The No. 9 Wichita State Shockers have certainly lived up to their team nickname in this tournament. They are now heading to the Final Four for the first time since 1965 after defeating the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes, 70-66.
The Shockers took control of this game early, ripping off a 16-5 run in the first half to lead by double digits. The Buckeyes couldn't buy a shot, missing their first seven field goals and shooting just 24.2 percent in the first half. DeShaun Thomas, in particular, had a slow start, making only 4-of-13 from the field, as Wichita State went into halftime up 35-22.
The Shockers continued to dominate in the second half, but things looked a little shaky for a few minutes. Ohio State started to get back into it when Cleanthony Early went to the locker room with an ankle injury. They mounted a 7-0 run to get within 13 before Early came back into the game.
Ohio State continued their furious rally till the end, using a 23-6 run to get within three points with 2:30 to go, but that was as close as they got. Wichita came up with some clutch three-pointers and made the necessary free throws to hang on for the upset.
Wichita State shot 37.3 percent from the floor compared to Ohio State's 31.1 percent, knocked down 8-of-20 from deep and grabbed eight steals.
Malcolm Armstead led the Shockers with 14 points and seven rebounds, while Early wasn't far behind with 12 points and Carl Hall added six blocked shots. On the Buckeyes side, Thomas recovered from his slow start to finish with 23 points, while LaQuinton Ross, Thursday's game-winning hero, added 19. Aaron Craft had a night to forget, scoring only nine points and shooting a miserable 2-of-12 from the field.
Wichita State becomes the first No. 9 seed to reach the Final Four since Penn in 1979, and the first Missouri Valley Conference team to make it since Indiana State, also in 1979. They will face either Louisville or Duke in Atlanta next week.