Wichita State, Notre Dame meet in Maui final (Nov 22, 2017)

Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall has achieved an undefeated regular season and a Final Four appearance but has never led the Shockers to the championship of a marquee, eight-team, in-season tournament.

He has that opportunity Wednesday when No. 6 Wichita State (4-0) will play No. 13 Notre Dame (5-0) in the title game of the Maui Invitational in Lahaina, Hawaii.

Wichita State defeated Marquette 80-66 in one semifinal Tuesday, and Notre Dame routed LSU 92-53 in the other.

It will be the Shockers’ first eight-team championship game since 1963, when they won the All-College Tournament in Oklahoma City.

Wichita State senior reserve guard Rashard Kelly, when asked what a Maui Invitational title would mean to him, turned to Marshall on the interview podium and asked: “You have a championship here yet?”

“I’ve never had a championship here, Rashard,” Marshall said in a loud tone.

“All right, then it would mean the world to us,” Kelly said with a laugh.

Wichita State’s Landry Shamet scored 19 points against Marquette, including 10 in the final four minutes to seal the win. Conner Frankamp (13 points), Shaquille Morris (11), and Austin Reaves (10) also scored in double figures.

Kelly was brought to the interview room because of his six points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and three blocks off the bench. His play exemplifies the kind of depth Marshall possesses.

“I just have to play and bring the same mindset I do every day and contribute and be that glue guy,” Kelly said about being a reserve instead of a starter. “We have great scorers on our team and we have great guys that can shoot the ball. I just have to find a different way to contribute.”

Important to Marshall was Wichita State rebounding almost 85 percent of Marquette’s misses. The Shockers finished with a 42-25 advantage on the glass.

“The ideal situation for us is to force a tough, contested shot, then everybody checks out and the ball hits the floor and the guards can swoop in and get it,” Marshall said.

Notre Dame’s backcourt duo of T.J. Gibbs and Matt Farrell dominated LSU. Gibbs finished with 26 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field, including 6-of-10 from 3-point range. Farrell had 17 points and seven assists.

Irish forward Bonzie Colson posted a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, and he also had five steals. Reserve John Mooney contributed nine points and six assists.

“We’re sharing the ball and playing as well as we can right now as a team,” said Gibbs, whose team had 18 assists and only six turnovers against the Tigers.

The Wichita State-Notre Dame matchup is a rematch of a 2015 Sweet 16 game won by the Fighting Irish 81-70.

When Gibbs was told the Shockers might be motivated by that outcome, he said, “We definitely know winning this thing is important. Since we were coming here, we’ve been on a mission. It’s about coming together and playing strong. We’re ready.”