By Tank Spencer
Wichita State is the first team in history to be 30-0 in the regular season. That is a big deal, but being the first to do something doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the best at what you do. This past week 14 people with top 25 votes, said the Shockers are the best in the country. I’m going to guess these are the same idiots who believe college football teams like Boise State and Southern Illinois deserve to be in the BCS championship game if they are undefeated.
Wichita State is a great team. Greg Marshall has done a fantastic job turning them into contenders. But they are not deserving of the #1 ranking. Yes they have beaten everyone they have faced, but they have not faced a lot of quality opponents.
You’re not going to convince me that Florida, Syracuse, Kansas or Duke wouldn’t have a good chance to be undefeated if they played Northern Illinois, Bradley and Evansville night in and night out. The Shockers are bound to their conference and that hurts their ranking in my eyes.
Wichita State’s signature win came against St. Louis in early December. St. Louis was unranked then, but is in the top 10 now. The Shockers also beat BYU, who has wins over Gonzaga and Texas. They also beat Tennessee, who is on the bubble for the NCAA tournament with a signature win over Virginia early in the year. Those are reaching examples to try to make a case FOR Wichita St.
Wichita State has only played 6 games against teams in the top 100 RPI, just 2 in the top 50 and –further broken down- just one in the top 25. By comparison, there are several teams who have face 6 or more opponents just in the RPI top 25.
Kansas (11, 7-4)
Wisconsin (7, 5-2)
Michigan, Mich. State, Duke (8, 4-4)
UNC (6, 3-3)
I think Wichita State should get a #1 seed in the tournament if they run the table. The #1 ranking, however, should be reserved for a team that can prove they are the best of the best, and I don’t see a strong case for the Shockers. I also think if the Shockers fail to run the table, they shouldn’t be ranked any higher than 10th and they would be a three seed at best. They have ZERO room for error if they want to stay in the same tier as the elite.