Go anywhere outside of Wichita, or the state of Kansas, and you'll be hard-pressed to find anyone that has confidence in the Shockers. A friend of mine from college has gone so far as to say that 'Wichita State will be the first ever 1 seed to fall to a 16.' Safe to say, this friend of mine clearly hasn't seen Wichita State play.
This is going to sound like a strange comparison but for me Wichita State seems to get the same treatment and questions that I've always gotten as a female sports reporter. "How do you prove to people that you know what you're talking about?" is a common theme for when I talk to people. Should I have to go out and prove that? No, but since I'm a girl I'm like the mid-major (sorry Gregg, I know you hate that word) of sports reporters. A pretty face that's only skin deep.
That's how I feel Wichita State is. They've got that pretty record, sure, but do they really think they can hang with the big boys?
There's a lesson you learn very quickly in the world of television and that is some people just are not going to like you, ever. No matter what you do or how good you are or nice you are some people will just never be swayed. Same with basketball. It doesn't matter who the Shockers beat or by how much and the skill with which they dispatch opponents; it will just never be good enough for some people.
When I get that question about how I prove to people that I know what I'm talking about I simply respond with, 'watch my sportscasts, come debate with me in person.' I can't tell people that I'm good, I have to show them. Same with Wichita State. We can talk until we are blue in the face about how good this team is and coach Marshall can say all the right things, but until people see this team in person they don't become believers.
There are over 500 credentialed media people here this weekend (national plus local) and I bet more than half have never seen Wichita State in person. I think we can all agree that after this weekend 100% of them will be Shocker believers, even if Wichita State loses.