Why we love Selection Sunday
by Mike Lopresti, USA TODAY Sports
They take 68 names and put them in a bracket. So what’s the big deal?
Oh, but it is. You can’t have March Madness or the Big Dance or (insert cliché name here) without Selection Sunday. As NCAA tournament committee chairman Dan Guerrero said in 2010 after announcing the field, “We provided the colors to the palette.” Not to mention the choices for the office pools.
It is arguably the nation’s most scrutinized non-sports sporting event. Not a shot will be taken or a point scored while the bracket is announced by the tournament committee, yet there will be loud cheers and angry boos.
On those remote television broadcasts of teams watching the show from their school cafeterias, have you ever not seen all the players scream with joy when their names were called, even if they’ve been thrown to the wolves or, even worse, Duke?
Just like those who disagree with the handiwork can be livid. “I had one caller that said to me I was a fraud because George Mason was in the tournament,” committee chairman and George Mason athletics director Tom O’Connor said in 2008. “I just chuckled at that, because they were an automatic qualifier. I understand emotionalism.”
The basketball-speaking world puts its heart, and sometimes its temper, into Selection Sunday. For a show starring a bunch of tired NCAA committee guys in suits, it makes for fine drama.
Why do we love it?
This is not a reality show, where we see every piece of laundry, dirty or otherwise, like it or not, with nothing left to the imagination. There is still a curtain over these proceedings. We love intrigue.
This is the jury coming out of the deliberation room, finally delivering its verdict. Or the season finale to The Bachelorette. Or the card being pulled out of the envelope at the Academy Awards. And the winners for best Big Ten teams in a supporting role are …
Selection Sunday is definitive. Then again, it creates more questions. It is a road map, except nobody really knows where it will end up. We get a solution and a mystery in the same hour. We … [For more on March's best Madness: Why we love Selection Sunday, click here.]