After a 1-6 start to conference play, Wichita State is one of the hottest teams going into this week’s American Athletic Conference Tournament in Memphis, Tenn.
The Shockers became the first team in the AAC’s six-year history to win more than seven games after a 1-6 start, as WSU won nine of its last 11 to finish the conference season with a 10-8 record for a sixth-place finish.
Wichita State (17-13) is the No. 6 seed and will play No. 11 seed East Carolina (10-19) in the first round around 9 p.m. Thursday at the FedEx Center with the game broadcast on ESPNU. WSU swept the season series with ECU, winning 65-49 in Greenville, N.C. on Feb. 6 and 72-55 in Wichita on March 5.
WSU’s dramatic win on Saturday over Tulane also helped Temple (23-8) win a tiebreaker with Central Florida for the No. 3 seed. That means if the Shockers beat East Carolina for a third time, they will get a rematch with Temple, who won 85-81 in overtime at Koch Arena on Jan. 6, around 8 p.m. Friday in the quarterfinals with the game broadcast on ESPNU.
If WSU wins two straight games, then it will play in the semifinals at 4 p.m. Saturday with the game broadcast on ESPN2. The AAC Tournament championship is 2:15 p.m. Sunday broadcast on ESPN.
Per KenPom.com, Wichita State has an 83.1 percent chance of making the quarterfinals, a 34.8 percent chance of making the semifinals, 12.6 percent chance of making the finals and 2.9 percent of winning the championship.
Fans can purchase all-session tickets to the conference tournament through the Shocker ticket office in person or by calling 316-978-FANS.
Thursday’s play-in games
Game 1: No. 9 Connecticut (15-16) vs. No. 8 South Florida (19-12), noon (ESPNU)
Game 2: No. 12 Tulane (4-26) vs. No. 5 Memphis (19-12), 2 p.m. (ESPNU)
Game 3: No. 10 SMU (14-16) vs. No. 7 Tulsa (18-13), 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
Game 4: No. 11 East Carolina (10-19) vs. No. 6 Wichita State (17-13), 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
Game 5: Connecticut-South Florida winner vs. No. 1 Houston (29-2), 11 a.m. (ESPN2)
Game 6: Tulane-Memphis winner vs. No. 4 UCF (23-7), 1 p.m. (ESPN2)
Game 7: SMU-Tulsa winner vs. No. 2 Cincinnati (25-6), 6 p.m. (ESPNU)
Game 8: East Carolina-Wichita State winner vs. No. 3 Temple (23-8), 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
Game 9: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 2 p.m. (ESPN2)
Game 10: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 4 p.m. (ESPN2)
Game 11: Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner, 2:15 p.m. (ESPN)