Wichita State Shockers (24-8) vs. Seton Hall Pirates (18-11).
When: Thursday, 12:20 p.m. ET
Where: Greensboro, N.C.
1. We've Got Spirit, Yes We Do. But We Have No Football, How 'Bout You? Since the end of the 1986 football season, WSU hoops has been the primary show in town. And it shows. In head coach Mark Turgeon's first year, 00-01, WSU finished 9-19 and still drew 8,114 fans per home game, good for 61st in NCAA Division-I. It helps that they're the only show in town. Once football season wraps up, the Shockers compete only with the Wichita Thunder hockey team. Attendance keeps getting better, with 10,325 per home game in 04-05 (22-10 record), good for 39th in the nation. Maybe it's good there's no football team.
2. Ah, The Shocker. The mascot, WuShock, is in fact a shock of wheat. Though the two-plus-one hand signal is prevalent in the crowd and on the sidelines (filthy-minded spirit squad), the two are not related. Sure, a Jayhawk might not be real, but if it was, it'd have legs. A shock of wheat? Not so much.
3. Almost Only Counts In Horseshoes And Hand Grenades. There's a long list of close calls in WSU hoops history. Taj Gray (Oklahoma) was recruited by and turned down his hometown university, as did Brandon Polk (Butler). Korleone Young decided college wasn't for him (or was it the other way around?). Maurice Evans, now a key off the bench for Detroit, is the only current NBA player to attend WSU. And he transferred to Texas. Ryan Gomes (Providence) and Danillo Pinnock (GW) were also pursued to no avail. But Bill Parcells did go here. — Matt McNabb
1. God Really Is On Their Side. As a Catholic university with a priest at one end of the bench and a devout Baptist coach on the sideline who refers to Scripture verses on the back of his clipboard during timeouts, Seton Hall puts a ton of faith in the man upstairs. He must have helped: Big East coaches picked the Pirates to finish 15th out of 16 teams in the conference this season, but the good Lord saw it fit to carry them to the Promised Bracket.
2. They Name Buildings After Corporate Thieves. Well, not really. In 1997, a brand new, state-of-the-art, fully wired academic building was named Kozlowski Hall, after Seton Hall graduate and Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski. Eight years later, Kozlowski was sentenced to 25 years for fraud against his company's shareholders in the amount of $400 million, and the building was renamed Jubilee Hall. The campus gym was once named after alumnus Robert Brennan, later convicted for money laundering.
3. Rock Lives There. When New York's WXRK-FM 92.3 (Howard Stern's former station) changed its format from mostly-rock to all-talk, Seton Hall's WSOU 89.5 became the only full time rock station in the NYC market. A former heavy metal station that moved towards eclectic modern rock after pressure from the administration, WSOU is partially responsible for the inundation of New Jersey emo bands: They were the first to play My Chemical Romance. — Rob Iracane