Wichita State has shocked the country this season, entering the NCAA tournament with a perfect record. With selection Sunday only a few days away, the state of Kansas is likely to put three teams in the NCAA tournament. The possibility of an in-state square off between the three Kansas schools, fans in the state of Kansas should be more excited than ever for March Madness.
This season, the Wildcats of K-State and Jayhawks of Kansas split their regular season series. Would a game three between the two schools be entertaining? Sure, but this is isn’t an uncommon matchup. Something that Kansas fans don’t get to see ever year would be a matchup between the Shockers and Jayhawks or the Shockers and Wildcats. The Shockers will likely get a No. 1 seed for the NCAA tournament, if they do and it’s in the midwest, we could be in store for a Kansas matchup. The Wildcats have been projected to get anywhere from an eight to a 10 seed in the tournament. If these two fall in the same region, a third round matchup would look very possible. Of course, both of the teams would have to win at least one game before playing each other.
Hypothetically, if the Wildcats do nab the No. 8 seed in the midwest with the Shockers getting their top seed in the same region, how can fans vote against the potential matchup? Not only would this likely be an exciting game for the fans, but good for the state of Kansas. How would the Shockers handle a player like freshman guard Marcus Foster from K-State who has found success scoring against the top competition in the Big 12? Could the Wildcats handle the craftiness of Shocker sophomore point guard Fred VanVleet? These questions can only be answered if the two can find a way to square off.
The matchup that nearly every basketball fan in the Sunflower state wants is the Jayhawks and Shockers. Kansas has been a blue-blood basketball program in the country for much of it’s existence, but for once, they have not been the highest ranked team from the state this season. If the Shockers and Jayhawks played, I believe that Wichita State would feel the most pressure. The Shockers have only played three teams this season that rank in the top-50 in RBI. The Jayhawks have 13 games against top-50 RPI opponents and will likely add more before the Big 12 conference ends. Kansas would be the best team the Shockers have played all season and it wouldn’t even be close. To add to the excitement, both teams have a player with the last name of Wiggins and yes, they are brothers. Younger brother Andrew has been the Jayhawks leading scorer and is being touted as a potential No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft. Senior Nick Wiggins at Wichita State does not have the resume of his younger brother, but hey, would you want to lose to your younger brother?
Barring something stunning occurring on selection sunday, all three of these teams are a lock for the NCAA tournament. Now we’ll see if the selection committee puts them in a situation to play each other.