Saturday, March 1, 2014

Wichita State not Shocking Enough?

It seemed almost anticlimactic as Wichita State easily disposed of Missouri State (19-11) at home to finish the season 31-0. ESPN/ABC did their best via hype and hyperbole to make it sound like it was not a forgone conclusion, but all the kings horses and men couldn’t make that game worth watching as it was over from jump street. Therein lies the problem for the first undefeated team since Tark’s Sharks went 34-0 in 1990-91, despite being the ONLY school currently ranked in the top 5 that also made it to the Final Four last year (spoiler alert!), the Shockers get no love because they reside in the Missouri Valley Conference. How else would you explain two-loss Florida being ranked ahead of them in one poll and two-loss Arizona garnishing 4 top-votes in another? Well they say you’re only as good as the company you keep and if that’s the case then the Shockers might not be very good as they will be only one invited to the prom from their conference unless someone pulls an upset in the MVC tournament, particularly with Indiana State (21-9) losing back-to-back games to unranked opponents Illinois State and Northern Iowa. So where does that leave the school with the best record in over 20 years? Well, certainly a top seed but not THE top seed as that honor will go to Florida regardless of what they do until prom night, or Kansas if they can make it to the B12 Conference Tournament, because of their #1 RPI and 13-2 conference record. Going undefeated always demands a certain amount of respect but sadly speak off the record it doesn’t seem like there are very many inside the top 10 that would mind drawing the black & gold as their ticket to the Final Four. Now no one doubts that they play well on both ends of the floor but being 30th overall in rebounding, 69th in ppg, and 112th in field goal pct. leads many to believe there’s more than one way to beat them, particularly if you can pound them inside as they don’t go particularly big. The Joe Lunardi from the mother ship is accurate with his ‘bracketology’ Wichita Sate could be headed for a second round game with either Pittsburgh or Memphis who both could present big problems for them inside. In any case, much like any school that doesn’t play in the ACC or Big10 as is seems like everyone of those conference games are on ESPN nightly, the only way to gain any respect from the NCAA hoops hierarchy will be to make a deep run in the tournament. From the buzz on social media alone it clear the general public feels they’re a product of a soft schedule and softer conference. Which I gotta admit would be the camp I fall into as well as I just can’t see them running the table while facing a Big10, Pac12, or ACC foe twice a week, but that just sets us all up to eat a “man sized” plate of crow, if the Shockers can even get back to the plateau they reached last year. And fair or unfair that’s the task and hand which no doubt, Wichita will be using as motivation….Shock em’ all again or be forgotten.

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