The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


March 17, 2013

No rebuilding for Wichita State

WICHITA, Kan. — This was supposed to be a rebuilding year at Wichita State.

So much for that.

The Shockers ended up going 26-8 and finished just behind Creighton in the Missouri Valley Conference, putting together the kind of season that left the NCAA tournament selection committee with little choice but to reward them with an at-large bid in the field of 68.

Wichita State was given the No. 9 seed in the West Region, and will open play on Thursday against eighth-seeded Pittsburgh in Salt Lake City.

“It’s not easy to win 26 basketball games. There’s a lot of teams in the country that would like to win 20, and have a winning record,” Shockers coach Gregg Marshall said. “We don’t take it for granted. It’s a struggle. It’s a grind. It’s hard work, but it’s something we can do, and we’ve proven it. We’ve proven it in consecutive years.”

Of course, the Shockers would like to fare better than they did last season.

After landing the No. 5 seed, their best-ever since the NCAA began seeding teams for the 1979 tournament, the Shockers were waylaid by 12th-seeded VCU in their first game of the dance.

“We have to get focused,” Wichita State forward Carl Hall said. “We were a 5-seed last year and lost to VCU, so it don’t matter what you are. It’s pretty equal going into the tournament.”

The Shockers do have some familiarity with Pittsburgh.

The two teams met at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., as part of the CBE Classic during the 2009-10 season. The Panthers dug in for a 68-55 victory in that semifinal match-up.

“Jamie Dixon is a very good coach,” Marshall said. “He consistently develops tough, defensive-minded teams, and I remember it was a grind-it-out game in Kansas City in the CBE a couple of years ago. If I’m not mistaken, their best player now (Travon Woodall) was a young player then, and he’s evolved into a very good guard.”

While this is the second straight year the Shockers have made the NCAA tournament, it’s only the third time since 1988. The other team that qualified under former coach Mark Turgeon made it to the round of 16 in 2006, ultimately losing to mid-major upstart George Mason.

“It’s a great honor to get in the tournament two years in a row,” Shockers guard Demetric Williams said, “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.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Penguins 0419 Blue Jackets outlast Pens in double-OT

    Matt Calvert banged home a rebound 1:10 into the second overtime and the Columbus Blue Jackets earned the first playoff victory in franchise history with a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.
    Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury stuffed the initial shot by Cam Atkinson but Calvert stood all alone at the left post and wristed a shot into the open net to even the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at one game each.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0419 Brewers rally to clip Pirates

    Ryan Braun hit two homers, including a two-run shot with two outs in the ninth inning that sent the Milwaukee Brewers over the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-7 Saturday night.
    Braun has five home runs this season after being suspended for the last 65 games of 2013 following Major League Baseball’s investigation into the Biogenesis drug scandal.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Area runners gearing for Boston Marathon

    The time was 12:15 p.m. It was Monday April 19, 1897.  Tom Burke had drawn a line across the dirt road with his foot. Eighteen men gathered near Metcalf’s Mill in Ashland, Massachusetts.

    April 19, 2014

  • SRU vs UPJ baseball0418 1 UPJ takes one, drops second

    John Fees’ spring baseball season accurately mirrors that of his Pitt-Johnstown team.
    Fees started slow, losing his first four decisions, but has rebounded nicely in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West Division.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pirates 0418 Brewers ward off late Pirates rally bid

    Kyle Lohse pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Carlos Gomez homered and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3 Friday night.
    Lohse (3-1) improved to 11-2 in his career against the Pirates, allowing one earned run in a win against them for the second time in six days.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drama lacking sans Tiger

    If professional golf saw its future at Augusta National last weekend, the sight had to be worse than choking on a 5-foot putt.
    The course was there in all its splendor.

    April 18, 2014

  • Penguins 0418 Penguins are wary of spunky Blue Jackets

    Sidney Crosby is used to the attention. It comes with the territory when you’re the best hockey player in the world.
    Still, the Pittsburgh Penguins star knows the spotlight becomes more acute in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0417 Pirates power past Brewers

    Andrew McCutchen hit his first homer of the season and drove in three runs, Pedro Alvarez had a three-run shot and pinch-hitter Josh Harrison broke a tie with a long ball in the seventh inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates handed the Milwaukee Brewers their first road loss, 11-2 on Thursday night.
    Harrison’s two-run drive down the left field line off Rob Wooten (0-1) was the second of his career as a pinch hitter.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Penguins 0417 Jackets preparing for Game 2

    The Columbus Blue Jackets don’t feel they’re doomed after blowing a two-goal lead in a Game 1 loss of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
    “It’s not about missed chances, or feeling sorry about it,” goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky said at Thursday’s optional workout, 13 hours after falling 4-3 in Pittsburgh.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local Sports Briefs

    April 17, 2014