2014 NCAA Tournament
Midwest Region – Second Round
Scottrade Center – St. Louis, Missouri
#16 Cal Poly Mustangs vs #1 Wichita State Shockers
Friday, March 21, 2014, 7:10 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
Opening Line: Wichita State -16 1/2
Current Line: Wichita State -16
Opening Total: 125 1/2
Current Total: 126
Opening Money Line: Wichita State -1800 / Cal Poly +990
Current Money Line: Wichita State -1800 / Cal Poly +990
The 34-0 Wichita State Shockers are the first team to enter the NCAA Tournament with an undefeated record since UNLV in 1991. Despite the fact that Wichita State went to the Final Four last year, some people haven’t given the Wichita State the credit they deserve for such an incredible season. The experts cite the Shockers soft schedule and say if they were in a major conference instead of the Missouri Valley that Wichita State would not be undefeated. That may be true, but to win 34 straight games is impressive no matter who you are playing. Wichita State was given the #1 seed in the Midwest Region. The selection committee did them no favors by putting such blue blood programs as Michigan, Duke, Louisville and Kentucky in their region.
However, before Wichita State can worry about those teams, they must take care of business in the second round against #16 seed Cal Poly in St. Louis Friday. The winner of Wichita State and Cal Poly will play either #8 Kentucky or #9 Kansas State in the third round Sunday. Wichita State won the only previous meeting against Cal Poly in 1976 in Wichita.
Cal Poly is 14-19 and went 6-10 in the Big West. The Mustangs made an unlikely run in the Big West Tournament and beat Cal State Northridge 61-59 in the Championship game. Heading into that tournament Cal Poly had lost 5 of their last 6 games including 3 straight. The Mustangs also beat the top two seeds UC-Irvine and UC-Santa Barbara en route to the auto-bid. With a losing record, Cal Poly was sent to the first round game, and the Mustangs beat Texas Southern 81-69 to advance to the second round against Wichita State. Cal Poly is making their NCAA Tournament debut. The Mustangs went 0-5 against NCAA Tournament teams this season.
Wichita State went 18-0 in the Missouri Valley Conference and won the MVC Tournament also in St. Louis. The Shockers are the first MVC team to achieve a #1 seed since Indiana State in 1979, led by Larry Bird. It has been 11 days since Wichita State beat Indiana State 83-69 in the MVC Championship game. The Shockers are making their 11th trip to the NCAA Tournament and second straight. The Shockers narrowly lost to eventual national champion Louisville in the Final Four last year. Wichita State went 5-0 against NCAA Tournament teams.
Cal Poly is coached by Joe Callero. The mustangs have losses at Arizona, Nevada, at Fresno State, Pacific in a tournament in Eugene, OR, at Oregon, at Loyola Marymount, at Pitt, at Stanford, at Delaware, Long Beach State twice, UC-Riverside, UC-Davis twice, UC-Irvine twice, at Hawaii, CS-Fullerton, and UC-Santa Barbara. The Mustangs have won 4 straight games, a very good time for their longest winning streak of the season. Cal Poly has key wins over North Dakota in Eugene, Santa Clara, Hawaii, UC-Santa Barbara twice, CS-Northridge 3 times, Long Beach State, at CS-Fullerton, UC-Riverside, and UC-Irvine. Cal Poly is 12-19 ATS and the total is 15-14-1 this season.
Cal Poly is outscoring teams 63.8-63.6 this season. The Mustangs are #36 nationally in points allowed but #318 out of 351 teams in scoring. Cal Poly is shooting 41.4% from the field and 34% from 3 point range. The Mustangs are #308 nationally in field goal percentage. The Mustangs are shooting 69.6% from the free throw line. Cal Poly opponents are shooting 43.3% from the field and 33.9% from 3 point range. The Mustangs average 32.2 rebounds per game and opponents average 29.7. Cal Poly is #297 in rebounding nationally. The Mustangs average 11.8 assists, 9 turnovers, 5.8 steals, and 2.8 blocks per game. Opponents average 12.2 assists, 11.2 turnovers, 4.5 steals and 3.5 blocks per game.
Forward Chris Eversley averages 13.7 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Wingman Dave Nwaba averages 12 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. Guard Kyle Odister averages 9.2 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. Forward Bryan Bennett averages 6.2 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. Guard Jamal Johnson averages 4.6 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. Joel Awich, Ridge Shipley, Maliik Love, and Michael Bolden will also get significant minutes,
Wichita State is coached by Gregg Marshall. The Shockers have key wins over Western Kentucky, William & Mary, at Tulsa, DePaul and BYU in a tournament in Kansas City, at St. Louis, Oral Roberts, Tennessee, at Alabama, North Carolina Central, and Davidson. Wichita State beat every team in the Missouri Valley at least twice, and beat Evansville, Missouri State and Indiana State 3 times each. The Shockers are 24-6-1 ATS and the total is 16-14 this season.
Wichita State is outscoring teams 76-60 this season. The Shockers are #11 nationally in points allowed. Wichita State is shooting 45.9% from the field and 34.8% from 3 point range. The Shockers make 73% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 39.2% from the field and 31% from 3 point range. The Shockers are #13 in field goal defense and #34 in 3 point defense nationally. Wichita State averages 38.8 rebounds per game and opponents average 26. The Shockers are #24 in rebounding and #2 in rebounds allowed nationally. Wichita State averages 13.5 assists, 10.4 turnovers, 7 steals and 5.1 blocks per game. Opponents average 10 assists, 12.3 turnovers, 4.6 steals and 2.6 blocks per game.
Forward Cleanthony Early averages 15.8 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. Guard Ron Baker averages 13.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Guard Fred VanVleet averages 12.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.9 steals per game. Guard Tekele Cotton averages 10.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Forward Darius Carter averages 8.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Chadrack Lufile, Nick Wiggins, Kadeem Coleby, and Evan Wessel will also get significant minutes.
Cal Poly is 3-0-1 ATS in Friday games, 5-1-1 in neutral site games, 4-1 against teams with winning records, 5-12 overall, 2-5 after a straight up win, and 1-4 after a cover.
Wichita State is 5-0 ATS in NCAA Tournament games, 4-0 against teams with losing records, 13-3 in neutral site games, 4-1 in Friday games, 36-12-3 after a straight up win, 36-13-3 after a cover, 19-7-1 in non-conference games, and 36-14-3 overall.
Cal Poly should come out loose in this game because all of the pressure is on Wichita State. The Mustangs aren’t supposed to be here anyway and are playing with house money. I think this game will play out like yesterday’s Florida-Albany game. The Gators came out flat and had to pull away late to put away the pesky Great Danes. I think Wichita State will have to do the same to advance.