Shockers receive national recognition following second-straight Power Five victory


Selena Favela

Shockers celebrate after winning against Oklahoma at Intrust Bank Arena on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019.

After Wichita State’s come-from-behind victory against the Oklahoma Sooners, the Shockers started to gain some respect from the national media.

Here’s how WSU is currently fairing in different ranking systems and predictions:


AP Poll: Receiving Votes, No. 28

In the Associated Press college basketball Top 25 Poll, the Shockers started to receive some respect, but have yet to crack the top 25. For the first time all season, WSU received votes 31 in total falling 45 votes shy of the top 25.

The AP poll originated back in 1949 and is updated each week with votes from writers who cover various teams across the country. The last time WSU cracked the top 25 was the final poll of the 2017-18 season, which saw the Shockers finish at No. 16.


USA Today Coaches Poll: Receiving Votes, No. 27

For the fourth straight week, WSU received votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll without breaking into the top 25. This week, the Shockers received a season-high 38 votes, falling four votes short of the top 25.

The coaches poll is a product of 32 different Division-I head coaches who make up the USA Today Sports Board of Coaches. Chris Jans (New Mexico State) and Steve Forbes (East Tennessee State) are two former WSU assistants who are on the board for the coaches poll.

The last time WSU had a top 25 ranking in the coaches poll was the last week of the 2017-18 season, when the Shockers claimed the No. 25 spot.


NET Ranking: No. 14

NET, or the NCAA Evaluation Tool, is a new tool the NCAA is using to replace the RPI. The NET was introduced last season, and four teams in the top 45 of last season’s final NET rankings fell short of the NCAA tournament.

NET uses an algorithm to factor in game results, strength of schedule, offensive and defensive efficiency, and a quadrant system to determine the national rankings. In terms of the quadrant system, games are categorized in four quadrants with the impact of the win changing based on the location of the game.

Here are how the Quadrants are broken down according to the NCAA. Quadrant 1, Home 1-30, Neutral 1-50, Away 1-75; Quadrant 2, Home 31-75, Neutral 51-100, Away 76-135; Quadrant 3, Home 76-160, Neutral 101-200, Away 135-240; Quadrant 4, Home 161-353, Neutral 201-353, Away 241-353.

NET seems to be a fan of WSU’s resume thus far, slotting the Shockers at No. 14 in the country when the initial rankings dropped on Monday. So far, the Shockers are 1-1 in Quadrant 1 games, with the win coming on the road against Oklahoma State and the loss coming against West Virginia in Cancun.

The Shockers have four upcoming Quadrant 1 opponents left on the schedule Memphis (No. 17, home and road), Temple (No. 49, road only), Houston (No. 68, road only), and UConn (No. 69, road only).

It will be interesting to see how NET’s impact changes after the selection committee used a variety of metrics to determine the field of 68, last season.


KenPom: No. 34

KenPom is a site created by Ken Pomeroy and is one of the top analytical sites for college basketball. Currently, the Shockers sit at the No. 34 spot in the rankings. WSU moved up four spots after defeating the Sooners.

The site also gives the Shockers credit for their defense, ranking them the No. 11 defense in the country. Last season’s team was not in favor of Pomeroy’s metrics, falling to as low as No. 142 in the country at one point before finishing the year at No. 66.


Andy Katz’s Power 36: No. 26

Former ESPN college basketball analyst Andy Katz now writes for the NCAA and releases his own rankings. This week, the Shockers moved all the way up to No. 26 in their second week in the top 36.

WSU also made an entrance into Katz’s rankings last season after defeating Providence in the second game of the year, but did not get mentioned for the rest of the year.


ESPN Bracketology: No. 10 seed

ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi is one of the top analysts in the country at predicting the NCAA Tournament field each year. After labeling the Shockers as one of the first four teams out, Lunardi inserted WSU into his bracket a week ago.

In that bracket, Lunardi had WSU facing off against Florida in a 7-10 matchup with the Shockers as the lower seed. This week, Lunardi has that same matchup between the two schools as they face off in the first round of the Midwest Regional in that same 7-10 matchup.