Threw almost three months of the season there is one team whose undefeated record is as surprising as its run to the Final Four last season. Wichita St rolled through its non-conference schedule and with Creighton in the Big East, it looks like the Shockers will face little resistance in the Missouri Valley this season.
Led by one of the best point guards in the country in Fred VanVleet, the Shockers destroyed Indiana St, the only other team in the Valley with real at-large aspirations. He runs the show and is surrounded by talent that plenty of high majors schools are probably envious of. Throw in Gregg Marshall, a man who’s legitimately one of the best coaches in the country and this is a team that looks like a national title contender.
Stock Up: Tyler Ennis. The Syracuse freshman has taken this team to another level. Any thoughts of a drop off after Michael Carter-Williams have been erased as Ennis has made the Orange the favorite to win the ACC.
Stock Down: Big East favorites. Both Georgetown and Marquette are sputtering to find themselves as injuries, suspensions and early departures have crushed their respective rosters. Both squads thought they’d perform much better this season but neither have been close to upholding the standard the each program has set.
Stock Up: Kansas. The Jayhawks are putting it together and its going to get scary for everyone else. It appears that Joel Embiid has taken the reigns as the best player on this team and everyone else has followed. Kansas already has four losses, but it could be a good while before it losses again…if it losses again.
Stock Down: VCU. The Rams have been figured out. If you limit VCU’s transition opportunities they can’t score. This team can get hot from deep, but it’s not consistent when the Rams are off, they’re extremely easy to defend.
On to the bracket:
First one of the year.
Last Four In: North Carolina, Stanford, Providence, SMU
Last Four Out: Saint Mary’s, Boise St, Purdue, Georgetown
1.Arizona16.Robert Morris/Chattanooga San Diego
5.Ohio St12.Providence/Stanford Raleigh
6.Memphis11.Texas San Antonio
3.Wichita St14.Georgia St
7.Kansas St10.George Washington Milwaukee
5.Pittsburgh12.Toledo San Diego
4.Cincinnati13.Stephen F. Austin
1.Michigan St16.Southern Milwaukee
5.Iowa St12.Missouri Raleigh
6.Oklahoma11.Green Bay San Antonio
2.San Diego St15.UC Irvine
1.Syracuse16.South Dakota/Morgan St Buffalo
5.Saint Louis12.SMU/North Carolina Orlando
6.Creighton11.VCU St. Louis
7.UConn10.New Mexico St. Louis