Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall just began his look at Nevada on Sunday night. From casual viewing, he knew enough to know his first-round NIT opponent is a handful.
"I saw some talented guys," he said. "I know (Luke Babbitt) is a big-time guy."
The third-seeded Shockers (25-9) open play in the National Invitation Tournament at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday against sixth-seeded Nevada (20-12).
The Wolf Pack went 0-3 against common opponents, losing twice to conference opponent Utah State and at Missouri State in the BracketBusters. WSU went 3-0 against MSU and lost at Utah State during BracketBusters weekend.
The Shockers practiced Sunday, and Marshall said the players looked as if they were getting over their post-MVC hangover.
"It was the best practice we've had (since the title game)," he said. "It's better when you have an opponent and can focus on something. That's the routine during the regular season."
Nevada is coming off an 80-79 loss to New Mexico State in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament semfinals in Reno. Babbitt, a sophomore forward, scored a career-high 33 points.
WSU is making its 11th appearance in the NIT. Coach Mark Turgeon took the Shockers to that tournament in 2003, 2004 and 2005. In their most recent appearance, WSU defeated Houston and Western Kentucky before losing at Vanderbilt.
The Shockers, with 24 NCAA Division I wins, a No. 43 RPI and a 9-5 record against the top 100, didn't generate much public discussion for an NCAA Tournament at-large spot. MVC commissioner Doug Elgin thought some television analysts unfairly ignored WSU's NCAA resume this week. Like Illinois State two seasons ago, he thought the Shockers deserved more TV time alongside teams such as Illinois, Mississippi State and Florida.
"They were not generally mentioned as a bubble team," Elgin said. "In my opinion, they met the eye test. I can't imagine how a 43 RPI team, a team with their pedigree, with their athletes... could be out of the discussion completely."
Elgin, a former selection committee member, isn't sure how absence from discussion on ESPN and other networks influences the work in Indianapolis to determine the field.
"I don't think it helps," he said.