The case against Wichita State

If J.T. Durley and Wichita State can't win their league tournament, they could be in trouble. AP Photo/Eugene Tanner

The Wichita State Shockers have been down this road before.

Last year, the Shockers entered Selection Sunday with a 24-9 record (12-6 in the Missouri Valley) and No. 43 RPI ranking, meaning they were well within striking distance of an at-large bid. Upon further review, however, one thing stuck out: Wichita State had played just four games against RPI top-50 opponents, three of them coming against the conference champion Northern Iowa Panthers. The Shockers finished 1-3 in those games -- the lone win coming when the Panthers traveled to Wichita -- and found themselves NIT-bound.

This season, the Shockers' résumé looks fairly similar. At 18-4 (10-2 MVC), they're currently No. 39 in the RPI. Once again, Wichita State is on pace to have played four RPI top-50 games -- versus the Connecticut Huskies, San Diego State Aztecs and Missouri State Bears (twice) -- by season's end. And once again, their performance has been lacking, as they are currently 0-3 in those games. For this reason, Gregg Marshall and friends could be feeling some serious déjà vu March 13 if they are unable to wrap up the MVC's automatic bid.