Tag: Undefeated

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Wichita State will head into the NCAA tournament 34-0 as a No. 1 seed

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No. 2 Wichita State did it.

They won all 13 games in non-conference play, then won all 18 games in the Missouri Valley, and then won three more at Arch Madness in Saint Louis, taking home the MVC tournament title and becoming the first team since UNLV in 1991 to enter the NCAA tournament undefeated.

PHOTO: Epic typo on Wichita State’s MVC title shirts

Win No. 34 came against a scrappy Indiana State team that was good enough to notch a victory at Notre Dame earlier this season. The Sycamores were down by 15 points early in the second half, but they trimmed it to as close as four at one point down the stretch, but MVC Player of the Year Fred Van Vleet and Tekele Cotton were just too much, hitting run-quelling jumper after run-quelling jumper every time it seemed like Greg Lansing’s club was ready to make a push.

The 83-69 win means that the Shockers will be undefeated on Selection Sunday.

RELATED: Regardless of your opinion, appreciate the run Wichita State is making.

And that undefeated record will guarantee them a No. 1 seed when the brackets are released exactly one week from this moment.

We can argue the merits of that No. 1 seed if you like, and my guess would be that at least half of Wichita State’s ample and passionate fan base would understand, and agree, with their detractors. The fact of the matter is that the Shockers have not played all that tough of a schedule. They beat Texas, who likely won’t make it out of the first weekend. They beat BYU and Tennessee, two teams that might not even get make it onto the right side of the bubble. The win at Alabama looked better on their schedule in November than it does on their resume in March.

And while they stormed their way through the Valley, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that this season just so happened to coincide with Creighton leaving the conference and the rest of the perennial contenders being down.

All of that is a fair critique.

But none of it is going to matter in a week.

Because ‘0’ is a massive number. An undefeated record on Selection Sunday is something that we haven’t seen in 23 years, or the lifespan of a typical college senior, even one that redshirted a season. I’m not simply saying it should get Wichita State a No. 1 seed.

I’m telling you that it will.

MORE: Get to know all of the NCAA tournament’s automatic bids

Because what we haven’t mentioned yet is that the Shockers made the Final Four a season ago. That will lend some credibility and validity to this season’s record, even though it’s not supposed to. The people that fill out the bracket? The Selection Committee? They’re humans. They’re not machines. So when they look at Wichita State and they look at that undefeated record, it’s impossible not to think about what Gregg Marshall’s club accomplished a season ago.

That’s just the way it is.

The Shockers are going to be a No. 1 seed.

And they’re going to make a run at becoming college basketball’s first undefeated team since 1976.

No. 2 Wichita State improves to 33-0, moves to Missouri Valley title game

MVC Missouri St Wichita St Basketball

Cleanthony Early scored 20 points to lead No. 2 Wichita State to a 67-42 rout of Missouri State in the semifinals of the Missouri Valley tournament.

The Shockers improve to 33-0 on the season with the victory, one game away from heading into Selection Sunday with an unblemished record. They will play the winner of Indiana State-Southern Illinois at 1:05 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.

Missouri State came closer than anyone to beating Wichita State this season, blowing a 19-point lead in an overtime loss back in January. Saturday’s game came without Jamar Gulley, however.

The Shockers used a 17-0 first half run to blow the game open, hitting five of their eight first half threes, and they put the game away with a 24-0 run in the second half.

The last time Wichita State won the Missouri Valley tournament was way back in 1987.

No. 6 Wichita State needs 19-point comeback and overtime to get to 17-0

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The odds of No. 6 Wichita State making it to March undefeated just got a little bit better.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d still bet everything I own against the Shockers making it through the Valley unscathed. You don’t make it through the Valley unscathed. You just don’t.

But if anyone is going to do it, it’s going to be this Wichita State team in this Missouri Valley, which is in a real down year. And their path got just that much easier on Saturday night, as Gregg Marshall’s club went into Springfield and knocked off Missouri State, 72-69, in overtime.

The Bears are one of the most talented teams in the league this season and — along with Indiana State and Northern Iowa — one of the toughest road environments that the Shockers will face this season. The Shockers survived, but it certainly wasn’t easy. Missouri State jumped out to a 42-24 lead at the half and pushed that lead to 54-35 with 12 minutes left in regulation.

That’s when Wichita State began their run, outscoring Missouri State 29-10 over that stretch to force the extra frame. Cleanthony Early led the way with 22 points and 14 boards, while Fred VanVleet finished with 16 points and four assists in an off night. Ron Baker chipped in with 15 points.

Wichita State is now 17-0. They hold Bradley and Indiana State next week and visit Illinois State and Drake the week after that. In fact, the Shockers may not truly be tested like this again for another four weeks, when they visit both Indiana State and Northern Iowa in the span of four days.