Wichita State won the Missouri Valley Conference men’s basketball title without celebration on Saturday afternoon.
The party is planned for Saturday night, with a sold-out crowd ready to watch the Shockers cut down nets.
Second-place Indiana State lost at Missouri State on Saturday afternoon, giving the Shockers sole ownership of the title. WSU clinched a share of the title on Wednesday at Loyola. No. 3 WSU (28-0, 15-0 MVC) takes its unbeaten record into Saturday night’s game against Drake. Indiana State (21-7, 12-4) can’t catch the Shockers with two conference games to play.
Of course, most of the Valley viewed the race as a formality for several weeks. The Shockers built a three-game lead over Indiana State with a win at Terre Haute on Feb. 5 and any chance for drama ended.
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The Shockers took no notice of Indiana State’s gift during their pre-game practice. Coach Gregg Marshall watched a few seconds of the stats broadcast on a computer while his team warmed up. Once practice started, the Shockers were all business. They ran offensive sets as Missouri State wrapped up the 77-66 victory. After practice, the Shockers jogged off the court, exchanged hugs and fist bumps with recruit Rashard Kelly, and went to film study.
WSU won its eighth MVC title and second in the past three seasons. Marshall joins former coach Gene Smithson, who won MVC titles in 1981 and 1983, as the lone Shocker coaches to win two conference championships.