While the season did not end the way he wanted it to, the accolades continue to roll in for Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall.
Marshall, whose Shockers finished the season with a 35-1 record, was named UPS Division I National Coach of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). Marshall has now coaches seven seasons at Wichita State, winning 174 games and boasting a winning percentage of 71%. Also a finalist for the Naismith Coach of the Year award, Marshall has already been named national Coach of the Year by the USBWA.
Wichita State became the first team to enter the NCAA tournament undefeated since UNLV did so in 1991, with their season coming to an end with a two-point loss to No. 8 Kentucky in the round of 32. Since that result the Wildcats have gone on to reach the Final Four, beating two other 2013 Final Four participants (Louisville and Michigan) in the Midwest regional.
Also honored by the NABC were Kim Anderson, who led his Central Missouri team to a Division II national title, and Wisconsin-Whitewater head coach Pat Miller.
Like Anderson Miller’s team won a national title (Division III), with a Quardell Young layup with nine tenths of a second remaining giving the Warhawks a 75-73 win over Williams College in the title game.
Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.
The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.
It wasn’t pretty.
And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.
Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.
The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.
But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.
Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: