Marshall knocks off Wichita State for first NCAA Tournament win ever

Marshall head coach Dan D'Antoni directs his team during the second half of the Conference USA Men's Basketball Championship Game against Western Kentucky in Frisco Texas Saturday

The Thundering Herd (25-10), coached by Dan D'Antoni - the older brother of Houston Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni - never looked intimidated despite going against a program that has advanced to the round of 32 each of the past five seasons.

Prior to Friday morning's tip-off between Wichita State and Marshall in San Diego, there was excitement in the air for fans back home and the fans who made the trip west. "We closed out the game".

In a tightly-contested game, the No. 4-seeded Shockers fell to No. 13-seeded Marshall 81-75. He also had a team-high four assists. "He did it all year long".

Penava finished with 16 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks, and was joined in double figures by junior guard C.J. Burks (13 points) and redshirt freshman forward Jannson Williams (10 points).

The lead changed 14 times and was tied six times. Landry Shamet missed the front end of a one-and-one with 28.9 seconds and the Shockers then missed two 3-point attempts in the next 12 seconds before turning the ball over.

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While Elmore electrified the arena and nation with an array of spin moves, deep 3s and dazzling passes, there were a pair of alley-oops in the first half that generated buzz on social media.

Marshall's last NCAA tournament appearance came in 1987 but was later vacated, and the Thundering Herd had just one win in any non-conference postseason tournament - over Western Carolina in the 2010 CollegeInsider.com Tournament - since 1967. Then, Watson elevated for a hard two-handed alley-oop on a pass from Elmore that made it 26-21 with 6:54 left of the first half. 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.

The NCAA sent a random assortment of teams to San Diego for the tournament this time.

"This team we have here", Watson said, "will be a team that Marshall will always remember".

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