The Sunflower

Wichita State to play Furman on Wednesday in the National Invitation Tournament

Wichita State will play Furman at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

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Wichita State to play Furman on Wednesday in the National Invitation Tournament

Wichita State senior Samajae Haynes-Jones takes a shot during the first half of the game against Cincinnati on March 16, 2019 at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower).

Wichita State senior Samajae Haynes-Jones takes a shot during the first half of the game against Cincinnati on March 16, 2019 at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower).

Joseph Barringhaus

Wichita State senior Samajae Haynes-Jones takes a shot during the first half of the game against Cincinnati on March 16, 2019 at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower).

Joseph Barringhaus

Joseph Barringhaus

Wichita State senior Samajae Haynes-Jones takes a shot during the first half of the game against Cincinnati on March 16, 2019 at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower).

Wichita State will play in the National Invitation Tournament.

The Shockers drew a six-seed and will play No. 3 seed Furman in the first round of the tournament. Furman, as the higher seed, will host the game at 6 p.m. (CT) Wednesday at Timmons Arena in Greensville, South Carolina.

The winner of that game will play the winner of No. 2 seed Clemson versus No. 7 seed Wright State later in the week. The semifinals and finals of the NIT are played in Madison Square Garden.

This is team’s first appearance in the tournament since 2011 when the team won it all. Gregg Marshall’s young team finished the season at 19-14 and won its last six games before its semifinal exit in the American Athletic Conference tournament.

Wichita State was a No. 4 seed in the NIT when the team won in 2011.

This is the first time in eight seasons Wichita State is not in the NCAA Tournament.

The NIT is a tournament made for teams on the bubble of the NCAA Tournament — teams who played well and turned heads down the stretch, but like Wichita State, didn’t win the an automatic and didn’t do enough to warrant an at-large berth. Wichita State, who has made 10 consecutive post-season appearances, presents an interesting case. 

Surprising to many, the team finished 10-6 in conference play. Wichita State became the first team in conference history to finish with better than seven wins in the conference after having won just one game in its first seven.

Joseph Barringhaus
Wichita State senior Samajae Haynes-Jones goes up for the basket during the second half of the game against Cincinnati on March 16, 2019 at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower).

“We lost a good amount of games that we should’ve won, but we came back and won a lot of games, too,” Wichita State senior Markis McDuffie said. “We had to keep fighting to the end.”

Wichita State won just one game against teams that finished in the top five of the conference. That lone win came in Wichita against Central Florida, otherwise, the Shockers couldn’t steal a win against the better competition. The team did its damage against the bottom-half of the conference, sweeping teams like Tulane, East Carolina and Southern Methodist.

“We’re willing to take it,” freshman Jamarius Burton said of a pending NIT invite.

Joseph Barringhaus
Wichita State freshman Jamarius Burton goes up for a dunk during the first half of the game against Cincinnati on March 16, 2019 at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower).

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About the Contributors
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...

Marshall Sunner, Reporter

Marshall Sunner is a reporter for The Sunflower.

Sunner is a freshman at Wichita State.

Joseph Barringhaus, Sports Photo Editor

Joseph Barringhaus is the Sports Photo Editor for The Sunflower. Joseph is a senior at Wichita State majoring in marketing with a minor in communications....

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