Meet the championship contenders

Wichita State

Close your eyes for a moment. Think back to last April. Seems like eons ago, right? Well, it's also the last time that Wichita State tasted defeat. You can question the schedule, but Gregg Marshall's undefeated program has more mojo than any other team in the field. And he's going into this tourney with some of the key pieces from the same Shockers team that nearly upset Louisville in last year's Final Four. This isn't some Cinderella story. Wichita State is elite. Fred VanVleet is as reliable as any guard in America. Ron Baker and Cleanthony Early would be starters for most high-major programs. With experience, talent and confidence, Wichita State certainly has a shot to win this whole thing.


Bo Ryan still hasn't finished below fourth in the Big Ten (tied for second this season), and he hasn't missed the NCAA tournament during his time in Madison, either. But he's also searching for his first Final Four appearance. The West Region is arguably the weakest of the four regions. The Badgers will probably have to go through Arizona to reach Arlington, but they'll have a manageable slate prior to that potential Elite Eight matchup. The Badgers have one of the most impressive and diverse collections of quality wins in the country (Florida, Virginia, Saint Louis, Michigan and Michigan State). They lead the nation with just 8.1 turnovers per game. Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky are a headache for any foe. So a run certainly seems possible.

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