I love this time of the college basketball season, baby! We are less than a week away from Selection Sunday, and in its own way, the tournament is already underway for a lot of teams.
Think about it. The Ivy League is the only one which doesn't have a tournament to determine its automatic participant in the big dance. If Princeton beats Penn at The Palestra tomorrow, the Tigers and Harvard Crimson would meet in a one game playoff much like a conference championship game. Championship Week gives almost everyone a chance to grab the gold ring and punch that ticket into the field of 68.
Schools like UNC-Asheville and Indiana State each lost 13 games prior to the conference tournament. They got hot at the right time and are in the big dance. Sure, there are plenty of teams that know they are going dancing and don't have to sweat it out.
But teams like Cleveland State and Missouri State that dominated their leagues during the regular season lost in their conference tournaments and have to go through Sweat City, baby! There's even a possibility they could take away two spots from other bubble teams.
For a lot of teams, it is the opportunity to get hot at the right time. Win three or four games in a row and you make your season.
That is part of the beauty of college basketball. It is not like college football, where one loss can end your dream of winning it all.
I look at recent years down in the SEC, where schools have pulled off surprises and made it to the big dance. It can happen, baby!
It all leads to March Madness, the best three weeks in sports.
Can a school like Baylor, with talented players LaceDarius Dunn and Perry Jones, make amends for a disappointing campaign and get hot? Will some of the bubble teams move forward and score big wins to impress the committee.
This week will be awesome, baby with a capital A!