06 February 2014

Is Wichita State deserving of a 1 seed?

(USA Today Sports)
The Shockers of Wichita State University moved to 24-0 last night in legendary Terre Haute by taking out Indiana State, 65-58. The fourth-ranked Shockers survived a solid and game Sycamores squad and now looks to be in good position to win out, the Missouri Valley Conference is awful this year and the Shockers do not play a team over .500 until March with their finale against Missouri State at home. This Saturday's bout at Northern Iowa will be interesting to watch as well.

But now the question is, is Wichita State in shape for a number one seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament?

There is no question that the Shockers are a really good ballclub. In fact, I believe that this team is better than last year's team, which only made it to the Final Four and gave the eventual national champion Louisville Cardinals a good run in the national semifinal. They are an excellent defensive team, 12th nationally in points allowed, they are a very well-rounded club with an excellent point guard in Fred VanVleet and a rock in the paint in Cleanthony Early, plus they have an excellent coach in Gregg Marshall. Jeff Sagarin's ratings have them 14th in the nation, while the KenPom has them ninth.

But even with the spotless record, there are their detractors. Mainly in that the Shockers have not played that tough of a schedule relatively speaking (the aforementioned Sagarin ratings had their strength of schedule at 120). Their non-conference resume is not great, with an impressive win at Saint Louis and a home win over Tennessee being their best wins.

It also does not help their cause that as previously mentioned, the Valley is having one of their weaker seasons as a conference as a whole in recent memory. There are only three teams above .500 and the conference took a nice hit when Creighton left for the Big East.

That said, if Wichita State is undefeated after the Missouri Valley tournament, I would be surprised if they were to not get a one seed. If they lose, I think they would slip back to a three.

Fortunately, we have got a month and change to sort all this out.

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