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2015 NCAA Tournament recap: Wichita State survives Indiana to set up matchup with Kansas

Indiana couldn't stop the dream from happening. Wichita State is set to play Kansas after holding on against the Hoosiers on Friday.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Wichita State knew better than to look ahead to Kansas, but maybe the thought was in the back of their heads at points Friday.

Indiana looked ready to eat the Shocker dreams. They would not back down, they didn't flinch in the face of the defense.

And they had Ron Baker missing shots like it was his job.

Except they kept forgetting about a little guy named Fred VanVleet. Can we talk about his greatness some more? He was only 9-for-18 from the field. He was only 9-for-10 from the free throw line. He only scored 27 points, found time to make four assists, and added his typical two steals to the mix.

It is OK, Indiana, we forgive you for forgetting about him. Everyone seems to forget about him when Wichita State isn't winning championships. Yet, he is the constant force that drives this team forward.

And VanVleet made sure that Wichita would get its matchup with Kansas on Sunday by leading his team to an 81-76 win.

To be sure, this wasn't great Wichita State basketball, at least not on the offensive end. Baker made just three of his 13 shots. Darius Carter went 3-for-9. It was painful to watch, yet it made VanVleet's moments of greatness shine that much brighter.

And thankfully the refs had a quick whistle, sending Wichita State to the line 34 times in the game (and Indiana got 20 shots as well). The Shockers calmly knocked down 29 of them to seal the win.

You can guarantee that Gregg Marshall won't be happy with this performance though. His first words to his team after letting them celebrate for 10 minutes will be that the same performance won't beat the Jayhawks, not by a long shot.

Of course there will be nervous energy Sunday. The game will probably start sloppy, but it won't stay that way, not if Marshall has his way.

Despite all that didn't quite go according to plan, there are some things that Wichita State can take away from this one. Zach Brown, who had made just 19 baskets all season, hit four of his eight shots against Indiana, three coming during an important stretch in the middle of the second half. Shaq Morris still picked up four fouls, but he keeps looking more confident on the floor.

And Ron Baker scored just six point away from the free throw line and the team still lit up 81 points.

It wasn't perfect, but it was angry. And it will lead to the matchup everyone is waiting for.

Bring on Kansas.