After an undefeated regular season, the Wichita State Shockers unfortunately ended up in the most difficult division of the 2014 NCAA tournament, disappointingly losing out to the Kentucky Wildcats in the second round. However, the now-No. 11 Shockers will look to rebound in the 2014-15 college basketball season with yet another undefeated regular season.
The Memphis Tigers, on the other hand, believed they should have entered the 2014-15 season in the top 25, but lost an exhibition game to a Division II opponent, Christian Brothers University, and look to be nowhere near as talented across the floor as previously thought. An opening win over Wichita State would be huge for the Tigers’ confidence moving forward.
The Shockers boast the return of two elite college basketball players in Tekele Cotton, Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker, while Memphis only returns star junior Shaq Goodwin. Whereas Memphis might have more overall raw talent on their roster, Wichita State has a deep, teamwork-oriented team squad that doesn’t require any one player to have a ridiculous game over and over again.
Before the Tigers’ loss to Christian Brothers, I would’ve predicted this to be the closest game on the Shockers’ schedule. Unfortunately, Wichita State is clearly the more talented program and should come into this game a lot more focused and prepared. Memphis has a good team that should still make the 2015 NCAA tournament, but it will not beat Wichita State on Tuesday.
Prediction: Wichita State 76, Memphis 66