It had to be a hell of a year for Wichita State this year. They won the Missouri Valley Conference title, ran the table in the conference tournament, and became the first team in NCAA history to win their first 35 games of the season. And yet it’s all over now, after Kentucky pulled off an upset on Sunday afternoon. So their season is now referred to in the past tense.
The Shockers had to be feeling it, at least a little bit. With a Final Four appearance last year, there was a sense of unfinished business. Last year they were the Cinderella team of the tournament, and they nearly knocked off Louisville, the team that went on to win it all. As with any near miss, they went back harder this year, determined to better their finish from a year ago. But in the end, it was not to be.
Nobody can consider a team with a 35-0 record a Cinderella story. In fact, with an unbeaten record, everybody wants to be the one that finally knocks you off. Wichita State went from underdog to Number One seed, in the space of just one year. And in the end, Kentucky–which is more accustomed to being a Number One seed, themselves–was the one who knocked off the top dog.
Just goes to show that you can never tell how these games will turn out.