Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts

Kragthorpe: Wichita State carries Utah’s NCAA banner
First Published Mar 29 2013 08:40 am • Last Updated Apr 04 2013 05:50 pm

Of the eight basketball teams that came to EnergySolutions Arena last week for the NCAA Tournament, Wichita State seemed like the least interesting contestant.

But the Shockers made themselves endearing with their gritty defeats of Pittsburgh and Gonzaga, and just look at them now. After Thursday’s 72-58 victory over La Salle, WSU will play Ohio State on Saturday in the Elite Eight in Los Angeles.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The Shockers genuinely have a shot at the Final Four, after arriving quietly in Salt Lake City as a No. 9 seed.

Wichita State lacked the local ties of Gonzaga, New Mexico and Arizona. The Shockers could not match the underdog stories of Southern, Belmont and Harvard. But they’re the only ones still playing, and they’re deserving.

Sure, they got a break when No. 13 seed La Salle emerged from another West Region pod in Kansas City. That’s how the Shockers found themselves wearing white uniforms as a higher-seeded team in the Sweet 16. But they convincingly beat the Explorers, with defense, rebounding and effort — the same formula that worked at ESA. And it was fun to watch them Thursday, extending the tournament run that began here.

Malcom Armstead, the talkative guard, led WSU with 18 points. Carl Hall, the forward with the glasses, added 16 points and eight rebounds. Ron Baker, the guard who returned from injury only in March and hit those clutch shots against Gonzaga, scored 13. WSU held La Salle to 35.7-percent shooting, almost the same figure as Pitt and Gonzaga.

The only thing that could make this better is if Arizona had completed its upset of No. 2 Ohio State, ensuring that one of the Salt Lake City entrants would make the Final Four. But the Wildcats lost on a late 3-pointer, 73-70. So the Shockers will take on OSU, back in the black uniforms they wore at ESA. I’d love to see them in the same attire in Atlanta next week.


Twitter: @tribkurt

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.