5 Reasons Why Wichita State Will Run the Table, Go Undefeated
Why Wichita State Will Go Undefeated
And then there was one. With Syracuse losing to Boston College on Wednesday night, that leaves just one unbeaten team remaining in college basketball. Can the Wichita State Shockers run the table and go undefeated?
There have been 24 teams go undefeated in the regular season, and seven of those teams went on to win it all. Most notably, the UCLA Bruins did so four times in the 1960s and 1970s. The last team to have an undefeated regular season was the Saint Joseph’s Hawks. The last team to have undefeated season and win the championship was the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers.
The Shockers currently sit at 28-0 with three games remaining in the regular season. They are playing some of their best basketball at just the right time. You don’t want to peak to soon only to fall apart at the end of the season or in the conference tournament. So, if you’re a Wichita State fan, you’ve got to be excited about what’s going on.
One thing’s for sure; the target on their back only grows with each passing victory. While they may be on top of the world and playing good basketball, each one of their upcoming opponents will be fighting tooth and nail to knock them off. When you’re in the position that Wichita State is in, you need to bring your best to each game as your opponent most definitely will be doing the same.
On the following five slides you’ll find five reasons why Wichita State will finish the regular season with an unblemished 31-0 record. There are many factors that play into the outcome of a basketball season, but here are five reasons why they will get the job done.
5. Fred Van Vleet
When the Shockers have their sophomore point guard Fred Van Vleet on the floor, they are a different team. He keeps them organized and running smoothly offensively, plus he plays solid defense. He’s not the most talked about point guard in the country, but he deserves more attention than he’s actually getting. He’s a good leader and they are certainly better off with him than without. On the season, he’s averaging 12 points and five assists per game.
4. Ron Baker
Sophomore guard Ron Baker is a great complement to Van Vleet and Cleanthony Early. Averaging 13 points per game, he gives the Shockers good minutes every game. He’s scored in double-figures in their last four games, including a season-best 26 points against Evansville. He’s playing his best basketball at just the right time.
3. Cleanthony Early
Cleanthony Early is a do-it-all player for the Shockers. He can post up, but he can also shoot the three. If a mid-major school wants to run the table and shock (get it?) the college basketball world, they need a star. For Wichita State, Early is their superstar. He’s scored in double-figures in all but two games this season and averages 16 points and six rebounds per game. When they need a big bucket, they turn to Early and he delivers.
2. The Classic Glass Slipper
Call it fate. Call it destiny. Call it whatever you want. Every year, it never fails and a mid-major school plays really well and shocks the college basketball world. Often times you can’t really explain it, but things just seem to break their way. For Wichita State, they are a good team and have no doubt earned their 28-0 record, but the Cinderella story is in full effect here.
1. Strength of Schedule
Wichita State is a group of men playing in a boys’ conference. In the MVC, they are in a league of their own. They have been challenged once or twice, but they always finish the game strong and on a roll. Their final three opponents, Drake, Bradley and Missouri State, have a combined record of 42-40 with Missouri State shaping up to be their toughest test. Last time the two teams played, Wichita State needed overtime to continue their unbeaten streak.