Thousands pack Koch Arena to welcome Shockers home

WSU men's basketball team is welcomed back home to Wichita with a rally at Koch Arena, Apr. 7, 2013 (Photo: Mikayla Lewis)

WICHITA, Kansas (AP) — The Shockers are back in Wichita after their first trip to the Final Four since 1965.

Several thousand screaming fans turned out Sunday to welcome home the exhausted players after their 72-68 loss to Louisville.

Coach Gregg Marshall says the team had been on an “incredible journey” and that the fans had been “the wind in our sails.” He praised the team for being “tenacious” and “hard working” and persevering through “major adversity.”

Leading scorer Cleanthony Early told fans the team was going to “commit to work hard and try to get better for next season.” And teammate Chadrack Lufile praised the fans, saying “this wouldn’t be possible without you all.”

Wichita State says it will host another celebration in about a week.

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