Tebow's plane had stopped at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport to refuel Sunday, so he took the opportunity to congratulate the Shockers when they arrived at the airport, The Wichita Eagle reported.
"Some of you might go play in the NBA, you might have great lives, but this is the time you'll remember," Tebow said while speaking to the players on their team bus. "All of you all together, ballin' out there together, training together, putting in the heart and the sweat, everything, caring about each other. You'll never forget guys, this is what it's made of and these are the special times in your life, regardless of what you do in the future.
"So I just want to say congrats. You're an inspiration to so many people, so always remember that and how you carry yourself and your character, how you represent your school, your family, your team, your brothers on the team, but also, man, just go out there and ball out, leave nothing on the court. I know you don't need to hear that from me, but I just wish y'all luck and we're praying for you. God bless, and y'all go do it, all right, guys?"
Wichita State, a No. 9 seed, made five consecutive 3-pointers in the 76-70 victory that sent the West Region's top seed -- and the nation's No. 1 team during the regular season -- back home.
The Shockers (28-6) advanced to the Round of 16 for the first time since 2006 and are headed to Los Angeles, where they won't be the underdogs. That's because they'll face 13th-seeded La Salle (24-9), which defeated Ole Miss 74-72 on Sunday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.