Shockers? Not really. No. 2 ranked Wichita State further solidified themselves as a legitimate championship contender by finishing the season 34-0, after defeating Indiana State in the Missouri Valley Conference title game, 83-69.
The Shockers will now enter the 2014 NCAA Tournament as the only team to go into the Big Dance with an unblemished record since the 1991 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels.
Wichita State now has the opportunity to be the first undefeated team to win an NCAA Championship since the 1975-76 Indiana Hoosiers.
There are many that question the Shockers’ claim to being a number one seed in the tournament, or that they’ll even be able to repeat last season’s final four appearance, citing that the Missouri Valley Conference is weak, and playing an MVC schedule carries no weight.
To a certain degree, that may be true, but going undefeated for an entire season in any sport is an accomplishment, and it’s seldom attained by luck. This is a talented and well-coached team that has got some quality non-conference wins under their belt. To dismiss them simply because they don’t play in a “power” conference is ludicrous.
“This team is going to be remembered 50 years from now,” Missouri Valley Conference commissioner Doug Elgin told USA TODAY Sports. “The real tantalizing question now? Can they run the table – 40-0?”
Depending on their draw in the tournament, it’s a distinct possibility.