The No. 5 seeded Wichita St. Shockers came back from a 12-point halftime deficit against No. 12 seeded VCU Rams, but they could not complete the comeback as they fell 62-59. With the loss Wichita State became the first higher seed to fall on the first day of the NCAA Tournament.
Wichita state took their first lead in the second half on a three-pointer by Toure' Murry with 2:05 left to go up 59-57, but that three-point basket was the last points that Wichita State would score. VCU's Bradford Burgess would counter with a three-pointer of his own to go up 60-59 and Darius Theus sealed the game on a layup by Darius Theus to give VCU a 62-59. Wichita State's Garrett Stutz had a good look but his three-point attempt with two seconds left did not fall.
Wichita State's offense struggled as they made only 38 percent of their shots, and while they had three players in double figures with Joe Ragland leading the way with 15 points, but that was not enough to get the win.
The No. 12 seeded VCU Rams are poised to be the first upset of the day as they lead the No. 5 Wichita St. Shockers 34-25 at the half. For most of the first half this game was a close, but over the last five minutes of the half Wichita State went on a cold streak and was outscored 13-1.
The defense for VCU has been strong as they have held Wichita State to 29 percent shooting from the field and 1-of-10 from three-point range. VCU has not done much better a they are shooting 38 percent from the field and also are struggling from beyond the arc as they have made only 3-of-13.
Carl Hall has come off the bench and is leading Wichita State with six points and nine rebounds, but starters Toure' Murry and Ben Smith have each chipped in with five points each. VCU's Bradford Burgess is leading all scorers with 13 points.
The Wichita State Shockers look to build on last season's NIT championship when they open second-round play in the NCAA Tournament against the VCU Rams.
The Rams are no strangers to tournament success becoming just the third No. 11 seed ever to reach the Final Four last season. VCU is a 12 seed this time around and earned their second consecutive trip to the Big Dance by edging Drexel in the CAA Conference Tournament final.
Wichita State hasn't been to the NCAA Tournament since 2006 when it earned a trip to the regional semifinals. The Shockers have a 27-5 record, won the Missouri Valley regular season title but fell in the conference tournament to Illinois State.
VCU defeated Wichita State 68-67 last season in the only previous meeting between the two schools.