It rose up out of the student section with 58 seconds left to go and spread like wildfire around Koch Arena. There was already #WATCHUS and #PlayAngry on twitter; there was already the pitch perfect "You don't wanna go to war with the Shockers" that was sung with conviction. This chant rang out with more might and vigor than any of the cheers that came before.
After watching the contest it was clear that this was never really a game. In fact, the Missouri State Bears had little business taking the court. Instead it was a celebration of a hard-fought and absolutely dominant season.
The game started according to plan for Wichita State, and they never let up. Missouri State started off with cold shooting, whereas star Cleanthony Early and powerful newcomer Darius Carter shot over the heads of whatever poor Bear had the pleasure of trying to protect the basket.
The Shocker defense was dominant, holding the Bears to only 16 field goals on 51 attempts. Then again, even when the Bears had free throw attempts they barely hit over half of them. Whether it was the pressure of an entirely sold out arena, or still finding it difficult to score without Marcus Marshall, it really did not matter. The Bears were never comfortable.
Early ended the game with 19 points and six rebounds, which even further solidified his case for the Larry Bird MVC Player of the Year Award. Ron Baker added 13 more. Even though Baker only made two shots beyond the arc, both came at crucial times when the Bears actually showed some life. The snap of the net from Baker shut that down.
As dominant as 68-45 sounds, it wasn't even that close. The Shockers have controlled all of their opponents this season. Even though they are in the NCAA Tournament either way, now they have the challenge of trying to win Arch Madness. There's no reason they can't win it all, so if they get through St. Louis without a loss they could be the first team since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers to have a completely undefeated season.
After that, it becomes a challenge to be just the second Valley team to make the national championship, and the first to win one (Loyola won a title before they came to the MVC).
Let this be a warning to any future opponents: they are undefeated, and you don't wanna go to war with the Shockers.