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Inside Wichita State's historic run to 30-0

AP Photo/ Stephen Haas

Ron Baker (31) and Wichita State improved to 30-0 with their 69-49 win over Bradley.No. 2 Wichita State defeated Bradley on Tuesday night to remain unbeaten and claim yet another piece of college basketball history.

30 for 30

The Shockers improve to 30-0, the first team since UNLV in the 1990-91 season to start a season with 30 straight wins.

In the last 40 seasons, only four other schools (Indiana twice, Indiana State, Rutgers, UNLV) belong to the club that Wichita State just joined by winning its first 30 games.

They become the 12th team in the AP Poll era (since 1948-49 season) to start 30-0, but the first team in that span to start with 30 straight wins all in the regular season.

No pushovers?

The next question is whether the Shockers can finish off their perfect regular season.

Wichita State has one game remaining on the schedule -- Saturday's matchup with Missouri State. ESPN's Basketball Power Index gives the Shockers a 97 percent chance of coming out of that game with a victory.

When these teams met in Springfield on Jan. 11, the Bears held a 19-point lead midway through the second half.

A frantic 29-10 run by the Shockers in the final 11:30 of regulation paved the way for a three-point win in overtime.

The Bears are aiming for their first win over a top-10 team since knocking off No. 7 Wisconsin on Nov. 24, 2006.

Where do we go from there?

Teams to Start 30-0 or Better Season After Reaching Final Four

We are just a week from the start of March Madness, the Missouri Valley’s conference tournament. Wichita State has the top seed locked up and will be a heavy favorite after losing in the championship versus Doug McDermott’s Creighton squad a year ago.

But the road to perfection will include a major hurdle. The Shockers haven’t won their conference tournament since 1987, only reaching the title game twice since its annual location moved to St. Louis in 1991.

Once the Big Dance begins, history calls for a deep NCAA run for the Shockers.

They are just the fifth team to make a Final Four run and then start the following season with 30 straight wins.

Each of the previous four teams made it back to the Final Four, and two (all historic John Wooden-led UCLA teams) came away with championships.