Monday morning meant Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall was back to work in his office at Koch Arena, which was not out of the ordinary.
It’s everything else that might take some getting used to.
Marshall, following a wild 36 hours in which he led the Shockers to their first Final Four since 1965, hopped on a red-eye flight with his team back to Wichita from Los Angeles, had CBS “basically set up a TV studio in his basement” on Sunday afternoon, and seemed refreshed as he started his work week leading up to WSU’s national semifinal against Louisville on Saturday in Atlanta.
The game will tip off at 5:09 p.m. in the Georgia Dome. Michigan will play Syracuse in the other national semifinal, following the WSU game.
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“I got back to my house around 5 a.m. and I knew I was going to be tired and needed to recharge, so I had (CBS) come to the house and they basically set up a TV studio in my basement,” Marshall said. “I watched the (Duke-Louisville) game at the house ... yesterday was just a really leisurely day, a beautiful day and I just spent some time enjoying it. I got some rest last night and now I’m back at it in the office and getting back to work.”
Marshall and senior guard Malcolm Armstead conducted a nationally-televised interview during halftime of Sunday’s Midwest Regional final between Louisville and Duke.
The Shockers beat Ohio State 70-66 in Sunday’s West Regional final then took a late-night plane ride back to Wichita.
“We really enjoyed the plane ride but I’m not sure why the (red-eye) was necessary for us to come back so early in the morning,” Marshall said. “But one thing that was really neat was that we had hundreds of people meeting us at the airport and at Koch Arena at 3:30 or 4 o’clock in the morning.”
Marshall said sleep was hard to come by when he first got back, but within 24 hours had completely put his focus on Louisville.
“I think it’s interesting that we’re facing Louisville because that’s one of the teams I pointed to before the tournament, along with Kansas, that had suffered that same type of blip, of losing a couple of games in a row, that we did during the season,” Marshall said. “(Louisville guard) Russ Smith is pretty fast. (Louisville guard) Peyton Siva is pretty fast.”
Marshall also downplayed the talk of the Shockers being a Cinderella team in the tournament, something he has done consistently over the last two weeks as Wichita State took down Pittsburgh and No. 1-seed Gonzaga in Salt Lake City, then La Salle and No. 2-seed Ohio State in Los Angeles.
“I answered this on the podium (in Los Angeles), but Cinderella didn’t find four glass slippers, she found one,” Marshall said. “Cinderella usually wins one or two games, Cinderella doesn’t get to the point where you’re good enough to win it all. There’s no longer a Cinderella factor.”
Marshall said the Shockers’ run has been validation for what he thought his team was capable of, but also pointed out there was more to play for.
“We’ve proved we belong,” Marshall said. “And I think we’re better as an underdog, when nothing’s expected. We’re underdogs, which we’ll clearly be on Saturday, and I think that’s when we’re at our best.”