Could Wichita State Shock The World?
Mid major teams don’t win the national championship in this era of college basketball, right? At 30-0 Wichita State of the Missouri Valley Conference is not only attempting to become only the 8th team in college basketball history to finish a season undefeated, but also become the first mid major since Texas Western to win the national championship.
The last team to have a perfect season and win it all was the 1975 Indiana Hoosiers who finished the season at 32-0. The last team to enter the NCAA Tournament undefeated was UNLV in 1991, but they lost to Duke in the championship game. If Wichita State can defeat Missouri State on Saturday, they will have accomplished something that is a true rarity in college basketball. With that being said, if they do go undefeated, then it may be just another footnote in history if they’re not able to do the unthinkable by winning the national championship.
Butler came close a few years ago when their 3 point attempt rimmed out against Duke, and who could forget Memphis in 2008 losing in overtime to Kansas? The Tigers seemed to already be cutting down the nets in San Antonio, but Mario Chalmers’ last second three pointer ended those dreams real fast. George Mason became the ultimate Cinderella team in 2006 before losing in the Final Four to Florida. Just last year Florida Gulf Coast became the first 15 seed to reach the Sweet 16.
The question should be asked is this Wichita State team any different from the other mid major teams who came close to winning the national championship? After all, close counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. There is no doubt that this is a tremendous team that is quite talented. They play exceptional defense and can score at will. Going undefeated in any sport is a remarkable feat, and if Wichita State does and wins their conference tournament, then they should be a number one seed in the NCAA tournament.
Despite playing a soft schedule Wichita State has defeated the likes of Saint Louis, Tulsa, Alabama, and Tennessee. It is just a matter of time before a mid major wins the national championship again in college basketball. Things have changed over the past several years in the sport, there is a lot more parity, and many exceptional athletes that are not recruited by the traditional powerhouses end up with mid majors.
March Maddness is almost here and the Shockers could go on a historic run in the NCAA Tournament. One thing is for certain, they will be in many final four brackets, and I think they could just win it all and shock the world.