Wichita State prediction and game preview, as the No. 2 Wildcats and No. 10 Shockers face off in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Shockers, who have won 16 in a row, shot only 39.6 percent (19 of 48) but won the rebounding battle, 48-29, converting that figure into a 19-8 advantage in second-chance points.
Media pundits saw this year's Wichita State team as deserving much higher than a 10-seed, and pointed to Kentucky as a power team that would suffer the consequences far too early in the tournament.
2 seed was never truly threatened by the 15th-seeded Norse, but NKU won a hefty dose of respect by refusing to allow the Wildcats to run away for a romp and by continuing to fight until the final horn.
But if nothing else, the Shockers (31-4) proved in their 64-58 victory against No. 7 seed Dayton (24-8) that they are proficient in low-scoring, grind-it-out games as well. The Wildcats limped into the postseason after being the preseason No. 1 team.
Marshall showed his team video of the 2014 game despite the nearly total roster turnover just to demonstrate how Wichita State countered Kentucky's size and athleticism.
Series history: United Kingdom leads the overall series 1-0.
Derek Willis F 6-9 228 Sr. Is the 6-foot-3, 200-pound freshman from Lepanto, Ark., worn down physically after carrying such a heavy offensive burden for United Kingdom this year? Against Kentucky the key for the Shockers will be keeping Landry Shamet out of foul trouble and having Shaq Morris body up on Bam Adebayo.
Conner Frankamp G 6-1 R-Jr. Instead, he touted the success of his team's 12-game winning streak. Then we get the No. 1 seed, but we get Kentucky as an eight (seed).
Yes, Kentucky advances to a Sunday matchup against Wichita State.
Truth be told, no one expected Northern Kentucky to win, but these two teams aren't even in the same league. The SEC Freshman of the Year is 3 for 21 from deep in the past five games.
"I didn't doubt we would react well in a tight game", Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall said. "I just didn't hit shots". Malik is a high-level player, capable of taking over the game by making challenged-shots and by making clutch plays.
Kansas and Wichita State were first round winners in the NCAA mens basketball tournament Friday. Wichita State juniors Daishon Smith and Zach Brown analyzed their transition and ball movement, and how they would slow them down. He was redshirting as a true freshman (two current, senior walk-on guards were also freshmen for WSU in "14)".