Wichita State: Nike or Jordan?
It seems like every year, the NCAA Tournament is fully equipped with upsets, letdowns, game-winning shots and Cinderella teams. The year has been no exception with Florida Gulf Coast University stringing together a couple of upsets, Georgetown losing in the first round despite being a high seed, and Aaron Craft draining a three pointer to send Iowa State home.
As far as the Cinderella team of this year, at first, FCGU looked to be the team poised to make an unexpected run after pulling off the upset against Georgetown and downing San Diego State. After the Eagles lost to Florida in the Sweet Sixteen to Florida, everyone’s focus shifted to the Wichita State Shockers who were quietly making their way shocking their opponents (no pun intended), en route to their first Final Four appearance since 1965.
While it seems as though in this day and age, there shouldn’t be any teams flying under the radar, Wichita State has proven the sports world wrong yet again with their streak through the tournament. In addition to their surprise trek toward the big dance, what has been no less surprising is the fact that Shockers aren’t sponsored by any athletic apparel manufacturer.
It’s rare to find a team that isn’t sponsored by one of the major players in the athletic apparel game, and even rarer that none of the lesser-known manufacturers have decided to give the squad some gear to don on the court.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, so since they couldn’t get it for free, Wichita State went out and bought jerseys, and according to Darren Rovell, the athletic department decided to mix things up and get their home jerseys from the swoosh and away jerseys from the jumpman. Whether the players have to purchase these jerseys themselves or sell Girl Scout cookies to cover the cost remains unknown, but with the team’s recent success, they may not have to raise the cash anymore for some threads.