Wichita State Shockers vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish
CLEVELAND, Ohio (Sporting Alert) — The Wichita State Shockers will face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament March Madness on Thursday at 7:15 PM ET at Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio.
The seventh-seeded Wichita State (30-4, 17-1 MVC), which won three in a row and 11 of the last 12 games, pulled off a 78-65 upset win over Kansas on Sunday.
With offensive attacks and tight defensive scheme, Wichita State was victorious to advance through the strong performance of Tekele Cotton, who scored a team-high 19 points.
All the starters of the Shockers scored in double digits, as they snapped a five-game losing streak against Kansas.
“We don’t have McDonald’s All-Americans, we don’t have guys that have been in the spotlight, and been given that pedestal,” recalled Fred VanVleet, who scored 17 points against the Jayhawks.
“We work for everything we’ve got, from managers to coaches to our preacher to, you know, whoever.
“We’ve scrapped and fought our whole lives.”
On the season, Wichita State is averaging 69.7 points on a 44.6 percent shooting from the field. The Shockers are also averaging 35.6 rebounds and 13.9 assists.
Wichita State is shooting 69.8 percent from the free throw line and 36.2 percent from the three-pointer. Defensively, Wichita State is allowing 56.7 points per game against the opposing teams.
Ron Baker is the leading scorer of the Missouri Valley Conference regular season champions with 14.9 points per game.
VanFleet is the leading passer with 5.3 assists per game, while Darius Carter is averaging 5.3 rebounds and four other players are scoring at least 9.9 points heading into the Sweet 16.
No. 3 seed Notre Dame (31-5, 14-4 ACC), in the meantime, rides in a seven-game winning streak, including winning the ACC Tournament championship game against North Carolina.
The Fighting Irish escaped a 67-64 victory in overtime over Butler Bulldogs on Saturday thanks to a battling performance from Steve Vasturia, who scored 20 points and six rebounds to lead the way for the winners.
Meanwhile, on the season, Notre Dame is averaging 78.8 points on a 51.0 percent shooting from the field, which is the second best field goal shooting percentage in the country.
The Irish are averaging 32.8 points and 15.1 assists, while defensively, they are giving up 65.6 points per game against the opposing teams.
Jerian Grant is averaging 16.6 points and 6.6 rebounds to lead Notre Dame in both scoring and passing. Pat Connaunghton is leading in rebounds with 7.3 per game.
Five players are scoring at least 9.8 points per game for the Fighting Irish, who will now try to win a place in the regional final for the first time in 36-years.
Wichita State vs Notre Dame TV coverage is on CBS while live streaming is on NCAA Stream.