A look at Wichita State’s seven MVC champions who played in the NCAA Tournament, ranked by accomplishment in seven categories.
Record: 23-6, 10-2 MVC
NCAA Tournament results: beat Creighton 84-68; lost to Kansas State 94-86
Star power: 1
Dave Stallworth, the program’s best, scored 59 points in two NCAA games. Coach Ralph Miller is in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame.
Surprise power: 7
The Shockers started the season ranked No. 5 in the nation.
Degree of difficulty: 4
The Shockers faced a typically rigorous schedule. They split with NIT champion Bradley, won two of three vs. NIT quarterfinalist Drake and swept defending NCAA champion Loyola. They played four NCAA Tournament teams (Arizona State, UTEP, Oklahoma City, Loyola) in non-conference play, plus Big 10 co-champion Ohio State and third-place finisher Minnesota.
Wichita’s first NCAA Tournament team ramped up the basketball hysteria to another level.
Regular season: 2
The Shockers went 9-2 against ranked teams and finished No. 5 in the final Associated Press poll.
Signature moment: 5
Shocker fans packed Allen Fieldhouse for an MVC playoff game against Drake to determine the NCAA qualifier. Stallworth scored 21 points in a 58-50 victory.
Record: 21-9, 11-3 MVC
NCAA Tournament results: beat SMU 86-81; beat Oklahoma State 54-46; lost to UCLA 108-89; lost to Princeton 118-82
Star power: 5
Kelly Pete is one of the toughest to wear the Shockers uniform; Jamie Thompson one of the program’s best shooters.
Surprise power: 2
The Shockers survived and advanced without Stallworth, who exhausted his eligibility at the semester, and academically ineligible center Nate Bowman.
Degree of difficulty: 2
The Shockers, undersized and without their stars, held on to win the MVC title and defeated Southwest Conference co-champion SMU and Big Eight champion Oklahoma State in the tournament. The non-conference schedule included NCAA runner-up Michigan and NIT runner-up Villanova.
Wichitans Kelly Pete and Jamie Thompson and McPherson’s Dave Leach led the underdog Shockers to the Final Four with smart play and determination.
Regular season: 3
WSU went 6-2 against ranked teams and earned the school’s only No. 1 ranking, in the Dec. 15, AP poll.
Signature moment: 3
Shocker fans tore down the nets at Ahearn Field House in Manhattan to celebrate the regional title.
Record: 18-10, 10-2 MVC
NCAA Tournament results: lost to Michigan 74-73
Star power: 6
Cheese Johnson played briefly in the NBA and is the program’s fifth-leading scorer. Bob Elmore earned All-MVC honors three times.
Surprise power: 4
Wichita State went 6-8 in the MVC in 1974-75 and won the 1976 title with Johnson and Bob Trogele joining a senior-dominated lineup as freshmen.
Degree of difficulty: 7
The Shockers took advantage of Louisville’s departure from the MVC to win the title by one game over conference newcomer Southern Illinois.
Fans loved Cheese’s smile, but off-court problems and coach Harry Miller’s involvement in the coming NCAA probation reduce this team’s likeability factor.
Regular season: 7
Home victories over NCAA Tournament team Memphis and NIT team Louisville highlighted the non-conference season.
Signature moment: 7
Cal Bruton scored 29 points and played 40 minutes in a 75-69 win at Drake to clinch the MVC title.
Record: 26-7, 12-4 MVC
NCAA Tournament results: beat Southern 95-70; beat Iowa 60-56; beat Kansas 66-65; lost to LSU 96-85
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, Randy’s father, rejuvenated the program with recruiting and MTXE.
Surprise power: 6
The Shockers were loaded with NBA talent and won two NCAA games at Levitt Arena.
Degree of difficulty: 5
The non-conference schedule didn’t offer many obstacles. Tulsa, which won the NIT, swept the Shockers.
Shocker fans loved them, but looming troubles with the NCAA gave the program image issues.
Regular season: 6
The Shockers didn’t face a ranked team until it faced Iowa in the NCAA Tournament. The MVC did challenge them with Tulsa and NCAA qualifier Creighton, which won the conference tournament.
Signature moment: 1
Mike Jones hit two long shots to beat Kansas in the Superdome and send the Shockers to the Elite Eight.
Record: 26-9, 14-4 MVC
NCAA Tournament results: beat Seton Hall 86-66; beat Tennessee 80-73; lost to George Mason 63-55
Star power: 7
Center Paul Miller earned MVC Player of the Year honors, but the team thrived on teamwork and balance.
Surprise power: 3
The Shockers lost four starters from an NIT team and were picked fifth in the MVC preseason poll.
Degree of difficulty: 3
WSU didn’t play an NCAA game in Kansas, unlike the 1964, 1965 or 1981 teams. Up to that point, the win over second-seeded Tennessee was WSU’s biggest tournament upset in the seeding era.
The Shockers returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1988 with an unselfish style and personality. A lovable team tough enough to win the Valley in one of its best recent seasons.
Regular season: 4
The MVC sent four teams to the NCAA Tournament and fifth-place Bradley went to the Sweet 16. Losses to Illinois and Michigan State prepared WSU for March.
Signature moment: 4
Matt Braeuer’s last-second three-pointer beat Creighton 62-61 and started WSU on the road to the Valley title.
Record: 27-6, 16-2 MVC
NCAA Tournament results: lost to VCU 62-59
Star power: 4
Toure Murry, Garrett Stutz and David Kyles put in four hard years to rebuild the Shockers. Guard Joe Ragland turned in one of the greatest shooting seasons in Shocker history. Murry is in the NBA.
Surprise power: 5
The Shockers and their seniors took the logical step after finishing second in the MVC and winning the NIT in 2011.
Degree of difficulty: 6
WSU won the MVC by two games, cruising through an unbeaten February.
The Shockers, so disappointed by the NIT bid in 2011, sent the seniors out with a return to the NCAA Tournament.
Regular season: 5
A home win over No. 18 UNLV, with Ragland scoring 31 points, set the stage for a convincing run through the MVC. WSU went 8-0 in February, including a 21-point win at Creighton, to seal the MVC title.
Signature moment: 6
The Shockers made 58 percent of their shots in the rout at Creighton, sending Bluejay fans home early and leaving the arena to Shocker fans chanting “MVC, MVC.”
Record: 34-0, 16-0 MVC
NCAA Tournament results: TBA
Star power: 3
Cleanthony Early and Fred VanVleet are national Player of the Year candidates. Guard Ron Baker is the darling of the state and joins Early as players judged to have NBA potential. Coach Gregg Marshall is a national Coach of the Year award winner and is guiding the program to heights most never expected.
Surprise power: 1
Nobody expects a team to go unbeaten.
Degree of difficulty: 1
The Shockers caught a break in the weakened MVC, but going unbeaten is no fluke and not easy no matter the schedule.
Charismatic. Unselfish. They brought the national spotlight to Wichita and always looked good doing it.
Regular season: 1
It’s hard to top perfect.
Signature moment: 2
WSU trailed by 19 points with 11:48 to play in the second half before beating Missouri State 72-69 in overtime at JQH Arena.