Preview: No. 4 Wichita State vs. Loyola (IL)

Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall directs his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Drake, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, in Des Moines, Iowa. Wichita State won 78-61. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall directs his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Drake, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, in Des Moines, Iowa. Wichita State won 78-61. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

WICHITA, Kansas — Wichita State is the favorite going into another Missouri Valley matchup tonight against Loyola of Chicago. That has been the trend as the Shockers have continued their winning ways and have now pushed their unbeaten record to 21-0.

“These are really fine young people that we’re dealing with,” head coach Gregg Marshall said. “They deserve all the credit and the accolades they’re receiving. They work extremely hard. They represent our university in a first-class way and they just continue to get better.”

If Gregg Marshall is right and the Shockers are getting even better than another deep run in March wouldn’t be out of the question. With the remainder of the schedule being Missouri Valley teams, the Shockers shouldn’t have any matchup surprises. If they do win out the rest of the regular season, the team will be 31-0 going into the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in St. Louis. Wichita State hasn’t won the tournament since 1987 but tonight will be a chance to continue building momentum in an effort to change that come March.

The Shockers will look to win by at least 15 points for the fifth straight game tonight as they are 20.5 point favorites. The last close game was at Missouri State when they climbed back from a 24-42 halftime deficit to win 72-69 in overtime.

Since then WSU has fired on all cylinders and played as a complete team according to Marshall.

“We can’t walk out there and just impose our will because we’ve got the best coach and the biggest and best players, and five-star guys, one-and-done guys,” Marshall said. “We don’t have that. We’ve got guys that are good because they really work and they’re team-oriented and they care about each other and they’re committed and they’re strong-minded and they’re just tough.”

Loyola of Chicago doesn’t seem to pose much of a threat to the Shockers win-streak on paper.

The Ramblers are 8-12 overall and 3-5 in the MVC and are yet to win on the road this year. Charles Koch Arena could be a tough spot for them to turn that around as the Shockers have only lost twice at home in the last two years.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. CT and post-game highlights will be available at 10:00 p.m. on KSN.

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