Wichita State Basketball: Shockers May Be 30-0, But Don’t Deserve No. 1 Seed

Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

I am sure I will catch a lot of flak for this, but I’ll go ahead and say it. The Wichita State Shockers don’t deserve a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Yes, I know they are 30-0, and yes I remember they went to the Final Four last year. Gregg Marshall is an outstanding coach, and has done a fantastic job not just at Wichita State, but at every school he’s coached at. So, this is not a slight against him. Any of the elite programs would be lucky if they could acquire his services. But, the Shockers just aren’t No. 1 seed material, and here’s why.

They simply haven’t played anyone, and therefore have not beaten anyone. Let’s take a closer look at their RPI. The Shockers’ best win is over the Saint Louis Billikens (11th in RPG) in St. Louis way back on Dec. 1. The Billikens were unranked at the time, and the best win for the Billikens all season is against an unranked VCU team at home. The Shockers’ only win over a team from a power conference is a home win against the Tennessee Volunteers, and the Vols will not be making the tournament this season.

Marshall’s team has posted impressive defensive numbers, but those numbers are mostly against subpar teams. Of the Shockers’ 30 wins, 28 of those wins have came from outside the RPI to 50, and of those 28, 24 have come from outside the RPI top 100. They have a strength of schedule of 115, and their opponents’ SOS is 111. How do you give a No. 1 seed to a team that is untested and unproven? Even their opponents haven’t played anyone.

There are at least six teams with a better resume than the Shockers. Florida, Arizona, Syracuse, Creighton, San Diego State and Wisconsin all have better resumes than the Shockers do (feel free to look them up). They all have top-25 wins, and play a complete and balanced schedule.

The 2008 Memphis Tigers are the only team I can think of in recent memory that came out of a mid-major conference to garner a No. 1 seed. They had only one loss going into Selection Sunday. But, the Tigers also had non-conference wins over Connecticut, Oklahoma, Georgetown, Arizona and Gonzaga. Again, Wichita’s State has one, and that’s against St. Louis. The Shockers’ resume simply doesn’t add up to being a No. 1 seed, and before you blame me, remember, I didn’t make the Shockers’ schedule.

This will not go over well with the fans in Wichita. I hope they understand this isn’t an indictment of mid-majors or of Marshall and his team. I personally believe we will see the Shockers back in the Sweet 16, and believe they are really good basketball team. But, the numbers simply don’t support them being one of those four No. 1 seeds, even if they receive one of those coveted spots on Selection Sunday.

Jason Love is a writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JloveWshs

Around the Web

  • Brian Brubaker

    Memphis 2008? Did you forget Gonzaga last year? The selection committee doesn’t just look at numbers. They watch games, a lot of them. I’m guessing you haven’t watched many WSU games or you would understand why they are legit. They keep their poise and don’t make mistakes, which is how you go deep in the tournament. And you also have no appreciation for how hard it is to go undefeated, no matter how difficult the schedule. If it were so easy, we’d see it done more than once a decade. Top programs will not schedule WSU, so WSU does the best they can. It would be a travesty if power-conference teams were allowed protect their perceived entitlement to a #1 seed by refusing to play schools like WSU anywhere but their home court. Undefeated deserves a 1-seed. By saying they are just Sweet 16 good, you’re saying they are deserving of a 3 seed at best. And that’s just not how you reward a 34-0 record, should WSU finish running the table to Selection Sunday.

  • Jason

    I did forget Gonzaga, so thanks. I’ve seen WSU play five times, and I know the are legit. I believe they are a top ten team, but you can’t reward a team with a 1 seed for scheduling like that. WSU had chances to bump the schedule up and they did not. There are 10 teams who would be 30-0 if they played the Shockers schedule. Its not a question of legit, its who have you beaten to prove you deserve a 1 seed? And The Shockers have only played 1 game that would give any of those 10 teams problems. Its just not enough for a 1.

  • John Robin

    Ridiculous opinion. Correction 1 they’re not a mid-major. They’re a high major program. Correction 2, all of the teams you named had loses from non-ranked teams meaning most have lower RPI except Florida. Correction 3 none of the teams you named have top twenty ranking in both offense and defense which the shocker do and that’s really why they’re ranked 2. #watch us in NCAA and it willl change your mind for next year! lol

    • Jason

      By any definition, Wichita State is a Mid Major. Wins have an obvious effect on the RPI. A loss or two would change their RPI, and they would have a loss or two or three if they playd a better schedule. Do the teams you play have a direct effect on your stats? Of course they do. Would the Shockers be in the top 20 of both of the categories you mentioned if they played a tougher schedule? We don’t know. What we do know is they’ve played an extremely weak schedule making it impossible to know how good they actually are. I stated I beleive they are a Top Ten team, but to say they deserve a 1 seed becasue they beat up on the Bradley’s of the world is a little ridiculous.