WICHITA (TNS) — Sunday’s showdown between No. 10 Cincinnati and No. 11 Wichita State will not only be a celebration of WSU’s six seniors, but will also have a share of the American Athletic Conference championship on the line for the Shockers in their inaugural season.
According to Vivid Seats, a secondary ticket reseller, the average cost of a ticket to Sunday’s Cincinnati-WSU game is $151 — $13 higher than the Big 10 championship game at Madison Square Garden on the same day. On StubHub, the asking price for tickets in the lower bowl is anywhere from $245 up to $650.
“If you like college basketball and you have a lot of money, you should be there,” WSU coach Gregg Marshall said. “It will be a wonderful atmosphere.”
After defeating Central Florida 75-71 in overtime on Thursday, WSU’s seniors finally allowed their minds to wonder on what the atmosphere will be like on Sunday in their final home game.
“Oh my God, it’s going to be crazy,” WSU senior Darral Willis said.
“I can’t wait for it,” Conner Frankamp added. “I think it will be the craziest atmopshere Koch Arena has ever seen.”
“It’s going to be the perfect way to go out for all of the seniors,” Shaquille Morris said. “The first year in this conference, we want to win that championship.”
A rivalry seems to be brewing after the former Missouri Valley Conference rivals met for the first time as AAC foes on Feb. 18, as WSU snapped Cincinnati’s 39-game home winning streak with a 76-72 victory in a high-intensity game.
After Marshall and WSU players said Koch Arena reached its peak volume during WSU’s come-from-behind 93-86 win over Temple on Feb. 15, they have high expectations for the crowd on Sunday with so much at play.
“I’m expecting (the crowd noise against Temple) to be surpassed,” WSU guard Landry Shamet said. “That’s just me, though. I know our fan base, how excited they are about this new rivalry.”
So is it a rivalry with the players?
“It’s competitive between two really good teams,” Shamet said. “There hasn’t been any bad blood or anything that’s happened. They have our full respect.”
WSU is 14-3 in AAC play, one game behind Cincinnati at 15-2. A win would give the Shockers the season sweep and the tiebreaker for the No. 1 seed in the AAC Tournament in Orlando next week, while a loss would keep them as the No. 2 seed.
“It will be two gritty, tough teams playing for a regular-season championship, which in my estimation is the most valuable championship there is,” Marshall said. “It’s a three-month grind, opposed to three or four days in a conference tournament.”