Should his Wichita State Shockers win the Midwest Regional on March 30 at Lucas Oil Stadium, coach Gregg Marshall will be required to attend a press conference to take questions from the hundreds of media members that cover the event. If I were Marshall, I’d sit down at the podium and utter these words: “Please keep doubting us, because you’re making my job awfully easy.”
Marshall seems like a classy guy, so I doubt he’d indulge in repeating my personal feelings. So, I’ll rant a little bit on Marshall’s behalf: 34-0 Wichita State is good. Final Four-good. National champion-good.
Just because the roster doesn’t have a single McDonald’s All-American doesn’t mean the Shockers can’t compete with the best. This isn’t a flavor-of-the-week squad like Florida Gulf Coast or even some middling power conference squad catching lightning in a bottle — Wichita State is a well-oiled, well-coached boa constrictor of a team that doesn’t screw up and has the talent to knock off the “big boys.”
And all the doubt and skepticism just adds fuel to the Shockers’ ‘Play Angry’ mantra.
I admit that I was once a doubter. I watched Ohio State, my alma mater, get dismantled by the Shockers in last season’s Elite Eight. I thought the Buckeyes, who were winners of 11 in a row to that point, were shoo-ins to reach the Final Four. Afterwards, I felt a little embarrassed that a so-called mid-major toppled OSU in its quest for back-to-back Final Four trips.