When: 7:00 PM EST, Tuesday, March 26th, 2019
Where: Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, Bloomington, Indiana
How to watch: ESPN
Indiana will take the floor at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall for the final time this season, welcoming in the visiting Wichita State Shockers with a NIT final four berth on the line. Both teams have played much better basketball of late, with the Hoosiers winning 6 of their last 7 contests and the Shockers winning 9 of their last 10.
Wichita State missed out on the tournament for the first time since 2011, with their consolation prize being a 6th seed in the NIT. However, the Shockers have been impressive thus far in the tournament, knocking off both Furman and Clemson on the road to earn their spot in the Quarterfinals.
The Shockers are led by senior forward Markis McDuffie, who leads the team in scoring at 18.3 per game. McDuffie can score in a variety of ways, and he does a tremendous job of drawing fouls, averaging over 5 attempts per game from the free throw line where he is an 82% shooter.
The only other Shocker to average in double figures is senior point guard Samajee Haynes-Jones, who adds 11.9 points per game. He’s struggled with his efficiency this season, shooting just 36.2% from the field and just 30.2% from behind the arc.
On the inside the Shockers rely on big man Jaime Echenique, who adds 9.3 ponts and 5.8 rebounds in just 18.3 minutes per game. Echenique has good size at 6’11, and he is a dangerous shot blocking presence, averaging 1.4 blocked shots per game. Echenique is coming off one of his best performances of the season, recording 18 points in just 21 minutes in a road victory over Clemson.
One of the major reasons for Wichita State’s struggles this season has been their lack of offensive production, where the Shockers sit at just 316th in the country in effective field goal percentage. They have been able to mitigate their struggles on that end with solid defense, coming in at 45th in the country in defensive effective field percentage, and with strong production on the offensive glass, where they also rank 4th in offensive rebounding percentage.
Another interesting thing to look out for on Tuesday night will be the crowd the Hoosiers are able to gather. Over 12,000 fans were in attendance on Saturday afternoon to watch the Hoosiers take down Arkansas, and Archie Miller credited the energy of the crowd as one of the reasons Indiana was able to hold off the Razorbacks.
A win on Tuesday night would send the Hoosiers to Madison Square Garden to face the winner of Lipscomb and NC State, putting the Hoosiers just two victories away from an NIT championship. Though Indiana’s season has been a disappointment, the Hoosiers have an opportunity to end things on a positive note and continue their run in the NIT.
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