Well there hasn’t been much news to write about this past week, so I figured I’d bring you all some information on the Shocker’s pre-season tournament, the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. Lets start off by just saying that you absolutely have to be excited for this tournament. Not just because as a Shocker fan we always yearn to play BCS competition, but because this tournament is television gold. Which means that our beloved alma-mater will get some very good publicity early in the season. And do I dare say that we keep our fingers crossed and win the first round at least, so we don’t get relegated to play competition that doesn’t help our RPI, similar to last years Maui Meltdown (can I copyright that?)
Before I break down the awesome story lines of the tournament, lets list the teams, with their associated RPI ranking from April 4th, 2011.
- Alabama (61)
- Colorado (64)
- Iona (70)
- Maryland (94)
- Purdue (13)
- Temple (29)
- Western Michigan (193)
- Wichita State (36)
I’ll break down the multiple angles on this tournament that bring up exciting story lines, which ESPN will love.
- NIT Championship rematch between Alabama and Wichita State.
- The Turgeon coached Terrapins could play his former employer, Wichita State.
- Tad Boyle’s Buffs could play Maryland, and have a showdown of mentor and pupil.
- Wichita State and Iona have the chance to play some big boys from the BCS, and show that they belong.
The tournament offers some very good potential for any team in this tournament. But I’ll pull a John Madden here and state the obvious, you have to win to take advantage of the opportunity. Lets do a best case scenario, worst case scenario for Wichita State in this tournament.
Best Case Scenario: Wichita State opens play against Alabama, for an NIT rematch. Guaranteeing it gets pre tournament press. ESPN will talk about it, and it will bring in decent TV ratings. We dominate Alabama for yet another 40 straight minutes, we move on to play Temple in the Semi’s. A good Temple team takes us to the wire, but we win on a David Kyles 3 pointer. We carry a huge momentum boost going into the championship game against Purdue. We take care of business and lead the whole game by no less than 5 points. We get crowned the winner, and we carry the momentum into the regular season. The teams we beat also have good seasons with good end of the year RPI’s greater than 50, which gives us at least 3 top 50 RPI wins, securing us an at large bid to the dance, if we don’t already have one locked up from winning The Valley tournament.
Worst Case Scenario: The Shockers open up against Maryland. We have a big TV audience because all ESPN talks about leading up to the game, is the match up between the newly hired, Turgeon, and his old school, Wichita State. We lose in an over time thriller, and get relegated to the losers bracket. Our next match up is Western Michigan, and from the heartbreak of losing to Maryland, and repeating yet another pre-season blunder, we fall to WMU and come home beaten and bruised. We take the failure into the regular season, and can’t get over it. We finish a middle of the pack Valley team, and are lucky to make it to one of the horrible post season tournaments.
Lets go with the best case scenario, and hope for tournament gold. Coach Marshall will have this team pumped and ready to play out of the gate. I see us winning at least 2 games and going to the championship game. There I think it will be a toss up against any of the teams that make it there. This is a very good field of competitors, and really allows Wichita State to shine.