- Associated Press - Friday, March 21, 2014

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The 35-0 record stands out in bold face.

Putting the historic implications aside, Wichita State’s latest victims are believers they got schooled by a team most deserving of a top seed and capable of beating anybody, anytime.

“Oh every bit of it, every bit of it,” Cal Poly coach Joe Callero said after his team was never in contention in a 64-37 loss in the Midwest Region on Friday night.

“The thing about Wichita State which we want to emulate most is they rarely, rarely take any plays off. They have very, very good players but they are dialed in, and I think that’s what separates them.”

Cleananthony Early had 23 points for the Shockers (35-0), who dominated from the tip-off against a first-time NCAA entrant, and the only team with a sub-.500 record in the tournament.

“We were very, very focused,” coach Gregg Marshall said. “It had been a long time since we’d played and this team had our attention.”

With the exception of Early, most of the glaring numbers were on defense. The losers managed 13 points in the first half and shot 21 percent.

Wichita State players were well aware that Mercer upset Duke earlier in the day. They were determined to take nothing for granted.

“Seeing all these close games, it’s important for us to come out and show the world,” forward Chadrack Lufile said. “Come out and play hard, and play angry.”

“I thought we were pretty crisp for the most part,” point guard Fred VanVleet said.

Malik Love had nine points for Cal Poly (14-20), which won the Big West tournament as the No. 7 seed and beat Texas Southern in First Four game before being held to a season low for points. Chris Eversley, the Big West tourney MVP and coming off a 19-point game, was held to six points on 2-for-14 shooting.

“I think you’ve got to be a well-rested, well-prepared team to have a chance against them,” Calero said, referring to the Mustangs playing on short rest. “But at the end of the day you can see why they’re undefeated.

“So, hats off to them.”

As it turned out, the high point for the losers came before tip-off when Cardinals Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith, a Cal Poly graduate, paid a visit. Guard Kyle Odister cherished an autograph and photograph.

“Definitely it was great to meet a legend,” guard Kyle Odister said. “He said we’d already won before the game started.

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