La Salle was bounced from the NCAA tournament before they had a shot at the glory. It was a Sweet 16 matchup with Wichita State, and the Shockers dominated the Staples Center floor, while the Explorers routed their next travel destination back to north Philly.
Still, as the No. 13 seed in the West region, La Salle was pressing to become the first of its kind to make it to the Elite Eight. In turn, Wichita State dances to the next round as the first No. 9 seed to do it since Boston College in 1994 (they beat the defending champs North Carolina team that had Rasheed Wallace, Jerry Stackhouse, Eric Montross and Jeff McInnis).
This was the Cinderella story that hadn’t consumed us because of the wreck shop we’ve seen from Florida Gulf Coast – the flair, the transcendence, the audacity. Or maybe it’s because we’re trying to sidestep this “Cinderella” rhetoric with the college game being as parity-driven as it is.
Either way, La Salle is going home as an afterthought in a developing story that still has two underdog teams left in the tournament. History will marvel at Florida Gulf Coast. Wichita State took down No. 1 seed Gonzaga and yesterday’s longshot.
Wichita State is just plain good. Nothing shocking about them getting to Final Four if they do so.
— John Walters (@jdubs88) March 29, 2013