Wichita State is headed to the 2013 Final Four after beating No. 2 Ohio State in the West Regional Final, and it wouldn't have done so without guard Malcolm Armstead's strong play.
As such, Armstead as been awarded the West Region's Most Outstanding Player award.
Doug Haller reported the news on Twitter, complete with a few of Armstead's teammates that made the region's all-tournament team:
Malcolm Armstead is the West Regional's MOP. All-tourey team: LaQuinton Ross, Deshaun Thomas, Carl Hall and Arizona's Mark Lyons.— Doug Haller (@DougHaller) March 31, 2013
Through four tournament games, Armstead averaged 15.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.0 steals per game. He had 22 points in the Shockers' opening-round win over No. 8 Pittsburgh and led the team in scoring, yet again, with 14 points in the Final Four-sending win over Ohio State.
During the regular season, Armstead averaged 10.8 points and 4.0 assists. His journey to Wichita State first started at Oregon, where he played from 2009-2011. He then transferred to a junior college after his second year with the Ducks and wound up with the Shockers for his final collegiate season.
Going out as the region's best player is not a bad way to go.
So far, the Shockers have ridden a team-first effort to the Final Four. Within that selfless concept, Armstead has been the most important player on the floor for the Shockers.
Look no further than this tweet from Rob Anderson to show you just how important Armstead is to head coach Gregg Marshall's team:
With Malcolm Armstead on the floor, WSU is +21 today. In 2 minutes without him, they're -5.— Rob Anderson (@_robanderson) March 31, 2013
Wichita State has been lights-out as a team this tournament, and Armstead isn't its only weapon. Carl Hall, Cleanthony Early and freshman Fred VanVleet have all stepped up when the Shockers needed it most, leading to a Final Four appearance and one of the most improbably runs by a No. 9 seed in tournament history.
Armstead and the Shockers will await the winner of No. 2 Duke and No. 1 Louisville in the Final Four.
No matter the outcome of that scheduled contest, Armstead will end his college career (and maybe start an NBA one) with a Most Outstanding Player award and a place in tournament lore after leading the Shockers to the Final Four.