The Shockers entered the sport as one among Jerry Palm’s “Final 4 Out” in his most up-to-date Bracketology, however that projection is in flux due to the absolute best win on Wichita State’s schedule. It is a season within the American Athletic Convention that has been notable for each Houston’s excellence and the obvious chasm between the Cougars and everybody else, however the Shockers made probably the most of their one common season assembly with the league’s frontrunners and truly pull into first place within the league standings primarily based on profitable proportion.
“Wichita State obtained the massive win it wanted to get the committee’s consideration and bolstered its hopes for an at-large bid ought to the Shockers want one,” CBS Sports activities Bracketology skilled Jerry Palm mentioned Thursday evening. “They’re within the bracket for now as the automated qualifier for the AAC by advantage of taking up first place within the convention. They nonetheless have little margin for error within the pursuit of an at-large bid, however there are nonetheless some useful video games forward.”
Palm will replace his total bracket Friday morning.
Star guard Tyson Etienne continued his current run of success with a team-high 16 factors and was matched by his backcourt mate Alterique Gilbert with 16 on 6-for-11 capturing with three 3-pointers. Houston is likely one of the finest defensive groups within the nation, however the Cougars noticed a repeat of their earlier loss to East Carolina as Wichita State obtained sizzling from exterior the arc and completed the sport capturing 45.5% (10-for-22) on 3-point makes an attempt.
Even with Wichita State’s sizzling capturing and a few lower than superb offense, Houston had an opportunity to win the sport late. After a Quentin Grimes trey minimize the result in 64-63 with 19 seconds left, Etienne missed the entrance finish of a one-and-one and the Cougars obtained the rebound. Then, with a go-ahead and potential game-winning possession at hand, Wichita State guard Dexter Dennis jumped a cross-court cross like a defensive again and began charging to the rim. Justin Gorham chased Dennis down and dedicated a tough foul that resulted in two photographs and the ball for the Shockers, who had been then in a position to shut out this system’s first win over a top-six opponent since 1967 on the free throw line.
For Wichita State to even be on this place at this level of the season is a credit score to interim coach Isaac Brown and a workers that has caught with its gamers by the investigation and eventual resignation of Gregg Marshall. The American Athletic Convention media ballot was launched on Oct. 28, after the allegations of abuse first got here to mild however earlier than Marshall’s resignation, and it revealed the low expectations for a crew enduring a scandal within the midst of a pandemic. Wichita State was picked to complete No. 7 within the 11-team league, and now it is coming down the stretch of the common season with a 9-2 file in convention play and holding onto first place within the standings due to a head-to-head win in opposition to the preseason AAC favourite.
The success that Wichita State has already skilled is value making Brown a severe candidate for the full-time job, however making the NCAA Event solely strengthens his argument as the precise choose to information this system transferring ahead. Capitalizing on this win and stepping into the sphere of 68 will imply strolling a good rope with a head-to-head in opposition to SMU (residence and away) and two straight highway video games in opposition to Tulane and Temple to shut the common season. There’s nothing left on the schedule that may assist Wichita State as a lot because it did with Thursday evening’s win, however loads of potential pitfalls if it will get misplaced within the victory and ignores the duty at hand.