Four plays during the season that helped Wichita State reach the Final Four:
Rebounds and 3-pointers
Play: Fred VanVleet made a 3-pointer to give the Shockers a six-point lead with a minute to play against Ohio State. It was VanVleet’s second 3-point attempt in that possession. Tekele Cotton, who played at Whitefield Academy, got the rebound and the ball eventually made it back to VanVleet.
Why it mattered: Wichita State won 70-66 to advance to the Final Four. The team’s 30th win also set a school record.
Quote: “I kept telling Tekele to come rebound because I knew their guards would rebound and down a lot, and he did it at the end,” said Wichita State’s Carl Hall, who is from Cochran. “It helped us get the win.”
Knocking off No. 1
Play: VanVleet made a 3-pointer with one second left on the shot clock to give Wichita State a five-point lead over Gonzaga with 1:22 left. The play was set up by the now-famous inbounds error in which a Gonzaga player caught an inbounds pass and then stepped out of bounds, thinking he was supposed to inbound the ball.
Why it mattered: It was the Shockers’ first win over a No. 1 team since 1963 and sent them to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2006.
Quote: “This feeling is unimaginable,” Wichita State freshman Ron Baker told The Wichita Eagle.
Sparking the season
Play: Malcolm Armstead made a jumper with 3.8 seconds remaining to lift the Shockers to a 53-51 win over Virginia Commonwealth in Wichita State’s second game of the season.
Why it mattered: It was a confidence-booster for Wichita State, which featured four starters playing their first road games for the Shockers. Plus, Wichita State had lost to VCU twice in the previous two years, including in the 2012 NCAA tournament.
Quote: “(Coach Gregg) Marshall warned us that we were going to handle adversity before the game, and he brought it up again on the bench,” Baker told The Wichita Eagle. “He challenged us as a unit to attack the adversity and get through it.”
Respectable road win
Play: Cleanthony Early made a 3-pointer with 4.8 seconds remaining to push the Shockers past Illinois State 68-67.
Why it mattered: The Shockers had lost three of their previous four road games before winning at Normal on Feb. 17. The victory kept them ahead of Creighton in the race for the Missouri Valley Conference title.
Quote: “We had hope the whole time,” Armstead told The Wichita Eagle. “We never felt down. If we felt that way, we wouldn’t have come out with this win.”