Written by S. Kennedy. Thank You Sean.
Whether you’re a WSU, KU, KSU or just a college basketball fan stick with me because I’m about to give you my honest opinion of the Wichita State Shockers’ 2013-2014 season and where I stand on the other two state schools as well.
Let’s first address the question, who is the best team in Kansas? The answer is in the question…KANSAS…the University of to be exact. Don’t turn away Shocker fans, I’m not finished! I’ve had the opportunity to watch all 3 teams in the state multiple times (media has its perks) and from what I’ve seen, the most well rounded team in the state is KU. However, the wonderful thing about sports is that somebody wins and somebody loses and it’s not always the best team that comes out on top.
The Jayhawks have one of the most talented, athletically gifted and well coached teams in the country but they’ve proven they can be beaten by good (not great) teams (Colorado, SDSU, KState). Wichita State COULD beat Kansas and likely WOULD at least once if they played a best of 3 series. I would also give the Shockers a 2-1 advantage over KState. My point is don’t get too cocky based on records and quality wins. I’m talking to fans of all 3! All three teams could make deep runs in March and have a chance to win the whole thing, that’s the beauty of it.
Next question, does WSU deserve a 1 seed? Yes! I understand the argument against them because going in to March it is likely they will have only beaten 1-3 at-large teams and maybe add 1-3 conference champion bids. The argument for them is the 0 in the loss collumn. While they don’t have a lot of quality wins, they don’t have ANY bad losses and as Syrcause proved against Boston College, it is difficult to keep winning even against bad teams.
On top of that, it isn’t like the Shockers are just barely squeaking by these teams, they are blowing most of them out and averaging double-digit wins as expected from an “elite” team. Everyone knows you can’t base the whole season on what happened a year ago, but this team did go to a Final 4 and has four key players returning. This team is better than the one that made the unbelievable run last year and if this had been the case for Kentucky, KU, Louisville or any other “blue blood” they would be high in the rankings as well, even against a sub 100 schedule.
While I’m not ludicrous enough to believe the Shockers would be undefeated in a Power 6 conference, I believe they would be top 3 and contender for the conference title in any of them. Case in point – Creighton; if Creighton were still in The Valley they would be neck and neck with WSU. Creighton is clearly the top team in the Big East. I also don’t believe every top 10 team would be undefeated if they played WSU’s schedule, the talent is certainly there for it to happen but my analysis is based more on mental toughness.
Most would’ve lost at least 1-2 along the way. As far as 1 seeds go, I believe KU is deserving of one also as they don’t have any BAD losses either, not to mention they will win the Big 12 title and probably a couple games in the Big 12 tourney if not the whole thing (impressive resume hate them or love them). Kansas State has an impressive resume despite looking iffy early on in the season. They’ve proven they can contend with their athletic ability and coaching and they will be dangerous on a neutral court.
To all 3 sets of fans, stop using history to make arguments. Whether you’re talking recent history or overall program history, all that matters this season is THIS SEASON. Whether you have four championships (KU), in the top 20 of all time tournament appearances (KSU) or two Final 4s (WSU) it doesn’t make your team better this year. Enjoy your team’s success this season and hope for more greatness next year, that’s all you can do as a fan. Also remember, you’re not playing these games, the players are and they all have tremendous respect for eachother and many of them are friends.
In conclusion, this season has been incredible! There are so many good teams that will see their name in the field of 68 come Selection Sunday that it really doesn’t matter where you’re seeded. Every team will have to play to well every single game to have a chance to win a National Championship and many teams are going to get “upset.” Every year, especially recently, we see 7-12 seeds getting late runs and their fan bases and many analysts aren’t surprised at all because all of those teams are good and anything can happen.
Nothing is guaranteed! So for the third straight year all 3 teams from the state of Kansas will be in the tournament and will get a shot to win it all. The chances are high that none of them will even make the Final 4 because that’s just how the tournament works. Either way, they should all be comended on what they have accomplished this year and despite what happens in March and April the state has 3 teams to be incredibly proud of.
Reggie’s Take.com Thanks S. Kennedy, who wrote this article and allowed us to share it with you.