The Wichita State Shockers headed into the 2014 season coming off of their second Final Four appearance in school history. They had already shocked the college basketball world once; how could they possibly do it again? By starting off the season with a 30-0 record, the Shockers are the first team in college basketball history to win 30 consecutive regular season games, and with two games remaining in their regular season schedule they will have a chance to increase their record.
The Shockers have dismantled every opponent in their way this season. Even though the Shockers play in a small conference, the ability to go night in and night out and destroy their opponents is impressive in it’s own right. Even the best teams come out flat to start off a game, but the Shockers have incredibly bought into Head Coach Greg Marshall’s “Play Angry” philosophy.
Although they are in the midst of a record-breaking season, the Shockers are hammered with criticism. Some of the criticism is warranted; the Shockers have only played one team that would make the NCAA Tournament as of right now. That is the main reason why the Shockers have received skepticism from some of the top college basketball writers in the country. Jeff Goodman, the head college basketball analyst at ESPN, said that even if the Shockers were to go perfect in the regular season and win their conference tournament he would not give them the number one overall seed in the tournament. Is Goodman an example of an old fashioned traditionalist that couldn’t possibly fathom a mid-major team having the number one overall seed heading into the NCAA Tournament? Or is Goodman really just saying that he doesn’t believe Wichita State is “elite’’ and will most likely get exposed in the tournament and be an early exit.
The good news is that we only have to wait a little under a month to find out. Will Wichita State give this country it’s next Cinderella to fall in love with? Or will they be another overrated mid-major school that beat no one in the regular season? Only time will tell.