No. 19 Wichita State may very well be the hottest team in the country right now.
Heading into their Saturday afternoon date with Drake, the Shockers had lost just a single game in the 2012 calender year, a triple-overtime defeat to the Bulldogs on the road. I think its safe to say that Wichita State avenged that loss, and they manhandled Drake in Charles Koch Arena 81-58.
It completed what was a thoroughly dominating performance in a very good Missouri Valley Conference. The Shockers went 16-2 in the league, winning 16 of the last 17 games and taking home the league title by two games.
What’s more impressive is that they have been playing their best basketball of late. They have won their last six games by an average of 20.7 ppg. The worst team they have beaten in that stretch is currently sitting at 8-9 in the Valley. Included in that stretch is a 21 point win at Creighton and a 17 point win at a good Davidson team in BracketBusters play.
The scariest part?
“We haven’t played our best ball yet.”
That’s a quote from Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall, and it makes you think: what happens when this team does start playing their best ball? How much better can they get?
The Shockers are balanced offensively, they are scoring the ball as well and as quickly as they have under Marshall and they are still playing an elite level of defense. Throw in the fact that they have plenty of size inside, a number of terrific three point shooters and the most experience of any team with a chance of playing in the NCAA Tournament, and you get an idea of why every analyst in the country is telling you to keep an eye on this team in the NCAA Tournament.
If they do make a run, don’t call them a cinderella.