Wichita State 101: Everything you need to know

Harry How

Wichita State advanced to the Final Four on Saturday with a four-point win over No. 2 seed Ohio State. But since the Shockers reside in the Missouri Valley Conference, they're still unknown to many. That's about to change.

For once, the last team standing from Kansas does not reside in Lawrence or Manhattan.

With a 70-66 win over No. 2 seed Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, the No. 9 seeded Wichita State Shockers advanced to their first Final Four since 1965.

More game coverage: Mid Major Madness

But since many of us weren't even alive when the Shockers lost to UCLA in the semis, followed by falling to Princeton in the third-place game (which they had back then), here's a quick rundown of everything you need to know about Wichita State:

Who they are:

The Wichita State Shockers were runners-up in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, losing to Creighton in the title game, 68-65. They are led by forward Cleanthony Early, who averaged 13.7 points per game and posted a 12-point, seven-rebound performance against the Buckeyes on Saturday. Senior Carl Hall joins Early in the frontcourt, averaging 12.7 per contest. Guard Malcolm Armstead is third on the team in scoring and has saved his best games for when they've mattered most. He had 28 in that MVC Tournament loss to Creighton, and on Saturday was named Most Outstanding Player of the West Regional.

Gregg Marshall has been the Wichita State head coach since 2007 when he came over from Winthrop, where he had coached since 1998. He has guided the Shockers to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments and to postseason appearances in five of his six years at the helm.

How they got here:

The Shockers lost their last two regular-season games, in addition to that MVC title game against Creighton, to stumble into the tournament with 300:1 odds to win the whole thing. But a convincing win over Pittsburgh in the Second Round opened some eyes, and an upset win over No. 1 Gonzaga two days later showed they were not to be taken lightly.

In the Sweet 16, Wichita State beat another sleeper team, La Salle, 72-58, to set-up their date with Ohio State. Then on Saturday, the Shockers built a 20-point lead in the second half before nearly giving the whole thing up. They managed to hold on for the four-point win thanks partly to a clutch three from Tekele Cotton with 2:22 to go, then a shot from Fred Van Vleet with a minute left.

Historically speaking:

That 1965 Final Four appearance was the only other time Wichita State made it to the end of the NCAA Tournament. The Shockers were also ranked No. 1 in the country for the first time that year, and they defeated SMU and Oklahoma State before losing to the eventual national champion Bruins. After that, Wichita State did not even make it back to the Sweet 16 until 1981.

25 years later, in 2006, the Shockers won their first two NCAA Tournament games before falling to George Mason in the Sweet 16 during the Patriots' historic Final Four run. Marshall took over two years later and has since amassed 139 wins to just 69 losses. He led Wichita State to an NIT Championship in 2011, and is looking for more this year as his team plans its trip to Atlanta.

Notable alumni:

Joe Carter (former MLB player, hit walk-off home run to win 1993 World Series for Toronto Blue Jays)
Dan and Frank Carney (founders of Pizza Hut)
Lance LeGault (Actor, The A-Team)
Bill Parcells (former NFL coach)

More in College Basketball:

Chasing Cinderella: Dunk City, USA

Trey Burke’s insane 3-pointer that saved Michigan

The best and worst from a sweet Friday

Joakim Noah is more interested in Florida than Craig Sager

Printable bracket for March Madness

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