WICHITA, Kan. - The Wichita State men's basketball team will travel to Salt Lake City to take on the Pittsburgh Panthers in the second round of the 2013 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship Thursday, March 21.
The No. 9 seedd Shockers will take on the No. 8 seeded Panthers at the EnergySolutions Arena. Tip-off time for the game has not been announced yet.
Wichita State takes a 26-8 overall season record into its second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. Pittsburgh (24-8) won the College Basketball Invitational last season after barely missing the NCAA Tournament with a 22-17 record.
In the two teams' previous meeting, Pittsburgh battled several rallies from resilient Wichita State which trailed by only three in the second half before falling to the Panthers, 68-55, at the 2009 O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic in the Sprint Center in Kansas City. WSU's Toure Murry, now playing for the NBA D-League Rio Grande Valley Vipers, had 20 points and was backed by J.T. Durley's 15 points. WSU was playing without senior point guard Clevin Hannah, who returned in the consolation game to help the Shockers defeat Iowa, 74-57.
The Shockers will make their 10th NCAA Tournament appearance in school history, carrying an 8-10 overall NCAA Tournament record into Salt Lake City.
This marks head coach Gregg Marshalls ninth career NCAA Tournament appearance. Marshall led Winthrop to seven NCAA Tournament berths in his nine seasons with the program and has a 1-8 record overall in the tournament.
Junior Cleanthony Early leads the Shockers averaging 13.6 points per game. Senior Carl Hall averages 12.8 points per game and leads the team with 7.2 rebounds per game, while senior Malcolm Armstead leads the team with 4.0 assists per game and averages 10.4 points per game.
The entire NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship bracket can be viewed here.
Senior guard Demetric Williams
On playing Pittsburgh...
"From my experience, I know my freshman year they beat us in Kansas City so for me personally, I want the revenge. I know they're in the Big East and they're a good physical team so we just have to be ready to play."
On how you get passed losing in the first round last year...
"It's a great honor to get in the (NCAA) Tournament two years in a row but last year we made it and lost in the first game, so it's more motivation to get past that first game and to make some noise in the dance."
Senior forward Carl Hall
On being a No. 9 seed...
"It's exciting but we have to get focused. We were a five seed last year and lost to VCU so it really doesn't matter what seed you are because it's pretty equal going into this tournament."
On if the team was nervous...
"I got kind of nervous at the end because we were in the last region but I'm good now."
On getting in the tournament back-to-back seasons...
"I'm really worried about the first game because I don't want to end the season like we did last year so I'll really be focused for this game."
Head coach Gregg Marshall
On his thoughts of being a No. 9 seed...
"It's in the general area that I expected. I don't know much about Pitt but I know we played them a couple of years ago without Clevin Hannah in Kansas City and it was a great game. Jamie Dixon is a very good coach who has been one of those guys who has gone in I think his first head coaching job and has won 25, 26, 30 games every year. I think last year was the worst season he's ever had and still had an NCAA Tournament team. He consistently develops tough, defensive minded teams and I remember it was a grinded out game in Kansas City in the CBE a couple of years ago. If I'm not mistaken, their best player now was a young player then (Tray Woodall) and he's evolved into a very good guard."
On the preparation for Thursday's game...
"We're not going to do anything different than we did today other than start prepping for opponents. We've been practicing for an hour and a half or so and have been lifting but we haven't had any film study. We'll now start getting into film study as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the individual opponent."
On if he was nervous watching the selection show...
"Yeah I was keeping pretty good notes and was circling all the teams and no one was surprising me that was supposed to get in the tournament. A lot of teams were lower than I thought like Oregon and California so I figured there were some spots open in the 8, 9, 10 and 11 range. I definitely didn't anticipate them forgetting about us because I knew our resume was strong enough and being a No. 9 seed puts us in the top 36 teams in the country which is about right where we belong."