Within minutes of Wichita State’s loss on Friday, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi offered his analysis. The defeat moves WSU from “last four in” to “first four out” of the NCAA Tournament.
So that’s a harmful, harmful evening for the Shockers at home. This team’s shortfall at home is overshadowing a historically dominant road performance, and that’s just not supposed to happen.
On the other hand… Lunardi believes it’s not over yet. “First four out” means there’s a chance. With a lot of iffy bubble teams (like WSU), it sometimes feels as if the selection committee will be looking for volunteers to fill out the 37-team at-large field.
With their depth, and playing in an arena other than Koch, WSU seems well-suited to win the MVC Tournament. No matter what WSU does before that Sunday afternoon in St. Louis, the season likely rests on those three days.
- Ball screens again gave WSU problems. WSU coach Gregg Marshall said the Shockers tried three approaches before one worked. We’ve heard this before.
- Not to go all math guy, but I guess it’s possible to play the “regression to the mean” card regarding WSU’s home-road performance. It’s possible WSU isn’t as good as it appears to be when it plays on the road and not as bad as it appears to be at home. It’s possible that if we were to play this season over again, WSU would be 6-2 on the road and 7-1 at home in MVC games. WSU hasn’t really been bad at home, it just hasn’t been as a good as on the road. All four losses came down to one or two possessions, bringing a lucky bounce and lots of what ifs into the equation. Usually that happens on the road. For some reason, it’s happening to WSU at home. The players talk about focus. If that’s really the case, it’s good that WSU plays four of its next five (if it keeps winning) away from home.
- From the way Graham Hatch was moving in warmups, I would expect him back for Wednesday’s game against Creighton.
Around the Valley
- Akron coach Keith Dambrot is a fan of BracketBusters. His team faces Creighton today and in 2012-13.
- Bradley gets stuck with a game at Tennessee-Martin, one of the worst stops in the Ohio Valley Conference. The Braves are allowed to gripe a little about BracketBusters. The solution, of course, is to get better.
- Missouri State’s Caleb Patterson proves it’s not always easy being big.
- Illinois State hopes Justin Clark is no longer just a tease from three-point range.
- Detroit at Drake might be an entertaining game. Both teams feature excellent freshmen.
- It’s hard to complain about UNI getting George Mason now.