#728 Wichita State Shockersvs.#727 California State University, Long Beach 49ers
Written by Chuck D
When and Where: Sunday, Nov. 13, Charles Koch Arena, Wichita, Kan. 8:00pm EST (ESPN3)
Spread: Wichita State -10.5; Total: 139.5
Wichita State looks to continue its recent run of success when it plays its second game of the 2015-16 campaign against the 49ers of Long Beach State. The Shockers won the Missouri Valley Conference a year ago and had to play in the NCAA Tournament’s “First Four,” where they defeated Vanderbilt, before losing to the Miami Hurricanes in the next round. The 49ers finished in third-place in the Big West Conference but were invited to the National Invitational Tournament where they lost a first-round contest with Washington.
This is the first of a nine-game road swing for the Niners. The two teams have not met since 1981, but it is Wichita State that holds the 5-4 overall advantage in the series. The team opened the season with a 95-69 win over Cal-Los Angeles, their sixth straight home opening victory. Head Coach Dan Monon is now 8-2 in openers while the program is 56-11 overall. Junior point guard Justin Bibbins has been named to teh Lou Henson Award wath list, which goes to the Mid Major Player of the year. The team has been picked as the favorite to win the Big West by the Media in the preseason poll. They received 19 of 23 first place votes by the media . Last season was Monson’s third 20-2 win season in Long Beach and the program’s 14th in 66 seasons.
Last year’s team dominated MVC play going 16-2 in the conference and finishing 26-9 overall. After taking out Vandy and Arizona, the squad fell one game short of the Sweet 16 when they fell to Miami, FL. Since the beginning of the 2010-11 season, no other Division I program has won at a higher rate than Wichita State. The squad has won 82.3 percent of their contest in the last six seasons. During that run they won the NIT (2011), made the Final Four (2013), and started a historic 2014 season with a 35-0 record, a year in which they made the Sweet 16. The team opened the season with a bit of a laugher, taking out South Carolina State 85-39. At halftime, the Chockers were already up 41-14. The team shot 47.6 percent from the field and 17.4 percent from beyond the arc but it was no matter as they still were able to cruise to the 46-point home win. The team has a quick turnaround and will host Tulsa on Wednesday night, their third game in five days to open the season.
Long Beach State is:
Wichita State is:
Long Beach State is not a bad team, but neither is Wichita State. In fact, the Shockers are a very good team, and a trip to Charles Koch Arena would be a difficult one for any team in the country, much less a Big West squad. There is no shame in losing by double digits in Wichita and that is exactly what is going to happen to the 49ers on Sunday evening.
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Chuck Dowling is a 30-something University of Florida J-School alum that lives in his mother’s basement. Just kidding... there are no basements in Florida (the ground is too moist). He has been in the “biz” for his entire adult life and specializes in NCAA football and basketball, as well as soccer, boxing, and MMA. When not writing, Chuck moonlights as a high school athletics radio and internet-television broadcaster.