‘We’re definitely underrated’: Wichita State selected 10-seed in South region

In 30 years, only one No. 10 seed in the NCAA Tournament advanced to the Final Four. That didn’t stop Syracuse, who drew a 10 seed last year, and advanced their way all the way to the semifinals — the second in tournament history to do so.

Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall hopes that those odds won’t stop him this season either.

The Shockers drew a 10 seed in the South region of the NCAA Tournament. They’ll play No. 7 seed Dayton, out of the Atlantic 10, in Indianapolis, in the first round on Friday.

“So many crazy things can happen to a bracket,” Marshall said. “You have North Carolina, Kentucky and UCLA we have to go through — so be it,” Marshall said.

Should they advance, they’d meet the winner of No. 2 seed Kentucky (29-5) and No. 15 Northern Kentucky.

“I didn’t think there was any way we could be lower than a nine-seed,” WSU guard Landry Shamet said. “It’s about on par with the course of the whole year — we weren’t supposed to be a tournament team. We’ve been underrated and talked down on. It’s nothing new, really.”

The No. 20 Shockers (30-4) are in the NCAA Tournament for the sixth consecutive season.

“I think we deserved a six-seed,” sophomore forward Markis McDuffie said. “We’re definitely underrated.

“They said Dayton is going to beat us — we’ll see about that.”

Junior Zach Brown was excited to see the seeding initially, but was surprised that more consideration wasn’t given to metric systems like Sagarin or KenPom where the Shockers rated No. 8.

“I thought we were a No. 7 or No. 8 seed, but I play basketball, what do I know,” he said.

Marshall and his assistant coaches will start pulling up game video from Dayton and start the evaluating process Sunday night.

Shamet said WSU could go far in March with the added depth they bring off the bench, routinely playing an 11-man rotation.

“Toughness” is what McDuffie said is essential for any team to go far in March. He said the Shockers possess that in all 16 on their roster.

The Shockers have never been placed as a 10-seed in the NCAA Tournament in school history. Three times have they been given an 11-seed.