Wichita State played its First Four game Tuesday night in Dayton, Ohio. The No. 11-seeded Shockers then faced No. 6 seed Arizona in Providence, Rhode Island on Thursday evening, with the game not ending until close to midnight. Saturday, WSU will play the opening game of the second round, when it faces No. 3 seed Miami at 12:10 p.m. E.T.
So, Wichita State will play three games before pretty much everyone else - save for their opponent, the Hurricanes - play two. In a span of about 84 hours, the Shockers will play three contests. This basically never happens in college basketball.
Such is the life of one of the last teams to make the NCAA Tournament field that advances, but that's not preventing people from criticizing those making the scheduling decisions.
">March 18, 2016
">March 18, 2016
From The Big Lead:
Look, this isn’t some grand conspiracy theory trying to unearth an anti-WSU plot. Miami will enter with 2.5 more hours of rest so any advantage will be minimal. As an 11 seed, the Shockers shouldn’t necessarily be provided with a rose petal-lined path to the Final Four. It just strikes me as odd that they are forced to play a third NCAA Tournament game before everyone except Michigan (who may not still be in the field come tonight) has played two.
I tend to agree.
It's certainly unfortunate for Wichita State, which will be pretty gassed by the end of the game against Miami. The NCAA and its television partners could have done a better job giving teams a somewhat equal amount of rest.
Ask Wichita State to decide between playing this difficult schedule and not making the tournament, though, and the Shockers are clearly taking the rough road 100 percent of the time.
You can view the full schedule for Saturday's second round games here.