If Wichita State wants to continue its Cinderella run and become the lowest seed to ever make the championship game, then it’ll have to take advantage of its strengths: rebounding and post scoring.
The Shockers rank 27 in the NCAA in rebounds per game during the regular season (38.4). Their two leading scorers are also their two best rebounders. They want to feed the ball inside and take advantage of their height inside.
This year’s Cinderella wants to slow the game down and use its defense to stop you. Throughout the season Wichita State ranks only 117 in scoring (69.4 points per game). According to CBSSports.com, of the teams remaining, the Shockers average the most rebounds per game (43.2) and total rebounds (173).
However, Louisville might have too much depth in the post. With five players that can sub in and out for the Cardinals, it's going to be hard for them to get into foul trouble or get tired. If Louisville starts to run, Wichita State might not be able to stay with them.
Wichita State will look to pound the boards and get physical with Louisville this Saturday. If the lack of depth in the backcourt causes Peyton Siva and Russ Smith to get tired or get in foul trouble, Rick Pitino might switch to a man-to-man defense. That’s the best-case scenario for the Shockers to move the ball up the court, get inside the Cardinals defense and crash the boards.
If they don’t, the turnover-prone Shockers will be overmatched by the press and will see the clock strike midnight on their Cinderella run.