We now know who the Wichita State Shockers will be playing next week in the Semifinals of the NIT.
The fifth seed Lipscomb Bison were able to pull off the 94 to 93 win Wednesday night over North Carolina State, after hitting a shot with 1.7 seconds left in the game.
That sets up a match-up between the Bison and Shockers Tuesday night at Madsion Square Garden.
For WSU, they are still basking in the glow of another win in the NIT, after getting past Indiana, 73 to 63 on Tuesday.
“Just to come in here and get a win like this is just something so amazing,” said Samajae Haynes-Jones, WSU senior guard.
In a packed, 17,000 seat arena, outnumbered by Hoosier fans, the Shockers never cracked under pressure.
“Just staying together the whole game like that. That’s what we did. Ahh man, I just started thinking about it,” said Haynes-Jones.
Players say the team has bought into the system. and they still have a lot more life in them.
“It came to a point where it was like either we’re going to go out here and play hard and play smart and just do it and have a why, just like why we want to play this game. And ever since then, we’ve just been unbelievable,” said Markis McDuffie, WSU senior forward.
Head Coach Gregg Marshall says he has relied on the leadership of his seniors to help motivate this young team.
He points out that Markis McDuffie, the senior forward, has continued to guide the Shockers all season.
“10 brand new players. None of the ten, not one division one experience and two guys with less than 300 minutes total. Those are the other two guys with experience and he has bridged now the past to the present and what has become the future,” said Marshall.
The Shockers, who came in as a number six seed, become the first team ever in the NIT to beat the top three seeds in regional play.
“Just to have an experience like this, you know being in the NIT and winning three road games against high major programs and going to New York to play in the final four, I mean that sounds pretty amazing to me and the rest of the team,” said McDuffie.
As the Shockers get ready to fly to the Big Apple, it’s that famous song ”New York, New York’ that has resonated with Marshall and his team.
“That’s a tremendous song and says in there somewhere, ‘I’m king of the hill, top of the heap’ and at least now we’re at the heap, but to be the king of the hill we got to win two more,” said Marshall.
WSU and Lipscomb will tip-off on Tuesday at 6 p.m.