(Wichita, KS)—The Wichita State Shockers lost to Creighton in the Missouri Valley conference championship Sunday. That means the team won't get an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, but they could still earn a spot on Selection Sunday.
Either way, businesses that cater to sports fans are expecting a busy March madness ahead.
Shocker fans watched the game with worried faces, as the team fell behind early against Creighton and was only able to get the lead one time. Still, fans have high hopes for post season play.
"We are going to go to the dance, no question," said Shocker fan Susanna Crockett.
"I hope so, there is no guarantee," said Shocker fan Teresa Northrop. "But all we can do is hope for the best."
No matter what happens on Selection Sunday, store owners like Tad Snarenberger have to be ready.
"They refer to it as a hot market, the minute the teams win they print the shirts immediately and we've got to have them here," Snarenberger said.
He's been to the warehouse in Kansas City twice in the past 24 hours just to get the latest KU and K-State conference champion T-shirts. But Snarenberger made those orders months in advance,
"We have to sit down and figure out how many shirts do we want of each style," Snarenberger said. "Then it depends on where it is going to be printed, whether it is going to be shipped to us or whether we can pick it up."
Plus once each game plays out it can change everything, from delivery to availability.
"For KU and K-State it changed three times in the two days before they played the game, so it just really depends," Snarenberger said. "We have to be ready and we will."
With the Missouri Valley tournament over, Snarenberger now has his eyes on the Big 12 tourney.
He says T-shirts aren't even printed until the game is over, which adds to his challenge of getting them to fans right after a big win.