NCAA March Madness is upon us and it is one of the most highly anticipated sporting events in the United States. It is a sudden death tournament of 68 teams that are going head to head for the Championship. A team has to win 8 in a row to win the whole tournament, something that may seem easy on paper but in all reality is actually extremely difficult and separates the legends from the mortals. Cinderella teams have come and gone, spoiling the fun for the Elites. But what happens when the Cinderella team is an Elite team?
Wichita State University Shockers have been the Cinderella team in the past, wrecking brackets nationwide. In 2013 Wichita State was a #8 seed and knocked off the #1 seeded Gonzaga and the #2 seeded Ohio State to reach the Final Four before being knocked out by the reigning champion Louisville Cardinals. This year they are a team on the verge of completing a undefeated regular season (30-0) with only Missouri State (19-10) standing in their way.
Wichita State should be a #1 seed entering the tourney depending on how they finish the season but if they ride this storm into the tournament they will be coming into the tourney as an Elite team, something they are not necessarily use to. The competition they faced throughout their roller-coaster season can be considered “mediocre” due to the fact that out of all of Wichita State’s opponents, they played only 1 top AP opponent. Many of the other top teams such as Florida (26-2), Arizona (25-2), and Syracuse (25-2) have not only faced more top AP poll teams but have tougher conference play. They have much more competitive teams they play against twice a season than at the Wichita States conference. It will make a tough road for Wichita State and they shouldn’t be considered a shoe-in for the Final Four, even the Elite Eight and might as well throw the Sweet 16 in there too.
Wichita State needs to make sure that they do not let the spotlight get to them and the pressure of being a #1 seed stop them from playing the incredible basketball they have been playing. If I were the coach, I would maybe even advise to get into the mindset of being an underdog basketball team, it has seemed to work for them in the past.
– Dr. J