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Wichita State and Memphis to play next season in South Dakota

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Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall has made it clear that he's willing to play any traditional top-50 program on a neutral court. Pick a date. Pick a place. He'll be there.

Even if it's South Dakota, apparently.

Marshall told CBSSports.com on Tuesday that he has reached an agreement that'll have his Shockers playing Memphis next season at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D. The game will be a part of the ESPN Tipoff Marathon and start late in the afternoon Nov. 18.

"They have a nice arena, and they're paying us both a lot of money to be there," Marshall said. "So we're taking Wichita State and Memphis to South Dakota, and we're going to sell it out. It's good for everybody concerned. Two of the best non-BCS team in the country at a neutral-site early in the season. It's going to be great."

Marshall's motivation for making the game is simple.

"We've been crucified for our schedule ... even though we played five nonconference games against teams that are in the NCAA Tournament, which is more than anybody else in our region," Marshall said. "The problem with our schedule was our conference schedule, and we can't do anything about that. But we have set out to schedule even better."

As for this week, Marshall said he's ready to go. The undefeated Shockers are the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Regional. Assuming they win their Round of 64 game, they'll play either Kentucky or Kansas State in the Round of 32 on Sunday in St. Louis.

"And we have to win that game; I know that," Marshall said. "If we lose that game, the detractors will win. So we have to win. And I'm excited about it."


Gary Parrish is a senior college basketball columnist for CBSSports.com and college basketball insider for the CBS Sports Network. The Mississippi native also hosts an award-winning radio show in Memphis. He lives in that area with his wife, two sons and two dogs.
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