Wichita State, Marshall meet 48 years after plane crashes
By JOHN RABY and DAVE SKRETTA AP Sports Writers
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - In October 1970, one of two planes carrying the Wichita State football team to a game at Utah State crashed in Colorado, killing 31 people.
Six weeks later, the plane carrying the Marshall University football team crashed near its West Virginia campus, killing all 75 people aboard.
On Friday, the two schools forever linked by tragedy will meet in the NCAA men's basketball tournament. Marshall and Wichita State have never before played in men's basketball, and the meeting has brought back painful memories of the crashes 48 years ago. Marshall coach Dan D'Antoni was an assistant with the Thundering Herd in 1970 - and he watched news reports of both crashes on television and couldn't believe what he was seeing.
Jim Rhatigan was Wichita State's dean of students at the time. He remembers finding his counterpart at Marshall to offer his insight on how his own school had dealt with grief and loss just a few weeks earlier.
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