Despite their best efforts to blow the game at the end, the Wichita State Shockers are headed to the Final Four in Atlanta. Four players reached double figures, led by Senior point guard Malcolm Armstead with 14 points, the Shockers shocked the world. In my Elite Eight pre-game thoughts, I said that Ohio State needed a third option and they were unable to find anyone to fill that role. Deshaun Thomas scored 23 and LaQuinton Ross had 19, but the rest of the team was only able to muster up 24 points on 7-29 shooting (24.1%). Craft, who is typically able to contribute something on the offensive end, scored 9 points on 2-12 shooting.
For Wichita State, I said that Malcolm Armstead would need a big game in order for the Shockers to win. Under extremely difficult circumstances, Armstead scored 14 points and turned the ball over only 3 times. Armstead also contributed 3 steals. The big thing for Wichita State were the other people to step up. Cleanthony Early scored 12 big points and played through a sprained ankle suffered in the second half. Freshman Fred VanVleet scored 12 points off the bench, and only committed one turnover while bringing the ball up to keep Aaron Craft away. Senior Carl Hall added 8 points and 6 blocks to set the tone on the defensive end.
At the end of the day, Wichita State, who led by as many as 20 points, were able to hold off a big run by Ohio State and hang on for the victory. While Florida Gulf Coast has captured the headlines this tournament, Wichita State has gone on their own remarkable run and are headed to Atlanta for the Final Four.