The No. 4 seed Wichita State Shockers (25-7) take on the No. 13 seed Marshall (24-10) in the First Round of the East Region. The game will be played at the Viejas Arena in San Diego on Friday. The start time is 1:30 p.m. ET.
Preview: Wichita State started the season as a heavy favorite to make a run in the NCAA tournament in 2018. With a solid corps of returning starters, the Shockers suffered a few close defeats, but still managed to rack up 25 wins in a surprisingly tough American conference.
Marshall finished its regular season with a huge win over then-No. 24 Middle Tennessee, the team's first win over a top-25 opponent since 2011. The Thundering Herd kept the momentum going throughout the Conference-USA Tournament en route to a 67-66 win over Western Kentucky to punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament.
Date: Friday, March 16
Time: 1:30 p.m. ET
TV Channel: TNT
Location: Viejas Arena in San Diego, Ca.
Announcers: Carter Blackburn, Debbie Antonelli, and John Schriffen
Opening Betting Line: Wichita State -12, per 5Dimes.
This is Wichita State's 15th NCAA Tournament appearance. The Shockers have made every tournament since 2012 and have advanced past the first round in each of the past five NCAA tournaments. Wichita State lost to Kentucky in last year's tournament.
This is Marshall's sixth NCAA Tournament appearance ever, and the first in the past 31 years. They appeared in the tournament in 1956, 1972, and then three times in the mid-1980's.
Prediction: Wichita State is the superior program. Under Gregg Marshall, the Shockers have found plenty of success in the NCAA tournament, and have the necessary experience to avoid an upset in the first round. Wichita State wins.