There have been a lot of amazing basketball teams, like my beloved 2012 Kentucky Wildcats, who have won 30 games and gone on to claim an NCAA championship. However, no team as ever entered the NCAA Tournament with as many wins as a little-known basketball team from a fringe conference. Wichita State isn’t the best-known college in its state; that’d be the Kansas Jayhawks, who have multiple Final Four appearances to their credit. However, for at least this season, the Shockers are one of the most exciting stories in college basketball. The Wichita State Shockers won the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, guaranteeing themselves an NCAA Tournament spot and claiming a 34-0 record for the 2013-14 season.
“In no way shape or form do you have to lose a basketball game to get better. What we’ve accomplished together is very special. Our mentality is to go out and accomplish our win by taking advantage of that game at that moment and playing our hearts out. That’s what got us to this point,” said Shockers senior Cleanthony Early.
Just think about it. No team has ever won 34 games before entering the NCAA Tournament until now. No basketball blue-blood has ever been so successful; even the undefeated 1975-76 Indiana Hoosiers only went 32-0 to capture the national championship. If the Shockers keep winning–and who’s to say they won’t?–they could easily set a wins record that no one will ever be able to catch. This is WSU’s first conference tournament title since 1987, and it’s going to be the first number one seed in the NCAA Tournament for the program. All this from a program that, last year, nearly beat the national champion Louisville Cardinals in the Final Four. These guys are for real; don’t let the MVC fool you, Wichita State would be good in any conference in the country.
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