14 Montana

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About the Writer
Evan Pflugradt, Sports Editor

Evan Pflugradt is the Sports Editor of The Sunflower.

Pflugradt graduated from the Elliott School of Communication in spring 2017, and was recognized as the Elliott School’s Most Outstanding Journalism Graduate for the 2017 graduating class. Pflugradt graduated from Wichita State with a bachelor of arts in communication — journalism.

He has previously served as The Sunflower’s Editor-in-Chief, Opinion Editor, and Sports Editor. Additionally, he worked as a digital news intern for KMUW, NPR for Wichita.

Pflugradt transferred to Wichita State from Johnson County Community College in 2015.

Currently, he’s a second-year graduate student seeking a master’s degree from the Elliott School of Communication.

 

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