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December 4, 2011

Ask Sports: When is the last time Wichita State hosted a former NCAA Tournament champion?

When is the last time Wichita State hosted a former NCAA Tournament champion?

The Shockers will play UNLV today in a highly-anticipated matchup for Wichita State fans.

The Runnin' Rebels, who defeated then top-ranked North Carolina earlier this season, used to be a national power, reaching the Final Four four times, most recently in 1991.

The 1990 team won the title with Larry Johnson (the basketball player, not the former Chiefs running back), Stacey Augmon, Greg Anthony and George Ackles — all NBA draftees.

The last former champion to visit Koch or Levitt Arena is one most fans are likely to overlook: the Wyoming Cowboys.

Wyoming, the 1943 NCAA champion in the tournament's very early days, came to Koch in Nov. 2007. The Shocker defeated the Cowboys 75-63.

Prior to that visit, San Francisco came to Wichita in 2004. The Shockers also defeated the two-time champion Dons, who won in 1955 and 1956.

Oklahoma State, who won the 1945 and 1946 tournaments, last played here in 2002.

The Kansas Jayhawks, who had then won the tournament twice, last appeared in Wichita in 1992. Utah, the 1944 champ, also played the Shockers during the 1991-92 season.

Oregon, the first NCAA champion in 1939, came to Wichita in 1984.

Former Missouri Valley Conference rival Cincinnati, the 1961 and 1962 champion, last played in Wichita in 1981.

The 1979-80 Michigan State Spartans are the last current champion to visit Wichita. That Spartan team, without Magic Johnson, lost to the Shockers 55-54 six months after winning the title. The Spartans didn't qualify for the 1980 NCAA Tournament.

The Shockers hosted UTEP, the 1966 champ, in the 1980 NIT. Marquette, the 1977 champ, defeated WSU in Jan. 1978.

Loyola-Chicago, the 1963 champion, played WSU in 1971 in Wichita. 1960 champion Ohio State visited in 1962.

Louisville, another former MVC opponent, has won two national titles, but the Cardinals haven't played in Wichita since their 1986 title.

—Joshua Wood

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