(Sporting Alert) — College basketball expert Dick Vitale called it and he was made to look like a genius after No. 1 seed Gonzaga was upset 76-70 by Wichita State in the 3rd round of the NCAA March Madness tournament on Saturday.
Cleanthony Early and Ron Baker both scored 16 points for the Shockers (27-8) which scored a season-high 14 3-pointers in the victory.
“It was pretty indescribable, the feeling when your shot goes in. It’s something that just sends chills down your spine with how exciting it is,” said Baker.
“And when it happens how many ever times in a row, it’s a life memory, I’ll tell you that.”
Gonzaga struggled from early in the first half to keep up with the energetic Wichita State, which led for most of the game.
The Bulldogs (32-2) did go on a run to take an eight-point lead late in the second half, but Wichita State responded to take the six point win.
“You know what I asked them? On Oct. 15, down eight with eight minutes to go, would you take it for the right to go to Los Angeles in the Sweet 16? And they did it from there,” Marshall said.
The defeat was very disappointing for Gonzaga which shot just 35-percent from the field.
“I was just disappointed that with 1 second left that we even let him get a 3 off,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said.
“That was a mental error on our part.”
Wichita State face the winner of the La Salle-Ole Miss game on Sunday.
“The improbable is happening this year,” a delighted Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall said.
“(Gonzaga is) a great team; they have a great coach, a great program, but today they had to beat us, and our guys were able to pull it out.”
Also on Sunday, No. 1 overall seed Louisville brushed aside Colorado State 82-56 to march into the sweet 16 full of confidence, while Michigan State and Michigan both picked up wins on the day.
Michigan State pounded Memphis 70-48, Michigan excelled past Virginia Commonwealth (VCU) 78-53, with No. 12 seed Oregon also progressing with a 74-57 victory over No. 4 Saint Louis. Fourth-seeded Syracuse were 66-60 winners over (12) California.
NCAA March Madness Results – March 23
(4) Michigan 78, (5) Virginia Commonwealth 53 Box Score
(3) Michigan State 70, (6) Memphis 48 Box Score
(1) Louisville 82, (8) Colorado State 56 Box Score
(6) Arizona 74, (14) Harvard 51 Box Score
(12) Oregon 74, (4) Saint Louis 57 Box Score
(3) Marquette 74, (6) Butler 72 Box Score
(9) Wichita State 76, (1) Gonzaga 70 Box Score
(4) Syracuse 66, (12) California 60 Box Score