Wichita State's tough draw a perfect opportunity to prove itself

There wasn't much uproar when Wichita State University was named a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament Sunday. But throughout the season, the Shockers' undefeated record was questioned because of their lackluster schedule.

Now, in unquestionably the most difficult region of the tournament, Wichita State has a chance to silence the doubters.

The Shockers' path to the championship will likely run through a potentially dangerous University of Kentucky team, seeded eighth despite having the talent of a top-four seed because of inconsistent play.



If they manage to get past Julius Randle and the Wildcats, the Shockers face a potential Sweet 16 matchup against the criminally underseeded Louisville Cardinals, who many are picking to come out of the region and advance to the Final Four.

For one seeds, the first three games are supposed to be ones in which they are favored by a good margin. For Wichita State, it's a murderer's row of games just leading into the Elite Eight and Final Four.

Even if the Shockers don't end their season undefeated with a national championship, they'll still have had a chance to prove themselves in the early rounds.

Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall should be thanking the selection committee for the difficult draw because that is exactly what his team needs.

The Shockers have already faced the cupcakes, now it's their turn to face competition while the other No. 1 seeds get a couple "easy" games.

Reach the sports editor at ewebeck@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @EvanWebeck

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