Selection Sunday reactions: Wichita State elated after surviving NCAA tournament bubble

·2 min read

There are two types of reactions from teams who make the NCAA tournament.

There are the high-seed powerhouses who only sweat their opponents on Selection Sunday. And there are the bubble teams who weren't sure they were getting in to begin with.

Count Wichita State among the latter. The Shockers finished in first place in the American Athletic Conference during the regular season. But they lost in the semifinals of the AAC tournament to Cincinnati, leaving their status for the big dance in peril.

Wichita State is stoked

On Sunday, they found out that they were in. The Shockers earned a No. 11 seed and will face a First Four matchup against Drake for the right to play No. 6 seed USC in the tournament's first round. Here's how they responded to the news on Sunday.

That's not the reaction of a team bummed out about having to play a play-in game. That's a team that's just happy to be there.

As for Drake? The Bulldogs were similarly sweating their selection Sunday after falling to Loyola in the Missouri Valley Conference championship game. They too were excited to hear the news, even if their celebration was a bit more subdued than the Shockers'.

No sweat for Bears, Bulldogs

Contrast those reactions to Gonzaga's and Baylor's. For the tournament's top two seeds, Selection Sunday was no sweat.

While they're clearly excited about their place in the bracket, the Bulldogs and Bears have bigger goals in mind. They're hoping to save the real celebration for a few weeks down the road.

Members of the Wichita State basketball team celebrate after the Shockers clinched the American Athletic Conference men's basketball title on  Saturday, March 6, 2021, in Wichita, Kan. (Travis Heying/The Wichita Eagle via AP)
The Shockers won the regular-season AAC crown, but had to sweat selection Sunday after losing in the conference tournament. (Travis Heying/The Wichita Eagle via AP)

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