After winning the 2011 NIT, Wichita State came into this year looking to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time under fifth-year head coach Gregg Marshall.
With a rotation consisting of five seniors and two juniors, expectations were high in the Sunflower State but, because they don't have any big-time NBA prospects or play in a major conference, they've been under the national radar for most of the season.
Wichita State has gone 23-3 since a 2-2 start to non-conference play with tough losses to Alabama and Temple. Their biggest win was a dominating 89-70 rout of UNLV, while their three conference losses were: against Creighton, in triple overtime at Drake, and a 65-64 nail-biter to Illinois State in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
The Shockers have a balanced scoring attack, with six players averaging between eight and 14 points per game. They've got a 7'1 center (Garrett Stutz) who can score out of the low post and stretch the floor, a 6'5 shooting guard who can create his own shot off the bounce (Toure' Murry) as well as a PG who can run the break and penetrate in the half-court (Joe Ragland).
With three 6'8-plus players and a host of experienced, athletic wings, Wichita State can match up physically with almost every team in the country. So while they don't have a very high Q score, don't be surprised if they make a run into the Tournament's second weekend this year.
Wichita State was given plenty of respect on Selection Sunday, earning the No. 5 seed in the South Region. The Shockers will battle VCU in the Second Round.
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