The Wichita State Shockers are cover models again.
The men’s basketball team, 28-0 after Wednesday night’s 88-74 win at Loyola, is on one of two regional Sports Illustrated covers this week, with the headline “Go Ahead, Try to Jinx Us.”
The photo of Cleanthony Early, Tekele Cotton, Fred VanVleet, Ron Baker and Chadrack Lufile was taken last week in Wichita. It accompanies a story by Thomas Lake. Duke’s Jabari Parker is on the cover of the other regional edition.
“Personally, I probably won’t buy any,” Early said. “My mom and my aunts and my family members will go out and buy them and I’ll probably sign a million of them.”
VanVleet plans to print the picture off the Internet. His girlfriend bought a copy.
“That’s probably the only one,” he said. “I’ve got the picture and that’s enough for me.”
The Shockers were on one of three regional covers in April, 2013 after they reached the Final Four.
In 2006, WSU was on a regional cover when the Shockers advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16.
A Shocker cover jinx?
This is Wichita State’s third Sports Illustrated cover – all regional issues. It’s the seventh time a Shocker has appeared on the cover, counting two by major-league Joe Carter and two by NFL coach Bill Parcells.
Here’s looking at how the SI cover jinx has affected the Shockers:
April 8, 2013 – Basketball team makes a regional cover after winning the West Regional, then loses to Louisville in the semifinals. But the Cardinals were also on a regional cover that week. Half jinx.
March 31, 2006 – Sean Ogirri makes the cover after WSU beats Tennessee to reach the Sweet 16. WSU loses its next game to George Mason, but the Patriots were also on a regional cover that week. Half jinx.
Aug. 18, 2003 – Parcells is on the cover prior to his first season as Dallas Cowboys coach. Dallas goes 10-6 but loses in the NFC wild-card round to Carolina. Not jinxed.
Dec. 14, 1998 – With the caption “Tough SOB, Super Coach,” Parcells is on the cover wearing a Jets sweater. New York wins its final two games to roll into the AFC playoffs at 12-4, beats Jacksonville in the divisional round, then falls at Denver in the championship game. Not jinxed.
Nov. 1, 1993 – Joe Carter’s famous trot around the bases is covered after his Series-clinching home run for the Blue Jays. In 1994, Carter hit .271 with 27 home runs with 121 RBIs, though the season was cut short by the players strike. Not jinxed. Sort of.
April 6, 1987 – Young Indians stars Carter and Cory Snyder pose as part of SI’s 1987 baseball preview. Carter hits .264 with 32 home runs and 106 RBIs, though Snyder hits .236 with 166 strikeouts. Cleveland goes 61-101, dead last in the AL East. Jinxed.