Wichita St. Shockers
It’s the final stretch of the season in NCAA basketball, and with just over five games remaining, only two teams remain unbeaten: the Syracuse Orange and Wichita State Shockers.
The Shockers, who hail from the all too familiar Missouri Valley Conference, have put together a very impressive season.
However, Wichita State hasn’t played anyone ranked in the top 25, which could be the team’s downfall.
The only quality opponent that’s been on Wichita’s schedule is the St. Louis Billikens whom they beat comfortably.
But the Shockers almost lost to a 9-14 Alabama team, and conference rival Missouri State in overtime.
Compared to the Shockers, the Orange have beaten a total of five teams in the top 25, and are scheduled to play at least three more ranked teams before the season is over.
Defensively, ‘Cuse is 7th in the nation in points allowed, and 11th in steals per game, which is better than the Shockers.
While Syracuse isn’t unstoppable, they play complete basketball and will be undefeated. Wichita, who plays three upcoming games on the road, will get tripped up in a trap game they won’t see coming.
This late in the college basketball season, it’s hard to believe that any team is unbeaten. There are two undefeated teams though: Syracuse and Wichita State.
Wichita State won’t lose another game in the regular season. The Shockers have a cakewalk ahead and will roll through the rest of Missouri Valley Conference play.
The Shockers stay fresh by extending their bench and having nine guys in their rotation every night. Wichita coach Gregg Marshall has the advantage of one of the most talented scorers in the country with Cleanthony Early.
Wichita State’s athleticism is better than any team in the MVC, and it allows the team to extend its defense and apply great pressure.
Illinois native Fred VanVleet is another big reason as to why the Shockers are successful. His 5-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio is one of the best in the country.
Syracuse will fall before Wichita State because of its tough ACC schedule. The Orange still have to travel to Duke and Virginia and close its season playing four out of five games on the road.