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No. 24: Wichita State Shockers

Image (1) Wichita_State.standard.gif for post 312

2009-10 record: 25-10 (12-6), second in Missouri Valley
Lost to Nevada in NIT
Coach: Gregg Marshall, 53-47, 3 years (247-130 overall)
Last NCAA appearance: 2006
2010-11 roster [click here]
2010-11 schedule [click here]

The good: Never overlook the Missouri Valley’s best team. Just ask Kansas.

This season, the Shockers are the conference’s best bet to ruin your bracket. They return nearly every key player from last season, headed by the inside-outside combo of guard Toure Murray (11.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and 7-foot center Garrett Stutz (7.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg).

Still, don’t focus on just a few players. Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall isn’t afraid to use his deep, experienced bench filled with eight juniors and seniors.

The bad: This isn’t Northern Iowa, a team that crushed the conference competition last season. Wichita State had a losing road record in 2009-10.

Plus, replacing point guard Clevin Hannah could be problematic. The point guard was the team’s most efficient offensive player and played a chunk of minutes.

The unknown: Can the Shockers handle being the team to beat in the Missouri Valley? Missouri State, Creighton, Bradley and Northern Iowa all could play the spoiler role.

If the league only gets one NCAA tournament bid in 2011, that’s quite a pressure packed Arch Madness tournament.

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.