It is the argument that dominates the NCAA rankings these days. Where do mid majors stand? Some say that the few that get ranked are over rated because their schedules are weak? Others say their records speak for themselves and they are horribly under rated? Wichita State fans have been making the argument for a Top 25 ranking all year, but coming out of the Missouri Valley Conference it has been a tough argument to buy. Well, the powers that be are now believers.
Wichita State made the entire nation take notice with their recent smack down of #15 Creighton 89-68 and earlier season beat down of #20 UNLV. This is on top of the Shockers’ 25-4 overall record, 15-2 conference record, and maybe most importantly 16-1 record over their last 17 games. Getting red hot as March Madness approaches has Wichita St. perched atop most sports writer’s lists of mid major teams to watch. To call Wichita St. a sleeper really isn’t possible any more since they’re now ranked #19 in the nation and quite possibly regarded as the hottest team in the nation.
Their latest victim was Illinois State that suffered a 68-55 loss at the hands of the Shockers. Wichita St. lead the entire game and were up by as much as 15 at times. This one was never really in doubt, although the Redbirds hung tough and fought the entire game. Illinois St. was simply outmatched in terms of talent across the board. With this win Wichita St. locked up the Missouri Valley Conference title and left Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall smiling ear-to-ear in the press conference.
Wichita State’s attack is one of the most balanced offenses around. They’re lead by 4 senior guards, a 7-foot senior in Stutz who could potentially get drafted, and a very athletic front court. It is a great balance of experience, size, and speed that leaves many teams searching for their weakness. The only question that remains is if Wichita St. can remain consistent and perform as the stakes are raised. Bring on the madness of March.
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