2013 NCAA Tournament Preview: No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 9 Wichita State

Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Well, so much for No. 1 going down to a No. 16 seed. It is all about surviving and advancing and that is exactly what No. 1 Gonzaga did in the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs will take on the No. 9 Wichita State Shockers.

Unlike Gonzaga, the Shockers were able to handle their second round opponent and beat the No. 8 Pittsburgh Panthers by the score of 73-55.

Although Wichita State will enter this game as the huge underdog, it will be mid-major against mid-major. Could Gonzaga be the first No. 1 seed to go down–assuming that none of the No. 1 seeds go down in the second round?

What to Watch For

Kelly Olynyk will enter this game with all eyes on him. He is in the running for Player of the Year and all. However, this is not the only good player on Gonzaga. Kevin Pangos can light it up from behind the arc. These two players combined for 37 points in the first round and they will need another big performance to take down the Shockers.

Two Wichita State players scored more than 20 points in the second round. Malcolm Armstead had 22 points and Cleanthony Early had 21 points. Talk about coming up big when it matters most.

The Shockers are a very good team that have made back-to-back trips to the Big Dance and you can bet that they will give the No. 1 seed in the West a fight for its money.

Prediction

As much as Gonzaga fans want to see their beloved team come out firing on all cylinders in the third round, it is not going to happen. I understand that a lot of pressure is put on a No. 1 seed, but Wichita State is a great basketball team that can compete with anyone in the nation. The Shockers shot just 38.8 percent from the field against Pittsburgh. Just imagine how much they would have won by if they actually shot well.

Wichita State 75 Gonzaga 73

 

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