Wichita State entered the 2014 NCAA Tournament with a 34-0. An instant classic with Kentucky in the Round of 32 sent the Shockers home. For much of their unbeaten run, the Shockers were criticized for their schedule, despite defeating five tournament teams in the regular season.
The Shockers non-conference schedule this season figures to be better with a neutral site game — in South Dakota — against Memphis. Wichita State also takes on Utah and could also potentially square off with Nebraska. In years to come, it will hard to knock the team’s out-of-conference schedule, as the Shockers are set to appear in several high-profile early season tournaments, according to a report on Tuesday from Paul Suellentrop of the Wichita Eagle.
2015: Orlando Classic (previously known as the Old Spice Classic)
2016: Battle 4 Atlantis
2017: Maui Invitational
The Battle 4 Atlantis field for this upcoming November includes Wisconsin, North Carolina, Florida, Georgetown, UCLA and Oklahoma. That cast separates the Battle 4 Atlantis from the rest of the holiday events, in only it’s fourth year. Last season, Villanova and Kansas headlined the field and the season before that Duke and Louisville met in the final.
“We consider that one of the premier (tournaments) at this time,” Senior associate athletic director Darron Boatright told the Eagle. “(Tournament director) Lea Miller, the founder of that tournament, has really partnered with the Bahamian government and made that into a special, special tournament.”
In 2015, Wichita State will be in Orlando with Dayton, Notre Dame and Xavier. In 2017, the Fighting Irish and Wisconsin are both reportedly heading to Maui as well.
Wichita State reached the Final Four in 2013 and rallied off 35 straight wins following season. By the looks of upcoming schedules, Gregg Marshall intends on building off those two years.