In 2013-14, Marshall earned AP Coach of the Year honors as Shockers finished the regular season undefeated and earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament before being upset by No. 8 Kentucky in the round of 32.
“That’s insane”, a beaming Monk said afterward, shaking his head. Unfortunately, after pulling off a hard-fought win over Dayton in the first round, Wichita State – with its 31-4 record – was forced to face a risky and talented Kentucky in only the second round, and it couldn’t quite get over the hump in what proved to be, essentially, an even game.
With a chance to take the lead for the Shockers, Markis McDuffie had his shot rejected by Monk, who secured the rebound and was fouled.
“I think I was supposed to come off the ball screen or something like that”, admitted McDuffie.
“Really proud of the guys”, Calipari said. But some of those moments – though tremendous and instrumental for us to win – made fans want to pull their hair out.
The dream of a regional that includes the programs of Rupp, Smith and Wooden remained alive only after Wichita State threatened to derail it.
She made fun of Kentucky players, heckled Wildcats coach John Calipari and was f-bombing so much, you’d have thought she was getting paid for saying the f-word. On Sunday, Monk found himself describing an outcome-impacting defensive play for, he said, the first time in his life. She said she wasn’t too anxious about the last time the Shockers and Wildcats met. “If it’s my turn, I do it. Malik hit a big 3 off the dribble, and he knocked down clutch free throws”. “I travel with the team a lot, so I’m very excited to go to Memphis. I was able to get the block”. “I was hoping that as the game went on we could keep up with their big men”.
While UK heroes were many, it was Monk who supplied many of UK’s late answers.
During a very unconventional stretch for United Kingdom, the team played without a freshman on the court and instead rolled out a lineup compromised of sophomores Isaiah Briscoe and Isaac Humphries along with the team’s three seniors – Derek Willis, Dominique Hawkins and Mychal Mulder.
As has been well chronicled, Monk entered Sunday’s game locked in a shooting funk.
If the Wildcats play with the same grit they displayed Sunday in Indianapolis, it won’t matter if the game is played on the moon.
Kentucky 65, Wichita State 62. The Wildcats earned a No. 2 seed, and despite the lofty ranking, the committee placed nearly nothing but land mines in their path.
“That wasn’t the (play) call”, Monk said. “But I didn’t do what I was supposed to do in the end. So I wish we had that to do over again, but we don’t”. Arguments based on spreadsheets and calculators can prove that the Shockers deserved that 10 seed they received.
Adebayo had the savvy and quickness to abandon Wichita’s Conner Frankamp and then lunge forward to make the play. “He was good for us tonight”. The Cats’ season is still alive.
I wish I knew the answer to stop these people short of a tranquilizer dart, but it is what it is. “Made a big-time block”, he said.
I’m not saying a normal fan doesn’t have to just sit there like they’re at an opera.