Wichita State is last unbeaten men's basketball team in Division I. Has a nice ring to it, huh? So does a #1 seed in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament. A share of the Valley regular season title is also music to a Shocker fan's ears. Well on Wednesday night Wichita State became all of those things.
Fred VanVleet tied his career high with 22 points as the Shockers went on the road to defeat Loyola Chicago 88-74 Wednesday night. A loss by #1 Syracuse in overtime on their home court to Boston College made Wichita State the last undefeated team in the country with a 28-0 record.
"We don't care about the other teams anyway," said Van Vleet. "It's cool the be the last one but we're just trying to win every game that we're playing. If we keep winning obviously we'll be the last unbeaten anyway so it works out itself. But, you know we got another game Saturday we're gonna try to take care of."
Van Vleet was playing about 90 minutes from his hometown of Rockford, Illinois. With extra friends and family in the stands, Van Vleet was perfect. He was a perfect 6-6 from the field and also 10-10 from the free throw line. Van Vleet also racked up 8 rebounds and 6 assists in the win.
Van Vleet was the leading scorer but Cleanthony Early was the second leading scorer for the Shockers with 18. The last two games Ron Baker led the way in scoring. The game before that? Tekele Cotton. The game before THAT? Cleanthony Early. So in the Shockers' last 5 games they've had 4 different guys lead the team in scoring.
Wichita State looks to clinch the regular season conference title at home this Saturday against Drake. The Shockers have just three regular season games remaining and two of them are at Koch Arena.