WICHITA, Kan. (Wichita State Athletics/KSNW) – The stakes will be high for both sides Sunday afternoon when Wichita State plays host to Tulsa in perhaps the most important series matchup between the two longtime rivals in over three decades. Fans are encouraged to stick around after the game was WSU honors senior Jaime Echenique.
- WSU enters the day in a fourth-place tie with Memphis but will likely need a win plus a Tiger loss at Houston (Sunday, 11 a.m. CT, CBS) to claim the No. 4 seed and the last of the first-round byes in next week’s Air Force Reserve American Athletic Conference Championship.
- Picked 10th in preseason, Tulsa has already clinched a share of its first AAC regular season title. A win over the Shockers gives the Hurricane the outright title and the No. 1 seed in next week’s conference tournament. A loss could put them anywhere from No. 1 to No. 3 depending on results from other games.
WSU is No. 4 Seed with…
- A Win + a Memphis Loss
- A Loss + a Memphis Loss + an SMU or UConn Win
Otherwise, WSU is the No. 5 seed
- WSU (20th, .392) and Tulsa (26th, .395) both rank among the national leaders in field goal percentage defense.
- Tulsa is in search of its first Roundhouse victory since 2001 (when the building was known as Henry Levitt Arena). The Shockers have won the last seven meetings in Wichita (six at CKA; one at INTRUST Bank Arena).
- The Shockers are in search of their 17th home win. That would tie the program’s regular season record set two times previously (2010 & 2014).
- WSU is looking to avenge a Feb. 1 heartbreaker in Tulsa. Elijah Joiner hit five threes — the last as the buzzer sounded — to lift the Hurricane to a 54-51 victory.
- A win would also do wonders for WSU’s postseason resume. The Shockers are seeking their eighth NCAA Tournament bid in nine seasons. Sunday’s game qualifies for Quadrant II status on WSU’s team sheet. The Shockers are a combined 9-8 in Q-I and Q-II games and have won all 13 of their Q-III and Q-IV contests.
- Last week, the Shockers erased a seven-point deficit with 5:00 to play against Temple (Feb. 27) and rallied from 24 down to defeat SMU (Mar. 1), but they ran out of magic in Thursday night’s 68-60 loss at Memphis. Dexter Dennis scored 15 points to lead the Shockers.
- WSU has already matched its 2018-19 win total (22) and joins Duke, Gonzaga and Kansas as the only programs to win 22+ games in every season since 2010.