What’s the wildest dream for your team this NCAA tournament? What’s its darkest nightmare? We plot out best-case scenarios and worst-case scenarios for every team in the Big Dance: MIDWEST REGION Wichita StateRecord: 34-0 (18-0 MVC) Last 10 games: 10-0Best wins: Tulsa, BYU, St. Louis, Tenn.Key losses: NoneLeading scorer: Cleanthony Early (15.8) No. 1 WICHITA STATEBest Case: Undefeated and undeterred by the gauntlet of bluebloods before them, the Shockers show a doubting America how legit they are. Relishing the matchup with Kentucky in the round of 32, Wichita State teaches the callow Wildcats what an undefeated team looks like. Given a rematch with defending national champion Louisville in the Sweet 16, the Shockers play angry all night and close the deal this time. Facing Duke in the regional final, Gregg Marshall outfoxes the winningest coach in Division I history. Returning to the Final Four with the intent of finishing it right, Wichita State slaps the suffocating defense on Arizona to reach the title game. There the Shockers hold off Florida to finish a historic 40-0. Ceiling of JerryWorld splits open, and the entire team ascends to Basketball Heaven on the spot. John Wooden is there to greet them, with Don Haskins at his side. Indiana’s unbeaten 1976 champions applaud as they rise. Even Kansas fans are forced to acknowledge the greatest feat in college basketball history. Worst Case: The burden of unbeaten finally hits, and playing angry gives way to playing scared. Saddled with a nightmare round of 32 matchup against towering Kentucky, the Shockers’ underwhelming post play is finally exposed. Facing big men unlike any in the Missouri Valley, Wichita State is punished in the paint. Point guard Fred Van Vleet is frustrated by the Wildcats’ big guards. Marshall coaches angry – too angry – and gets ejected. The undefeated dream ends early, against a team that played all season with one-half the focus as the Shockers, but ultimately had twice the talent. Kansas fans, in the house in St. Louis and forming an unholy alliance with Kentucky, celebrate the demise of their non-rival and vow to continue not scheduling their feisty in-state little brother. Doubting America nods and says, “Yep, told ya.” Marshall realizes that it will never be this good again at Wichita and finally takes another job. [Get a chance at $1 billion: Register to play the Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge now!] Cal PolyRecord: 13-19 (6-10 Big West) Last 10 games: 5-5Best wins: UCSB, UCI, CSNKey losses: Arizona, Oregon, UCI x2Leading scorer: Chris Eversley (13.6) No. 16 CAL POLYBest Case: Wandering into this Big Dance thing for the first time in school history, the 13-19 Mustangs play with nothing to lose and actually win their fourth in a row – the first time that’s happened all season. After wearing down Texas Southern with their depth and moving on to play Wichita State, TV announcers enjoy getting to say “San Luis Obispo” for a few more days. Seventh seed in the Big West tourney maintains its newfound (and mysterious) confidence long enough to give the Shockers a game for 28 minutes, which is enough to endear the Mustangs to fans of Kansas, Kansas State and Kentucky in St. Louis…
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