LOS ANGELES – After beating La Salle in their sweet-16 contest, the 9th-seeded Wichita State (29-8) take on 2nd-seed Ohio State (29-7) in the West Regional final with reaching the Final Four in mind.
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Event: The Game is also live on CBS at 7:05 PM ET
Place: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
The Shockers are buzzing with confidence, but they face a Buckeyes team which has the never say die attitude and they showed this with back-to-back last second game winners in the third round and sweet-16.
Ohio State seem to be peaking at the right time and star forward Deshaun Thomas seems to think so as well.
“We’re playing at a higher level now,” Thomas, who scored 20 points in win over the Arizona Wildcats said.
“Last year was tougher, going through Gonzaga, Syracuse and Cincinnati. Those were some great teams. This year, we’re on a roll right now.
“Once Gonzaga and a couple of higher teams on our side got put out (this year), it opened doors for us. But again, you can’t take these teams like Wichita State lightly.
“We know it’s going to be tough. Gonzaga losing on our side kind of helped us leave the door open, but we’re still going to treat these teams like Gonzaga.”
Meanwhile, Wichita State does acknowledged the Buckeyes are playing at top level at the moment, but still believe the playing field will be all even come tip-off.
“We have to go out there and play our hearts out,” said Wichita State junior forward Cleanthony Early, who is averaging 13.7 points, and 5.3 rebounds per game.
“So regardless if their facilities are a little bit bigger than ours, they’ve got to lace up their shoes just like us.”