The Wichita State Shockers have finished off a perfect 31-0 regular season and regardless of the conference they play in, this is an extremely impressive feat. Would it be more impressive if they played in the ACC or Big Ten? Sure, it would, but the resolve required to go undefeated in a regular season is unprecedented. It’s so hard in fact that it’s one of the best starts to a college basketball season in NCAA history.
After winning 68-45 over Missouri State at home, the Shockers will go into their conference tournament as the lone undefeated team in college basketball. Should they win that conference tournament, they will almost surely secure a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament this March.
Led by Cleanthony Early and Ron Baker in scoring, the Shockers have had an accurate name this year; they’ve shocked a lot of people this season. After many may have thought last season’s Final Four run was a fluke, the best team in Kansas (yes, this team is better than the University of Kansas right now) is proving that it was no fluke at all.
This season has made Wichita State the best mid-major team since the Indiana State teams led by Larry Bird back in the late 70’s. In his final season, the future NBA great led his team to the national championship game where they would eventually fall to Magic Johnson‘s Michigan State Spartans team. The Shockers are hoping for a little bit better a result than that.
While the Shockers have played solid defense and above average offense this season, their size and physicality is really what separates them from the teams they’ve played. By playing big and “pushing” other teams around a little bit, the Shockers have allowed themselves to get second chances and have made the most of those second chances.
Like second chance points that have set them apart, this season presents a second chance for Wichita State to make a magical run in March. Unlike last season, people will see them coming.