This wasn't 1981. This was better.
Seventh-seeded Wichita State didn't need a miracle shot from deep or an NBA front line to dispatch second-seeded Kansas, 78-65, Sunday in the NCAA Midwest Regional at CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb.
The Shockers reprised their 1981 NCAA win with a physical beatdown of the Jayhawks, sending the Shockers into the Sweet 16 and their fans into orbit with a win over the school that won't offer them the respect of a regular-season game.
Wichita State (30-4) will play Notre Dame Thursday in the regional semifinal in Cleveland. Kansas (27-9) lost in the tournament's first weekend for the second straight season.
The Shockers won, 66-65, in 1981 in New Orleans and KU dominated the series, such as it was, until it ended in 1993. When the Shockers surged, they wanted to play. Kansas didn't.
Why not? The scene in Omaha provided the answer.
Kellen Marshall unveiled a yellow shirt reading "Kings of Kansas." Kansas fans departed before the final horn. Shockers fans sang out "You don't want to go to war with the Shockers." Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall danced to the tune, pointed at the band and hugged Evan Wessel.
Fred VanVleet cupped his ear and asked the crowd for more noise. Wessel and Tekele Cotton hugged at mid-court and pointed to the crowd. University president John Bardo stood on the court and pumped his fist to the Shockers fans. The crowd chanted "Evan Wessel, Evan Wessel."
The Shockers made 10 of 20 three-pointers with Wessel making four of six to score 12 points. Cotton led WSU with 19 and VanVleet added 17. Perry Ellis and Devonte Graham led Kansas with 17. The Jayhawks shot six of 21 from three-point range and committed 14 turnovers.
Wichita State led by 29-26 at halftime and controlled most of the second half.
The Jayhawks put pressure on WSU when they cut the lead to 63-55 on a steal and basket by Frank Mason.
The Shockers flicked that pressure away with a series of layups. They flew through a press to get Darius Carter a layup for a 65-55 lead. VanVleet ran the pick and roll to find Carter for another layup. Cotton stole the ball and rushed in for another layup and a 69-57 lead. After the basket, VanVleet gathered the Shockers at midcourt for what looked like instructions on how to finish off one of biggest wins in school history.
West Virginia 69, Maryland 59 - Devin Williams had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and the Mountaineers scored 16 second-chance points to beat fourth-seeded Maryland in Columbus, Ohio.
Gary Browne scored 14 points and Daxter Miles Jr. had 12 as West Virginia advanced to the second weekend of the tournament for the first time since 2010, when it went all the way to the Final Four.
Melo Trimble had 15 points for Maryland (28-7), but sat on the bench for the final 8 minutes, 25 seconds after he was hurt for the third time in the game.
Maryland was trying to advance to the round of 16 for the first time since 2003 - a year after the Terps won the national championship under coach Gary Williams.
The teams were locked in a close battle until West Virginia used its gritty pressure defense and physical play to pull away from the Terrapins.
A showdown with top-ranked Kentucky awaits in the Sweet 16. The fifth-seeded Mountaineers (25-9) will take on the undefeated Wildcats on Thursday night in the Midwest Regional semifinals in Cleveland.
Irish top Bulldogs in OT
Notre Dame coach Mike Brey's calls to his mother Betty during the season focused little on her son's well-being and more on the state of his team.
"Very rarely did I get 'Hey, Mike, how you doing?"' Brey said. "It's like 'Have you got them ready? Are they ready? I think we can beat Duke, Mike.' It's unbelievable. She was intense."
It came with the territory for Betty Brey Mullen, an Olympic swimmer who briefly held a butterfly world record and instilled in her three children the tenacity they carry with them. Brey relied on it heavily on Saturday night, guiding the Irish to a thrilling 67-64 win over in-state rival Butler in the NCAA tournament and a spot in the Sweet 16.
Brey took the floor just hours after Betty died in Florida at the age of 84 following a heart attack. If Brey is being honest, he still was in shock at tip-off but responded by doing what he's done since he slipped out of swimming practice for basketball camp when he was 9: He hung in there.
"It was kind of a tribute to her," Brey said. "It was really a special night."
One that ended with the surging Irish (31-5) in the regional semifinals for the first time since 2003.
While Notre Dame rejoiced in the locker room, its coach made plans to travel to Florida on Sunday to celebrate his mother's life and watch Wichita State and Kansas play. The winner faces the Irish on Thursday in Cleveland.