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Gillaspie rooting for alma mater Wichita State

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- As sports fans across the country -- and plenty of Major Leaguers -- tune in to the NCAA Tournament this weekend, one White Sox player will be rooting for his school to make history.

Infielder Conor Gillaspie's Wichita State Shockers are the No. 1 seed in the Midwest region of the bracket and will open the Tournament on Friday against the winner of the No. 16-seed play-in game between Cal-Poly and Texas Southern.

"They're a pretty good team," Gillaspie said. "They don't play the best teams every week, but to do something like they've done is pretty impressive, no matter what level you're at or even what sport you're in. It's pretty incredible."

The Shockers, at 34-0 out of the Missouri Valley Conference, are the first team to enter the Big Dance undefeated since UNLV in 1991. The 1975-76 Indiana team was the last undefeated national champion, but no team has accomplished the feat since the tournament expanded to 64 (and now 68) teams.

"I haven't [filled out a bracket] yet," said Gillaspie, who was an All-American for the Shockers from 2006-08 before being drafted after his junior season. "I probably will in the next day or two. But [Wichita State is] just so well-coached. They don't make a lot of mistakes, so hopefully they can continue to do that."

Wichita State, which advanced to the Final Four last season, would play the winner of Kentucky-Kansas State in the third round and potentially defending champion Louisville in the Sweet 16. National championship runner-up Michigan and perennial contender Duke are also in the star-studded region.

"They've got their hands full," Gillaspie said. "But they'll get their chance to prove to everybody that they're legit, so hopefully they're ready to do that."

Joey Nowak is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak.
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