UNSUPPORTED BROWSER
One And One

Wichita State reigns as MVC champions, finishes regular season at 34-0

Cleanthony Early (11) and Wichita State toughed out a strong MVC title win over Indiana State. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)Cleanthony Early (11) and Wichita State toughed out a strong MVC title win over Indiana State. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

For the first time since 1991, a team will enter the NCAA tournament with an unblemished record. That team, the UNLV Runnin' Rebels, has gone down in history as one of the best not to win the national championship. For this year's Wichita State Shockers, the end to their story remains unwritten.

The Shockers moved to 34-0 and wrapped up a perfect regular and conference season by knocking off Indiana State, 83-69, in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament championship. It was their first conference tournament championship since 1987.

Fred VanVleet, the conference player of the year, led the way with 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting. Tekele Cotton had 20 points and drained four of his six attempts from behind the arc. The Sycamores hung with the Shockers for most of the game, and trailed by just four points with 13 minutes left in the game. After that, however, Wichita State went on a 21-7 run over the next seven minutes to take control of the game.

With the win, the Shockers almost certainly locked up one of the four No. 1 seeds in the tournament. They still have their doubters, thanks primarily to a strength of schedule that ranks 102nd in the country. Their season to this point has been a major accomplishment, but the questions are valid. They have just one win over a team that is a lock for the tournament, a road victory over a Saint Louis team that has really struggled down the stretch. They have two other wins against top-50 RPI teams, but both of this victims -- BYU and Tennessee -- could end up in the NIT. Is that a better resume than, say Wisconsin's, which boasts eight wins over teams in the top 50? Or what about Kansas, a team that has lost eight times but has 12 top-50 wins and 17 top-100 wins? That debate will rage until Selection Sunday, and may continue until the tournament starts.

Wichita State probably won't win over its critics unless it makes a trip to Dallas at the end of the month. That UNLV team of 1990-91 likely doesn't take any solace in being remembered as one of the best non-champions ever. History won't even be that kind to the Shockers if they come up short over the next three weeks.

More One And One

Close

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 4 easy steps:

  1. Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Bookmarks.
  3. Select Bookmark manager.
  4. Locate your current Sports Illustrated bookmark, click the Organize menu, then select Edit. You can now easily update the web address of your Sports Illustrated bookmark.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 2 easy steps:

  1. Click the Safari bookmark manager on the browser toolbar.
  2. This will open the Bookmarks Bar. In the Bookmarks Bar, select your Sports Illustrated bookmark and manually edit the Address field.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 3 easy steps:

  1. Click the Firefox bookmark manager on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Show All Bookmarks.
  3. This will open the library window. In the Library window, select your Sports Illustrated bookmark and manually edit the Location field.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.
Don't Show This Again