Journalists love when their thoughts and opinions spark dialogue, but this isn’t what Jerry Palm had in mind. The CBSSports.com bracketology expert said that the loser of the MVC Championship would not make the NCAA Tournament, and Gregg Marshall wasn’t happy about it. Marshall called out Palm after Wichita State (30-4) beat Illinois State (27-6), 71-51, in the conference title game Sunday.
“I thought it was just kind of odd,” Palm said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “You just won a conference championship. You should be happy, and instead, he seems angry. I can’t do anything about that. I can’t do anything about his reaction. It doesn’t really affect me in any way how he reacts. I just thought it was weird.”
No. 20 Wichita State has won 15 games in a row, but Palm did not think the Shockers had an NCAA Tournament resume.
“They only had two top-100 wins before that game, and in three months, you don’t get in with just two top-100 wins,” Palm said. “So I did not have them in my bracket, and that’s why. Their quality of wins were not there this year. They beat Illinois State eventually twice, but prior to that game, just once. They beat Colorado State and that was it. In terms of quality wins, they played some good teams in non-conference and didn’t beat any of them. At some point, you have to beat somebody. But they took care of it, so it doesn’t really matter. They’ll be in the tournament.”
And they could win some games in the process.
“They’ve got a chance to do some damage in the tournament,” Palm said. “They’re probably not going to be a very high seed. (They’ll probably be) in the bottom half of the bracket. But they’ll go in with a lot of confidence. They always play with an edge, which is something that I think is helpful in the tournament, and they have success.”
The Shockers reached the Final Four in 2013, the Sweet 16 in 2015, and, after beating Vanderbilt in a play-in game last year, beat No. 6 Arizona before falling to No. 3 Miami.
“They’re going to be a team that’s dangerous once they get there,” Palm said, ‘but they still had to get there – and they had to win their conference to do that.”