Wichita State got screwed in their NCAA bracket for the second-straight year

All things considered, no NCAA Tournament team has more to complain about than Wichita State.

The Shockers went 27-4 in the regular season and 17-1 in the Missouri Valley before losing in the conference tournament. They finished 14th in KenPom’s ratings and 17th in the RPI.

They got a No. 7 seed in the Midwest region when the brackets were announced on Sunday. The NCAA ranked them 26th out of the 68 teams in the field.

When you look at the numbers, that’s a low seed for them. Only three other teams were more underseeded relative to their KenPom ranking:

  1. Texas (ranked 41st by NCAA, ranked 20th by KenPom), No. 11 seed
  2. Ohio State (ranked 39th by NCAA, ranked 18th by KenPom), No. 10 seed
  3. BYU (ranked 44th by NCAA, ranked 31st by KenPom), No. 11 seed and a play-in game
  4. Wichita State (ranked 26th by NCAA, ranked 14th by KenPom), No. 7 seed
  5. Utah (ranked 17th by NCAA, ranked 8th by KenPom), No. 5 seed

Wichita should have been a No. 4 seed under KenPom’s ratings. They ended up three seeds lower than that.

The Shockers caught a break in Round One, drawing Indiana, the lowest-rated No. 10 seed in the tournament. But after that it gets tough.

If they beat Indiana, they will likely face No. 2 seed Kansas in Round Two. While Kansas isn’t the best No. 2 seed, they’re way better than any team Wichita would have faced in Round Two if they were properly seeded.

Even if the Shockers catch fire and reach the Elite Eight, they’d have to face Kentucky — one of the most overwhelming favourites in the history of the tournament.

Kentucky ended Wichita State’s undefeated season last year after the NCAA gave the Shockers a ridiculously hard bracket as a No. 1 seed. For the second-straight year, the committee has given WSU an impossible task.

In general, the NCAA underseeded so-called “mid-major” teams relative to their KenPom rankings. Of the 11 teams that were ranked five spots or worse in the NCAA ranking than the KenPom ranking, seven were from non-power conferences.

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