Dayton, I’m sorry, but you really drew a tough matchup with Wichita State. Don’t get me wrong, you’re a fantastic team with a great veteran core, and God knows you guys dismantled my Billikens and many other better teams. Despite that, it’s still going to be difficult to beat the Shockers.. Not necessarily because they should be seeded much higher, or because of their sterling record in the Missouri Valley Conference, or because Gregg Marshall’s reputation as one of the best coaches in the country. The actual reason Dayton will lose is what I call the “Wichita effect”.
The “Wichita effect” is the theory that Wichita State is more likely to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament because the longer they keep playing, the longer they don’t have to be in Wichita. You play with an extra sense of urgency when you know that every mistake, every loose ball missed, every missed shot brings you closer to having to return to Wichita, Kansas. The “Wichita effect” also explains why Wichita State fans travel so well. I’m not saying Wichita is a bad place, even. I’m just saying it’s probably super, super boring.
Look, I’ve never been to Wichita, but it’s in Kansas, and Kansas is boring. It’s full of wheat and it’s flat. A cornfield is a nice change of scenery there. Lest we forget, Wichita’s mascot is literally an anthropomorphic, demonic bundle of wheat. Wichita seems like a nice city full of nice people where not much happens. This is their outlet each year, and they make the most of it. Wichita State fans always look like they’re having the time of their life, and the teams always really get after it. And why wouldn’t they? They aren’t in Wichita. Dayton fans, I know you travel well, and the game is much closer to Dayton than Wichita, but you still might be outnumbered.
Do you know what Wichita’s primary industry is? Airplanes. Dayton may have the Wright brothers, but Wichita has a long and rich history of people trying to improve and innovate in the field of aviation. The better you make a plane, the further you can get away from Wichita. It’s nickname is apparently the “Air Capital of the World”, and it’s been at the forefront of the industry from the beginning. You know Cessna and Learjet? The namesakes of those companies were based in Wichita. And if you’re in Wichita and trying to fly, you’re not trying to fly to Wichita. You’re trying to get out of Wichita.
So I’m sorry Dayton, but I just don’t think you’re gonna pull this one out.