The Parthenon

Selection Sunday viewing party draws large crowd

Junior+guard+Jon+Elmore+and+freshman+guard+Jarrod+West+celebrate+during+Marshall%27s+Selection+Sunday+viewing+party.
Junior guard Jon Elmore and freshman guard Jarrod West celebrate during Marshall's Selection Sunday viewing party.

Junior guard Jon Elmore and freshman guard Jarrod West celebrate during Marshall's Selection Sunday viewing party.

Courtney Andrews

Courtney Andrews

Junior guard Jon Elmore and freshman guard Jarrod West celebrate during Marshall's Selection Sunday viewing party.

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Marshall Athletics invited the public to the Henderson Center Sunday evening to celebrate Herd men’s hoops’ Conference USA title and watch the selection show that determined the Thundering Herd’s NCAA Tournament destiny in the opening round.

About 30 minutes into the show, Marshall was announced as the 13 seed in the East Region, and the Henderson Center erupted in cheers. Players and fans hugged and high-fived each other, as cheering continued for minutes after the announcement. As the 13 seed, the Herd is set to match up against the Wichita State Shockers, the four seed, Friday at 1:30 p.m. EST at Viejas Arena in San Diego, California.

“This is awesome, man,” freshman guard Jarrod West said. “These fans are great. They came and supported us all year. They’ve come to every game and packed this gym. I’m glad they got to come here and enjoy this all with us.”

The lower bowl of the Henderson Center’s south side was filled to capacity with viewers. Herd faithful were buzzing with anticipation while watching the NCAA selection committee’s decision. As the seeds were announced, the crowd awaited Marshall’s fate, uttering heavy exhales upon mention of other potential seeds.

As the selection show began, head coach Dan D’Antoni addressed the crowd, and fans chanted “we are Marshall” and “let’s go, Herd.” The crowd erupted with cheers at the mention of Marshall being announced among the 32 automatic tournament bids that went to conference tournament champions.

“This is a great feeling,” junior forward Ajdin Penava said. “This is definitely something I’d like to get used to.”

The Shockers were 24-6 (14-4 in-conference) in the regular season, and lost to the University of Houston in the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference Tournament. This season, Wichita State had notable road wins against then No. 5 Cincinnati and No. 16 Baylor.

“We’re looking forward to (the tournament),” junior guard Jon Elmore said. “We’re going in confident. We know what we’re capable of, so we like our chances.”

Wichita State’s scoring leaders are redshirt sophomore guard Landry Shamet (15 points per game) and redshirt senior center Shaquille Morris (14 points per game).

“Wichita’s a good team,” West said. “They got a lot of good guards, a lot of good pieces.”

With the 13 seed, the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook set the Herd as a 12-point underdog against the Shockers.

“(Being the underdog) was our story from the beginning of the season,” Penava said. “So, we already got used to it. We know what to do. Just got to go out there and play our best. Bring energy and effort, and our game will speak for us.”

Courtney Andrews can be contacted at [email protected]

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