The nation’s longest winning streak is no more as the #1-seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs went down in a heap at the hands of #9-seeded Wichita State on Saturday night. The Shockers led for much of the night, including a 36-31 half-time lead, and though they lost the lead for a significant portion of the second half, they were more than up to the challenge.
With 5:32 left in the second half, Wichita State trailed 61-54 to the ‘Zags, but the Shockers proceeded to knock down a staggering four three-point field goals in the final minutes, pulsing a 16-4 run to seize control of the game that they would never relinquish. Ron Baker, Cleanthony Early, and Fred Vanvleet each converted at least 2 threes off of the bench for the Shockers, and the trio led the team in scoring with a combined 45 points.
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On the Gonzaga side, they simply couldn’t get shots to fall for the majority of the night, as they were outshot by WSU from both the field (50% to 37%) and behind the arc (54% to 35%) in decisive fashion. The saving grace for Gonzaga all night was their significant rebounding edge (36-27), but as the shots continued to fall for Wichita, they couldn’t answer in crunch time.
In the “craziest stat of the night department, Wichita State converted their last seven three-point attempts. For reference as to how crazy that really is, the chances of a 33% three-point shooting team (as WSU during the regular season) doing that were 2,346-to-1. Gonzaga fans will want to cover their eyes during this part of the recap.
At any rate, the first #1 seed has fallen from the 2013 NCAA Tournament, and Wichita State advances to the Sweet 16 to square off with the winner of the 12/13 match-up between Ole Miss and La Salle. Because of the way the top half of the region has opened up, Wichita State is now the default “favorite” to reach the Elite 8, and they are a quality basketball team in every way. For Gonzaga, it will be a long summer/fall of “what if?” and visions of three pointers raining in their heads.
Be sure to stay tuned to FanSided.com and BustingBrackets.com throughout the entire tournament as we keep you up to date with the latest results. Will there be a Cinderella story in 2013? We will have to tune in and see.