Shock(er) Value

For the few brave souls willing to bear with me for the remainder of this article, I've got a bit of trivia for you. Read on, and see if you can guess what team I'm talking about before I tell you at the end of the article.

Around this time every year, I write an article about sleeper teams that could surprise some people come March Madness. Thanks to the fact that I've picked as many as five teams each year, I've looked like less of an idiot on a couple of occasions (like with Northern Iowa and Cornell two years ago), but having an extensive list and being right about one or two teams isn't really impressive.

This time around, there will be no list of teams to give me a better chance of looking like a genius if one of them makes some noise in the tournament. This year, I've got one team about which two things are guaranteed.

The first is this — the selection committee will not give them their due, and to this point, neither have the poll voters for college basketball. This team has a better record, against a better strength of schedule, than 13th-ranked San Diego State. They've also beaten 11th-ranked UNLV by 19 points, and then-15th ranked Creighton by 21 points — at Creighton. An average game for them this year results in a win by the score of 78-63, which means they're scoring more points-per-game than the top two teams in the country.

All this, and they've still been ignored all year, until this week, when they appeared as the last team in the AP poll, and first team on the outside-looking-in of the ESPN poll. If all of this (along with the title of the article) still isn't enough to give away the mystery team, here's the last hint before the second guarantee — they won the NIT tournament last year.

The second thing I know for sure about this team is this — they will shock you in March. Trust me on this one. When Joe Ragland can't miss, and seven-footer Garrett Stutz is making All-American big men look silly, the announcers on CBS, TBS, TNT, and TruTV will be gushing about how surprising the whole thing is. Don't make the same mistake they will, be prepared for what will happen.

The aforementioned Ragland has the third highest adjusted shooting percentage in the country, and he's shooting 47% from range — and there's much more Stutz than his seven-foot frame, but in order to fully grasp the impact he makes when he's on the court, you have to see him in action.

By this point, you're probably at least mildly interested in finding some highlights of this team, or maybe even watching their next game. Many of you have probably already figured out who this mystery team is. But I still don't think anyone, myself included, knows just how much this team is capable of yet.

But that's perfectly fine with the Wichita State Shockers. Disrespected teams from the Missouri Valley Conference have a recent habit of slaying giants in March. Isn't that right, Kansas?

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