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Fun Final Four Facts
04/03/2013

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you this important news update . . .

Wichita is awash in black and gold this week as we proudly celebrate and anticipate WSU's appearance in the NCAA men's Final Four. Here are some fun facts to tuck away in case you need to drop some obscure knowledge on your friends and family as you gather to watch the game.

The history of WuShock. WuShock, the WSU mascot, was originally a nameless shock of wheat, used as a symbol for the WSU football team, known as the Wheatshockers. The mascot took on its first persona in 1948, and has evolved over the last 65 years from a scowling, no-nonsense intimidator into the grinning, wide-eyed fellow we know and love today. WuShock's most recent makeover came in 2006, shortly after Sports Illustrated identified Wu as one of college sports' worst mascots. (read more here)

Against all odds. A political statistician has been calculating the likelihood of success for each team in the NCAA tournament and writing about it in his blog for the New York Times. Before the tournament began, he put WSU's chance of reaching the Final Four at 1.3%. So I'd say they've done pretty well for themselves, all things considered.

What are their odds of winning it all now? You might think they've got a 1-in-4 chance (25%), since there are only four teams left. But when the teams are weighted to take into account their regular-season resumes and the quality of their prior wins in the tournament, WSU is still left with just a 4.7% shot at taking home the national title.

Hmm.

So you're sayin' there's a chance?

Oh. Yeah.

And get this: Before the tournament began, WSU was given only a 0.08% chance of winning the title, which translates to odds of about 1,200:1. So if they do win, they would arguably be the least-likely champions in the history of the tournament - even more (or less?) than Villanova in 1985. Now wouldn't that be something! (read more here)

"Stands proudly on the hill." So goes the second phrase in the opening stanza of the WSU Alma Mater. But wait, you say: There aren't any hills in Wichita!

Not true. When Fairmount College opened its doors in 1895, before development obscured the topography, the fledgling college was perched neatly on a noticeable rise of land just outside this dusty cow town. Fairmount College would later become The Municipal University of Wichita, and then Wichita State University in 1964 - just one year before the basketball team's last appearance in the Final Four. (read more here)

Go Shockers!

Editor's Note: The author was a member of the WSU pep band from 1993 to 1997, performing the Alma Mater over 50 times but never once seeing the Shockers advance to post-season play.

 


Editors
Don Berner Image
Don Berner, the Labor Law, OSHA, & Immigration Law Guy
Boyd Byers Image
Boyd Byers, the General Employment Law Guy
Jason Lacey Image
Jason Lacey, the Employee Benefits Guy
Additional Sources
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