Monday, December 18, 2017
Sports

34-0 Shockers pay no mind to doubts

ST. LOUIS — Wichita State's still perfect. And proudly awaiting a No.  1 seed.

After the nation's only unbeaten made another put-away run in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament title game, guard Fred VanVleet fired back at those who cast aspersions on a schedule ranked 113th in the nation.

"You can debate what you want to debate. Facts are facts, truth is truth," VanVleet, the MVC player of the year, said after the second-ranked Shockers beat Indiana State 83-69 Sunday to go to 34-0. "We're not into debating how good or great we are or how bad somebody else is.

"That's for barber shop talk and coffee table arguments. We're not into that stuff. If they feel that way, it's on them. And nobody that's arguing about it is on the selection committee."

Players wore championship T-shirts that proclaimed Wichita State the winner on the front but on the back had a bracket with Indiana State winning.

"They'll get us the right ones eventually," guard Ron Baker said.

Over the past two days of the tournament, coach Gregg Marshall predicted a return trip to St. Louis for the second and third rounds of the NCAA Tournament Midwest Region. "We know the routine, we know the hotel. There won't be any ooh, aah moments," he said. "It will be just business as usual."

VanVleet scored 22, including several key baskets late, and the Shockers got their typical strong ensemble effort.

TERPS UPSET CAVS: Maryland closed out its 61st and final ACC regular season in stunning fashion, outlasting No. 5 Virginia 75-69 in overtime to end a 13-game winning streak by the Cavaliers (25-6, 16-2 ACC).

After blowing a seemingly secure lead in the closing seconds of regulation, the Terrapins (17-14, 9-9) never trailed in OT in front of an emotional sellout crowd of 17,950 at the school's final home game in a conference it joined as a charter member in 1953. The Terrapins play in the Big Ten next season.

"Today wasn't just an ordinary game. It was a lot of things," Terrapins coach Mark Turgeon said. "We always play for Maryland, but today we played for former players, former coaches, all our fans."

NEBRASKA 77, NO. 9 WIS. 68: Shavon Shields and Terran Petteway scored 26 each for the host Cornhuskers (19-11, 11-7 Big Ten), who boosted their NCAA Tournament hopes and dented the chance at a No. 1 seed for the Badgers (25-6, 12-6).

NO. 17 ST. LOUIS 64, UMASS 62: Jordair Jett scored on a driving layup with three seconds left, and the visiting Billikens (26-5, 13-3 A-10) halted a three-game losing skid to clinch the league's regular-season title outright for a second straight season.

OHIO ST. 69, NO. 22 MICH. ST. 67: LaQuinton Ross scored 22 and Aaron Craft added 12, including a late free throw, as the host Buckeyes handed the Spartans (23-8, 12-6 Big Ten) their seventh loss in 11 games.

A-SUN: Langston Hall and Anthony White scored 15 each, and second-seeded Mercer (26-8) earned its first NCAA Tournament berth since 1985, beating top-seeded Florida Gulf Coast (22-12) 68-60 in the championship game in Fort Myers.

BIG SOUTH: Warren Gillis had 22 points and Josh Cameron 19 to lift No. 1 South seed Coastal Carolina (21-12) to its first NCAA trip in 21 years with a 76-61 victory over No. 4 South seed Winthrop (20-13) in Conway, S.C.

SSC: Third-seeded Tampa (20-9) lost 84-74 to top-seeded Florida Southern in the Sunshine State Conference tournament final in Kissimmee. The Spartans and Saint Leo received at-large berths to the NCAA Division II Tournament in the South Region. No. 2 seed Saint Leo will open against West Alabama and No. 5 seed Tampa against North Alabama on Saturday. In other league news, Saint Leo senior guard Jerrel Harris was named All-SSC first team.

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