Comparing Wichita State's Sweet 16 teams
03/27/2013 2:32 PM
08/06/2014 12:36 AM
Record: 23-6, 10-2 MVC
NCAA Tournament results: def. Creighton 84-68, lost to Kansas State 94-86
NCAA PERFORMANCE: 5. Disappointing home los to the Wildcats kept Wichita from advancing to the Final Four in Kansas City, Mo.
STAR POWER: 1. Dave Stallworth, the program’s best, scored 59 points in the two NCAA games. Coach Ralph Miller is in the Naismith Hall of Fame.
SURPRISE POWER: 5. The Shockers started the season ranked No. 5 in the nation.
DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY: 5. Guard Ernie Moore exhausted his eligibility before the tournament and didn’t play, perhaps costing the team a spot in the Final Four.
CUDDLINESS: 4. Wichita’s first NCAA Tournament team ramped up basketball hysteria to another level.
REGULAR SEASON: 1. The Shockers went 9-2 against ranked teams, including two wins each over defending national champion Loyola-Chicago and runnerup Cincinnati. The Shockers were ranked No. 5 in the final Associated Press.
SIGNATURE MOMENT: 5. Shocker fans packed Allen Fieldhouse for an MVC playoff game with Drake to determine which team would go the NCAA Tournament. The Shockers defeated 11th-ranked Drake 58-50 with Stallworth scoring 21.
Record: 21-9, 11-3 MVC
NCAA Tournament results: def SMU 86-81, def. Oklahoma State 54-46, lost to UCLA 108-89, lost to Princeton 118-82
NCAA PERFORMANCE: 1. School’s only team to advance to the Final Four, and they did it with a win over Hall of Fame coach Henry Iba.
STAR POWER: 3. Kelly Pete is one of the toughest to wear the Shocker uniform; Jamie Thompson one of the program’s best shooters.
SURPRISE POWER: 3. The Shockers survived and advanced without Stallworth, who exhausted his eligibility at the semester, and academically ineligible center Nate Bowman.
DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY: 3. The Shockers, undersized and without their stars, defeated Southwest Conference co-champion SMU at Big Eight champion Oklahoma State.
CUDDLINESS: 2. The underdog Shockers, led by Wichitans Thompson and Pete and McPherson’s Dave Leach, pushed to the Final Four with smart play and determination.
REGULAR SEASON: 2. WSU went 6-2 against ranked teams and earned the school’s only No. 1 ranking, in the Dec. 15 AP poll.
SIGNATURE MOMENT: 2. Shocker fans tore down the nets at Ahearn Field House in Manhattan to celebrate the regional title.
Record: 26-7, 12-4 MVC
NCAA Tournament results: def Southern 95-70; def. Iowa 60-56; def. Kansas 66-65; lost to LSU 96-85.
NCAA PERFORMANCE: 4. WSU won two games at Levitt Arena before beating Kansas in New Orleans.
STAR POWER: 2. Antoine Carr, Cliff Levingston and Ozell Jones played in the NBA; Randy Smithson made two famous free throws against Iowa and later coached the Shockers; Coach Gene Smithson rejuvenated the program with great recruiting and MTXE.
SURPRISE POWER: 4. WSU enjoyed the comforts of home for wins over Southern and Iowa. Beating Iowa wasn’t as much of an upset at Levitt Arena.
DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY: 4. Fans carried the Shockers that day against Iowa.
CUDDLINESS: 5. Shocker fans loved them, but looming troubles with the NCAA gave the program image issues.
REGULAR SEASON: 4. WSU didn’t face a ranked team until Iowa, but it did fight through an MVC scheduled that included NIT champion Tulsa at NCAA qualifier Creighton; six of the Valley’s nine teams had winning records.
SIGNATURE MOMENT: 1. Mike Jones hit two long shots to beat Kansas in the Superdome and send WSU to the Elite Eight.
Record: 26-8, 14-4 MVC
NCAA Tournament results: def. Seton Hall 86-66, def. Tennessee 80-73, lost to George Mason 63-55.
NCAA PERFORMANCE: 3. WSU traveled far from home to beat a Big East team and knocked off second-seeded Tennessee.
STAR POWER: 4. Center Paul Miller was the Valley’s Player of the Year, but the Shockers thrived on teamwork and balance.
SURPRISE POWER: 1. The Shockers lost four starters from an NIT team and were picked fifth in the Valley’s preseason poll.
DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY: 2. No Shocker team before advanced to the Sweet 16 without an NCAA game in Kansas. No Shocker team had beaten, to that point, a team seeded as high as second.
CUDDLINESS: 1. Unselfish, well-mannered, underdogs. The Shockers were Wichita’s It Boys of 2006. They delivered fans their best March in 25 years and didn’t have to share the spotlight with Kansas or Kansas State.
REGULAR SEASON: 3. The schedule had teams that picked up NCAA victories (Northwestern State, George Mason, Bradley), and Mason went the Final Four. Losses to Michigan State and Illinois prepared for March.
SIGNATURE MOMENT: 4. Matt Brauer’s last-second three-pointer beat Creighton 62-61 and started WSU on its run to the Valley title.
Record: 28-8, 12-6 MVC
NCAA Tournament results: def. Pittsburgh 73-55, def. Gonzaga 76-70.
NCAA PERFORMANCE: 2. Opened by humbling a proud Big East program and topped that by handling a No. 1 seed on a 15-game win streak.
STAR POWER: 5. The leading scorer, Cleanthony Early, comes off the bench and made the All-MVC team. WSU plays a lot of people a lot of minutes.
SURPRISE POWER: 1. Even the coach prepared for a rebuilding season after losing five seniors. Then injuries hit. WSU overcame a lot to make the NCAAs. And then it won two games.
DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY: 1. WSU is the fifth No. 9 seed to make the Sweet 16 since 1985, when the field expanded to 64 (and now 68) teams.
CUDDLINESS: 3. As likable as possible for a team whose motto is “Play Angry.” Unselfish, balanced and handled adversity admirably.
REGULAR SEASON: 5. Let an MVC title slip away after excelling through a challenging non-conference schedule.
SIGNATURE MOMENT: 3. A 5-for-5 stretch from behind the arc in the final 5:09, capped by Fred VanVleet’s rainbow to beat the shot clock.
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