Wichita State’s stunning loss to No. 13 seed Marshall was the big early storyline of Friday afternoon’s NCAA tournament action.
The Shockers failed to reach the Round of 32 for the first time since 2012 as the Thundering Herd won their first NCAA tournament game in program history. Marshall guard Jon Elmore became an early NCAA tournament darling as many fans were excited to see another No. 4 seed lose in the first round.
Illinois State head coach Dan Muller was also happy to see Wichita State fall in the upset.
As former conference rivals in the Missouri Valley Conference, the Redbirds were constantly trying to overtake the Shockers for league supremacy and the Valley’s NCAA tournament autobid. Muller is also one of the more vocal coaches in the country when it comes to social media. He pleaded with power conference teams for a home-and-home series for Illinois State and got it thanks to an impassioned rant on Twitter. Muller has never been afraid to voice his opinion.
And now that Wichita State moved out of the Valley and into the bigger, multi-bid American Athletic Conference this season, Muller was more than delighted to take a jab at the Shockers after the NCAA tournament loss to Marshall.
With Loyola taking down No. 6 seed Miami for an upset win on Thursday afternoon, Muller had additional confidence knowing the Missouri Valley Conference already won a game in the Round of 64. Loyola’s win means the Missouri Valley Conference is headed to the Round of 32 for the seventh consecutive year.
Most of those Valley NCAA Tournament wins came from Wichita State’s dominant run over the last several years. Muller appears optimistic that the Valley is going to be fine without its former powerhouse.