Revisiting Wichita State’s 2011 NIT championship run

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Revisiting Wichita State’s 2011 NIT championship run

Wichita State is back in New York City for the National Invitation Tournament semifinals. The Shockers won the tournament in 2011.

Wichita State is back in New York City for the National Invitation Tournament semifinals. The Shockers won the tournament in 2011.

Joseph Barringhaus

Wichita State is back in New York City for the National Invitation Tournament semifinals. The Shockers won the tournament in 2011.

Joseph Barringhaus

Joseph Barringhaus

Wichita State is back in New York City for the National Invitation Tournament semifinals. The Shockers won the tournament in 2011.

NEW YORK CITY — Gregg Marshall led Wichita State to an improbable run of success.

It started in 2011, when the Shockers won the National Invitation Tournament. It kickstarted a near-decade of program-changing successes, with seven consecutive NCAA Tournament trips, a Final Four, and now, two trips to Madison Square Garden as the bookends of that success.

In 2011, the No. 4 seed Shockers won by pathway of Nebraska, Virginia Tech and College of Charleston. In the semifinals, Toure’ Murray helped Wichita State hold off future NBA star Klay Thompson and Washington State. Thompson, who was the No. 11 pick in the NBA Draft, to just 1-11 shooting. He didn’t sink a 3-pointer, and the Shockers won 75-44.

Wichita State won the tournament, locking down Alabama 66-57.

Joseph Barringhaus
Wichita State senior Samajae Haynes-Jones takes a photo in Times Square on March 31, 2019. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower).

And now, the improbable has happened once again. Wichita State transformed a bad start — a loss in the team’s home-opener, a 1-6 start to conference play, and the program’s worst (32-point) loss in more than a decade —  into a great finish. Its 8-11 start has shaped into a 22-14 record.

The team is once again back in Madison Square Garden with a chance to end the season with a victory. Wichita State is two wins from doing so.

Wichita State will next play Lipscomb, the No. 5 seed, at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Should they win, the Shockers will play the winner of Texas Christian and Texas, both out of the Big 12, Thursday. 

Joseph Barringhaus
Wichita State players pictured in Times Square on March 31, 2019. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower).