March 2, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; Wichita State Shockers fans hold up signs as their team plays the Indiana State Sycamores during the second half of quarterfinals in the 2012 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament at the Scottrade Center. Wichita State Shockers defeated Indiana State Sycamores 72-48. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
As you've probably already heard, Oklahoma State didn't make the tournament this year. So instead of sinking into a deep post season depression, we've adopted 4 teams that we are going to follow throughout this tournament. The Shockers are the third team of four.
The folks over at Shocker Hoops were kind enough to talk to me about the team, some history, strengths, weaknesses and their upcoming NCAA Tourney game against VCU. I've seen them play a few times and they are a fun team to watch. I find it interesting that the selection committee put these two mid major powers against each other so early. Upset control at its finest. I firmly believe that the winner of this game will face Kentucky in the Sweet 16. On to the interview...
Tell me a little bit about your team.What are your strengths? Weaknesses? Who are the key players? How has your season gone?
Wichita State plays in the MVC, they won the regular season title this year, and are a senior laden team which is in the top 10 most experienced teams in the country per KenPom's calculations. This Shocker team has the best road record out of any basketball team in the last 2 years, and on top of having experience on the road, they've had tournament success. Granted it was an NIT victory last year, but any type of post season, neutral site setting, is always a plus for giving players confidence and an understanding of how post season tournaments feel.
So what does a typical starting lineup look like?
How far do you have the Shockers going? For the record, I always took OSU to the Final Four..
It's nice to know that you always had the Pokes going to the Final Four, but in my bracket I have WSU winning it all. Call me a homer, I am. I don't think it's too far to stretch the fact that WSU does have a good chance at going deep in this tournament, and if the basketball god's shine their light upon the path that the Shockers have to take, it could make or break their path to the Final Four. I think VCU will be a hard match up, and a round of 32 match up with most likely Indiana is going to be tough as well. However, Indiana's PG just tore his ACL, so it's not the same Indiana team that people know. At the top you have Kentucky, Iowa State and UConn. I think UConn will beat ISU, and play Kentucky in the round of 32. I think that Kentucky has some match up problems with UConn, because UConn actually has the level of athletes that can go toe to toe with Kentucky. If UConn can pull the upset, I think that would open up WSU with the possibility to beat UConn. They are a pretty poor team at defending the 3 pointer, and WSU shoots it well. If WSU were to pull Kentucky in the Sweet 16, I think it could be the end of the line, but it's March and anything can happen. Kentucky is definitely the biggest glaring problem with the bracket if the Shox get that far. But for now, I'm just ready for this team to avenge it's loss to VCU last year.
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