Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall said one of the main reasons he left Winthrop was because he knew the simple message the NCAA tournament selection committee sent on an annual basis for mid-major teams playing in small leagues: No conference tournament title, no Big Dance.
When Marshall arrived in the top-tier mid-major league Missouri Valley, the conference was one year removed from a four-bid season in the 2006 NCAA tournament. Then came the snubs in the Valley. From 2008-2011, the MVC only shipped one team to the NCAAs. This year, Marshall had that same fear when the Shockers hit a rough patch in their season.
After a glaring loss to Southern Illinois, Marshall admitted to thinking that the season was lost. Back then, the Final Four couldn't have been further from his mind.