Marshall will play Wichita St. in NCAA
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Set for its first NCAA appearance in 31 years, the Marshall Thundering Herd men’s basketball team will open up the NCAA Tournament as a No. 13 seed and face the No. 4 Wichita State Shockers in San Diego at 1:30 p.m. ET on Friday.
The game will be broadcasted on TNT. Carter Blackburn and Debbie Antonelli will handle play-by-play and color, while John Schriffen will be the game’s reporter.
“We’re really excited about this opportunity,” head coach Dan D’Antoni said. “It gives us a chance to represent the school and the state on a national level. We’re going to see how far we can go and I hope everyone enjoys the ride.”
Marshall has now made the field of 68 for the first time in three decades, and its 13 seed is the second time it has earned that seed since the last time it was in the NCAA Tournament during the 1986-87 season.
Marshall is making its sixth appearance in the NCAA Tournament, where it is 0-5 all-time in the tournament.
D’Antoni will be making his first trip to the dance in his fourth year at the helm of the program. The Herd currently stands at 24-10 and finished the conference slate with a record of 12-6.
The Thundering Herd is led by a trio of juniors Jon Elmore, C.J. Burks and Ajdin Penava.
Elmore, the Conference USA Tournament MVP, leads the league in scoring (22.8) and assists (6.9). The junior is a three-time C-USA Player of the Week after winning it for the weeks of Nov. 13, Dec. 4 and Feb. 26. The junior is the lone player to average 22 points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists since Penny Hardaway recorded those numbers during the 1992-93 season.
As it stands, Elmore leads the nation in triple-doubles (two), one of two players in the nation to be in the top 10 in both points (No. 8) and assists (No. 10) and is the first player in C-USA history to lead the conference in points and assists in consecutive years.
Marshall will meet Wichita State for the third time in series history, but the two sides have not met in over seven decades, as the last time they faced off was during the 1941-42 season.
Even though the teams do not have much history, the staff does, as the Shockers’ head coach, Gregg Marshall, was an assistant coach at MU from 1996-98 and his assistant coach, Donnie Jones, was the head coach for the Herd from 2007-10.
While as the head coach of Marshall, Jones had an overall record of 55-41, while Greg White, who Gregg Marshall served under, led the Thundering Herd to an overall record of 31-25 in the Southern Conference.
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