One of the most anticipated sporting events of the year doesn't even involve the playing of sports, but that speaks to how big a juggernaut the NCAA Tournament is. The Selection Sunday show is now appointment viewing as the selection committee unveils its 68-team bracket.
As always, the show will be televised on CBS and can be streamed online at NCAA.com. This year, the show has been expanded to two hours, so viewers can expect the suspense to be drawn out even further.
In a season full of unpredictable games and flawed high-major teams, this year's battle for the No. 1 overall seed got narrowed down pretty quickly. Kansas appears to have the edge after a convincing win over West Virginia in Saturday's Big 12 tournament final, while Villanova suffered a surprising loss to Seton Hall in the Big East. North Carolina is also a big favorite after claiming the ACC title, while Michigan State will be facing Purdue for the Big Ten crown on Sunday afternoon.
Beyond the top seeds, the bubble picture is as murky as ever heading into Sunday. The conference tournaments saw a handful of mid-major teams dominate in the regular season, only to slip up in the postseason. Wichita State, Monmouth, Valparaiso, Saint Mary's and San Diego State are just a handful of teams that will be sweating throughout Sunday's selection show.
Out of the mid-major candidates, the Shockers have the best chance of getting in, but the committee may send them to Dayton's First Four due to a lackluster non-conference performance. The Aztecs could be left on the outside looking in after an equally flawed resume and a poor Mountain West conference this season. Valpo and Monmouth both have borderline cases.
In high-major bubble drama, the SEC could end up disappointed when all is said and done. Vanderbilt lost to Tennessee in the conference tournament, halting their momentum after it looked like they were putting things together again. Alabama faded late after a strong run of play in February and meekly bowed out in the second round. South Carolina lost to Georgia, which could force the committee to re-consider the Gamecocks, who have an abysmal non-conference schedule. And LSU had the biggest collapse of all, sleepwalking through a 71-38 beatdown at the hands of Texas A&M. It's quite possible that the Aggies and Kentucky become the only SEC representatives next week.
But beyond the suspense of who gets in and who gets snubbed, the selection show is always quality viewing, and a must-watch if you want to get a jump on filling out your office bracket early.
How to watch
Date: Sunday, March 13
Time: 5:30 p.m. ET
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