The Wichita State men’s basketball team is expected to lose some of its best players, including All-Americans Kevin Durant and Karl-Anthony Towns, for the remainder of the NCAA tournament.
The Warriors lost All-America guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and guard Harrison Barnes, who were both considered the team’s best players and are now eligible to return.
The loss of Durant, the most valuable player in the conference, means the Warriors have to pay big for their talent, which is why the team decided to hold its annual summer league in Orlando instead of in Wichita.
The tournament, which begins Wednesday, will feature two rounds.
In the first round, the Golden State Warriors face the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first game.
Then in the second round, Durant and Towns will face the Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant.
The top two teams will advance to the championship game.
Wichita State had been projected to be a top-four seed, with the NBA championship being the most likely scenario.
The Golden State team was a top 10 seed before losing Durant and Thompson, along with four-time All-American guards Karl-Derrick Rose and Andrew Wiggins.
Worcester County Attorney Scott Peltier, who has jurisdiction over the Wichita Falls case, said the NBA has decided to suspend all of the players for the rest of the tournament.
Pelter said the league’s sanctions will apply to the Wichita team.
Wyatt Thompson, left, and Kevin Durant (right) pose for a picture after a game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at the TD Garden in Oklahoma City, Monday, April 10, 2021.AP Photo/John Minchillo Wichita State lost Kevin Durant, who was one of its stars and a two-time NBA MVP, to Oklahoma City.
Durant and Kevin Love were both the NBA MVPs.
They will have to start over in Orlando, which will likely have a lower caliber of team.
The NBA will not have to take action on any player’s contract if they are not a part of the NBA team, league spokesman Brian Scalera told The Associated Press on Monday.
The league will have an opportunity to discuss a player’s case with the players before they enter the tournament and then announce a sanctions plan, Scalera said.
The league did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the decision.
The Warriors were ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press poll.
Oklahoma State won the national title and has a record of 17-0 in the tournament, including an NCAA tournament berth.
The Oklahoma City Warriors are expected to play in the final round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament at the Orlando Citrus Bowl on April 28, 2021, in Orlando.
The game will be played at 7:30 p.m.
(PT) at the Citrus Stadium in Orlando as part of a three-game, one-day series.
The team will play Oklahoma on Friday night in the championship round.AP