Wichita State beat Vanderbilt, 70-50, in the second of two NCAA Tournament First Four games on Tuesday night. The Shockers will face No. 6 Arizona in a first-round South Region game on Thursday evening
The No. 11-seeded Shockers are playing in their school-record fifth straight NCAA Tournament. Senior guards Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet have been top-three scorers for the program for three seasons now, and each shined on Tuesday. Baker and VanVleet scored 14 points apiece in a 20-point win, although both players struggled with efficiency from the field.
The game was an even 30-30 at halftime, but Wichita State gained separation in the opening stretch of the second half. Vanderbilt hung around afterward and got to within three points with a little more than six minutes remaining. But back-to-back-to-back Wichita State three-pointers from Conner Frankamp, Markis McDuffie and then Frankamp again gave the Shockers a 12-point lead by the time four minutes remained. From there, the Shockers rolled to victory.
Florida Gulf Coast 96, Fairleigh Dickinson 65
Earlier, Florida Gulf Coast routed Fairleigh Dickinson in a battle of two No. 16 seeds, 96-65. The Eagles are back in the tournament for the first time since making a Cinderella run to the Sweet 16 three years ago, and now they'll face North Carolina in the East Region, also on Thursday evening.
The Eagles, champions of the Atlantic Sun, got 20 points from Marc-Eddy Norelia and had four players score in double figures. Christian Terrell and Julian DeBose each chipped in 14 points in a winning effort.
Florida Gulf Coast shot 60 percent from the field as a team, pounding away at Fairleigh Dickinson inside the arc. The NEC-champion Knights, on the other hand, shot just 33 percent in the final game of their season.