Wichita State Loses to Marshall in Stunning NCAA Tournament 1st-Round Upset

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 16, 2018

SAN DIEGO, CA - MARCH 16:  Jon Elmore #33 of the Marshall Thundering Herd reacts after a three point basket in the second half against the Wichita State Shockers during the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Viejas Arena on March 16, 2018 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The 13th-seeded Marshall Thundering Herd pulled off the first upset of Friday's action at the 2018 NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament, defeating the No. 4 seed Wichita State Shockers 81-75.

Junior guard Jon Elmore led Marshall with 27 points, adding four rebounds, four assists and two steals to his strong all-around performance. Junior forward Ajdin Penava added 16 points and eight boards.

The win was Marshall's first in the NCAA tournament after the Thundering Herd were 0-5 in their previous trips to the Big Dance.

Marshall fans had to wait patiently for the Thundering Herd to seal the upset after a series of replay reviews prolonged the game's final minute. According to Deadspin's Timothy Burke, the last minute of game action took 18 minutes, 26 seconds in real time.

For many, the three referee reviews subtracted from the drama of what was an otherwise entertaining game:

Wichita State's final possession summed up the team's performance. The Shockers were trailing 80-75 with 29 seconds remaining and sophomore guard Landry Shamet at the free-throw line.

Over the next 18 seconds, Wichita State had three offensive rebounds but failed to score after Shamet and senior guard Conner Frankamp each missed a three-point attempt and senior center Shaquille Morris turned the ball over.

Wichita State out-rebounded Marshall 44-30 and had a 16-7 edge on the offensive glass, but the Shockers were 8-of-29 from beyond the arc and committed 15 turnovers. They created plenty of second chances for themselves offensively yet couldn't capitalize.

Marshall was slightly more efficient, hitting 46.7 percent of its field-goal attempts and going 9-of-23 on three-pointers.

Beating Wichita State continues what has been four years of steady improvement under head coach Dan D'Antoni. The Thundering Herd's win totals have improved in each of D'Antoni's seasons, and their 25 victories in 2017-18 are tied for fourth-most in program history.

Marshall will meet either the West Virginia Mountaineers or Murray State Racers in the second round on Sunday.

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