Gonzaga became the first number one seed to be booted from the 2013 NCAA Tournament on Saturday night, after they lost to ninth-seeded Wichita State 76-70 in the third round of the tournament.
Wichita State is making its way to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2006 and seems to be showing that the Missouri Valley Conference will still have plenty of basketball punch once league champion Creighton departs for the Big East.
The Shockers had already pulled off one upset in this tournament by upending the Pittsburgh Panthers in the second round but a large margin.
Wichita State buried the bulldogs under a barrage of three pointers, including hitting on five straight at the end of the game, in order to knock a team that had lost just twice all season out of the tournament.
Gonzaga has been a perennial tournament team since the early 2000’s but it has been quite a while since they got past the round of 32. Since 2001, the Bulldogs have never gotten farther than the Sweet Sixteen and have only gotten to that round twice.
This was supposed to be head coach Mark Few’s best team ever, and the 31-2 record seeemed to prove that out. The team was going to be an at-large squad no matter what but they still posted 18-point and 14-point victories in the conference tournament just to be sure.
Then the NCAA Tournament started and the Bulldogs struggled to knock off 16th seeded Southern before coming out and being unable to stop Wichita State’s rain of threes.
The Shockers, on the other hand were expected to have to suffer through a rebuilding season after losing their top five scorers from last season. Instead they challenged Creighton for the Missouri Valley Crown and have started this improbable run in which they have defeated two of College Basketball’s perennial powers.
Wichita State will next take on one of two other Cinderella squads. Either 12th seeded Ole Miss or 13th seeded LaSalle will be the next opponent on Thursday, March 28.
How far did you have Gonzaga going in your bracket?