The No. 9 Wichita State Shockers and No. 13 La Salle Explorers will meet in a Cinderella match in the Sweet 16, but why can the Shockers beat the Explorers?
Well, other than the fact that Wichita State has beaten two very good opponents so far in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, including the No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs, the Shockers are playing some great basketball.
If they can get the three-point shooting going, like they did against Gonzaga, this team is going to be very hard to beat. However, that is usually the case when a team goes 14-28 from behind the arc.
Wichita State does not score the ball a whole lot (117th in the nation in points per game), so its defense is going to have to continue making stops and controlling the tempo of the game. In two NCAA Tournament games, the Shockers have given up 62.5 points per game and have scored 74.5 points per game. That right their is a recipe for success.
Cleanthony Early has to continue scoring the ball. He is leading this team with 13.6 points per game on the season, but is averaging 18.5 points per game in the Big Dance. If other players can keep coming up big that will also be huge for this team.
Malcolm Armstead had 22 points against the No. 8 Pittsburgh Panthers and Ron Baker and Fred Van Vleet combined for 29 points against Gonzaga.
Whether the case, it is the Shockers’ defense that needs to carry this team, like it has all season long and so far in the tourney.
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