A real shocker: Wichita State knocks out No. 1 Gonzaga

2013-03-24T00:00:00Z 2014-07-08T15:32:34Z A real shocker: Wichita State knocks out No. 1 GonzagaPatrick Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
March 24, 2013 12:00 am  • 

SALT LAKE CITY - America's No. 1 team fell Saturday night at EnergySolutions Arena - call it a Shocker - and the Arizona Wildcats' bracket became even more discombobulated.

Gonzaga, ranked atop both polls at the start of the NCAA tournament and the No. 1 seed in the West Region, lost 76-70 to the No. 9 Wichita State Shockers, despite leading by eight with about 12 minutes to play.

"We did beat the No. 1 team in the country, the No. 1 team in our region," Shockers coach Gregg Marshall said, "and that's just a wonderful feeling."

The Bulldogs (32-3) lost their first game since Jan. 19 after shooting 35.6 percent from the field.

The Shockers (28-8) made half their shots and half their 28 three-point attempts.

"Wichita State is a hot team right now," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "They're just shooting the ball at a high level that their numbers don't reflect through the whole year.

"That's what's tough."

Wichita State forward Cleanthony Early scored 16 points off the bench, and guard Fred Van Vleet added another 13 in reserve. The Shockers' bench outscored Gonzaga's 36-7.

The Bulldogs led for only 18 seconds in the first half and trailed by five at the break, but they rallied with a 12-0 run to go up 49-41.

Wichita State scored 21 of the next 33 points to take a 62-61 lead with 3:29 to play.

After two Gonzaga free throws, the Shockers made two more of their own.

A Ron Baker three-pointer gave them a four-point lead. And after a Kelly Olynyk jumper - the Gonzaga forward had 26 points - the Shockers' Van Vleet made a three to extend the lead to five.

Gonzaga would get no closer.

"The only reason I think we won is because we made shots at the end, and that's what counted," said Wichita State forward Carl Hall, who had 10 points. "We just got a team full of fighters, man."

The West Region lost another top team.

With two games left to play - today's Ohio State-Iowa State and Ole Miss-La Salle contests - the West Region has seen its share of upsets.

In the first round, the lower-seeded team won five of eight games.

In addition to top seed Gonzaga, the region has lost No. 3 New Mexico, No. 4 Kansas State, No. 5 Wisconsin, No. 7 Notre Dame and No. 8 Pitt.

No. 6 Arizona is guaranteed to be at least the second-highest seeded team at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Wichita State will play the No. 12 Ole Miss-No. 13 LaSalle winner.

The Wildcats will face the winner of today's battle between No. 2 Ohio State and No. 10 Iowa State.

In a West Region where the higher seed has no guarantees, Wichita State doesn't plan on going anywhere soon.

"They've assured me," Marshall said, "that they're not satisfied."

Rim shots

• Olynyk, a first-team All-American, was asked if Wichita State's defense kept him limited to the perimeter. He made only 8 of 22 shots and missed all three of his three-point tries.

"Y'know, I'm sure they had a good game plan," he said. "It seemed to work. I don't know, maybe the perimeter was where the openings were. Not too sure."

• Gary Bell Jr., Gonzaga's best perimeter defender, played only one minute in the second half after injuring his foot in the first half.

• Gonzaga guard Mike Hart tied a career high with 14 rebounds.

• To reach its first Sweet 16 since 2006, Wichita State made 14 three-pointers and only 11 two-pointers.

Contact reporter Patrick Finley at pfinley@azstarnet.com or 573-4145. On Twitter @PatrickFinley

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Pac-12 basketball standings

  Conference Overall
Team W L T PCT W L T PCT
Arizona State 0 0 0 0.000 3 0 0 1.000
Oregon State 0 0 0 0.000 3 0 0 1.000
Stanford 0 0 0 0.000 3 0 0 1.000
Arizona 0 0 0 0.000 3 0 0 1.000
Oregon 0 0 0 0.000 3 0 0 1.000
UCLA 0 0 0 0.000 3 0 0 1.000
Washington 0 0 0 0.000 2 0 0 1.000
California 0 0 0 0.000 3 1 0 0.750
Colorado 0 0 0 0.000 2 1 0 0.667
Utah 0 0 0 0.000 2 1 0 0.667
USC 0 0 0 0.000 2 2 0 0.500
Washington State 0 0 0 0.000 1 2 0 0.333

AP Top 25


Pac-12 basketball schedule

Teams Date Time
Drexel at
USC
11/21 70-72
Toledo at
Oregon
11/21 68-78
UNLV at
Stanford
11/21 60-89
UC Riverside at
Utah
11/21 42-88
Colorado at
Wyoming
11/22 33-56
Long Beach State at
UCLA
11/23 8:00 pm
Missouri at
Arizona
11/24 3:00 pm
@Oklahoma State, @Oregon State 11/24 6:30 pm
@Michigan, @Oregon 11/24 7:30 pm
Cal State-Fullerton at
USC
11/25 9:00 pm
Texas-Pan American at
Utah
11/26 6:00 pm
Cal Poly at
California
11/26 8:00 pm
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