Selection Sunday is one of the most, if not THE most, anticipated days of the entire year in sports.
It has become the latest, and one of the greatest, slices of something purely Americana — college basketball teams, millions of fans and countless families, all of them anxiously sitting around the TV set on a Sunday afternoon in March, watching and waiting breathlessly to see the brackets revealed for the annual NCAA men's championship tournament.
While Super Bowl Sunday marks the end of the National Football League season, Selection Sunday signals the beginning of another great American institution — March Madness.
Yes, March Madness, that glorious three-week-long journey which begins with what's now 68 teams and steadily whittles the field down to just the last two teams which will tangle for the national title.
It's downright delightful to watch the hopes and dreams of all those teams as they embark on a do-or-die, lose-and-you're-done tournament that always produces amazing buzzer-beaters, giant-killers, a colossal upset or two, heartbreaking near-misses, superb individual performances and at least one Cinderella who's trying to stick her big, ugly foot into that glass slipper.
Throw in the mascots, the cheerleaders, the pep bands and the unbridled emotion that comes with seeing a season snuffed out or extended for another day, and the NCAA Tournament is absolutely one of the best events of the entire sports year.
So will Utah State, the Rodney Dangerfields "I can't get no respect, no respect at all" of college basketball.
That'll give us at least two good reasons to watch Selection Sunday this afternoon, and two teams to follow with much anticipation in the days ahead.
Can the Cougars receive enough respect of their own that they'll get a high enough seed to give them a good chance at advancing to at least the Sweet Sixteen, and possibly further?
Can the Aggies finally get a decent seed, enhancing their opportunity to grab a rare first-round win rather than suffering their customary one-and-done fate?
Well, we'll find out later today.
And, of course, without Selection Sunday, we'd be missing out on another great tradition — the office pool.
Yes, within 5 minutes after today's brackets are announced, folks across the country will begin making photo copies to distribute to their co-workers, friends and families in a fun-filled quest to find out just who knows the most about college basketball.
Or, at least, who is the luckiest person in the world at picking the winner of each game as the tournament unfolds.
It all starts today — Selection Sunday ... the office pool ... the Big Dance ... the Sweet Sixteen ... the Elite Eight ... the Final Four ... and "One Shining Moment."
Yes, March Madness must be the best type of insanity ever invented.
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