Cleanthony Early tries to lead the Shockers to an undefeated season and make a run in the tournament
The Wichita State Shockers are shocking the nation by being undefeated through their first 28 games. They are currently #3 in the nation and looking to move up with Syracuse losing. Many college basketball analysts praise this old cinderella team on how far they have come, but many college basketball fans including myself have other thoughts. Wichita State is overrated. I’m not saying going 28-0 and being #3 in the nation isn’t impressive but most teams could be 28-0 if they had the Shocker’s schedule.
The Shocker’s biggest win is against St. Louis who is ranked inside the top ten but could also be considered a bit of a surprise. They squeaked that win out by five points. They have had close games against Missouri State (17-10), SIU (11-17), and Loyola (10-16), teams with a combined record of 38-43.
The team’s schedule is ranked as the 104th toughest. To put that in perspective every other top 25 team is within the 87th hardest. The Shocker’s will most likely win out on all their other games considering their next hardest game is against the 8th place Drake Bulldogs. The #1 seed should come with ease to the Shockers and they should have the first undefeated regular season in a decade.
Last year the Shockers were an 8th seed in the tournament and almost made championship game so they have made many improvements but not the team is supposed to produce in the tournament but many teams will be looking for the upset. Wichita State does not have a good enough team to advance far in this year tournament.
Justin Jackson and his well known mean face
When will the nation start to really appreciate the Bearcats? The team who is 22-2 (11-0 AAC) and is on a 15 game win streak. Led by player of the year candidate Sean Kilpatrick the Cincinnati Bearcats could be considered the nations biggest surprise.
The 7th ranked team in the nation has only lost to Xavier and New Mexico, which were both surprises, but since then, they have not lost a single game. Statement wins over Louisville, Memphis, and UConn have contributed to the high ranking, but despite their success so far they have a tough road ahead. Starting February 22nd then Bearcats will play Louisville, UConn, and Memphis back to back.
Kilpatrick is not the only reason the Bearcats have been so great. Their high intensity team and above average defense helps out, including Justin Jackson, one of the most liked players. Justin Jackson is one of the most energetic players on the court for the Bearcats. With his blocks into the stands and high power dunks it’s hard not love this player and get excited when he is on the court.
The media has always focused on the big programs such as Kentucky, Duke, and Syracuse but why don’t they spread the love? Is it because Cincinnati doesn’t have the fan base that all of the other teams do? The media should be attracted to the team. When a team plays good they should be praised.
The Cincinnati Bearcats are making a push to be a top five team and if anyone is doing that they should be appreciated.