The Wichita State Shockers have had a stranglehold on the Missouri Valley Conference since the beginning of the season and finished with a 31 – 0 regular season record. However, another MVC team, the Indiana State Sycamores, also deserved a look by the NCAA Selection Committee for a possible 2014 NCAA Tournament berth. Unfortunately, the Sycamores fell to the Northern Iowa Panthers, who are a team with an RPI of 112.
Sycamores forward Manny Arop had a double-double, guard Jake Odum scored 16 points, and guard Khristian Smith scored 15 off the bench, but it wasn’t enough to counter the domination of Panthers forward Seth Tuttle’s 23-point performance. Indiana State simply looked lazy and were out-hustled by Northern Iowa, which showed up in the stat sheet through their 10 turnovers. The Sycamores ended up losing 71 – 69, potentially blowing any chance they have at a trip to the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
Indiana State is a team that, personally, I thought would be able to shake up the 2014 NCAA Tournament with an upset or two. However with the loss to Northern Iowa coupled with the three straight losses to finish out the season, it looks like their only chance of March Madness would be through an improbable upset of Wichita State in the MVC Tournament. That’s very unlikely and it looks like the 2013 – 14 college basketball season is going to end with a trip to the NIT instead of a chance to shake up the Big Dance for the Sycamores.