Commentary

Nothing left to do but wait (and fake it at work)

Updated: March 17, 2008, 10:05 AM ET
By Mechelle Voepel | Special to ESPN.com

Everything's all set after this weekend. The league tournaments -- and the Ivy League's tiebreaker playoffs -- are over. Old Dominion kept alive its streak of winning every Colonial Athletic Association tournament since Paul Revere's ride. Texas A&M took the Big 12 tournament title -- in spite of the fact that I picked the Aggies to win. If that doesn't jinx a team, probably nothing will. Get ready for Gary Blair Unplugged in Tampa.

Liberty edged Radford on a buzzer-beater in the Big South final; Cleveland State and Cornell each celebrated earning a first trip to the NCAA tournament.

(Stanford fans, by the way, think of it as the "Poison Ivy League" because of a certain, um, upset that a certain school with two ACL injuries suffered to a certain other school 10 years ago. Really, don't ask Cardinal faithful about it, unless you just like icy stares.)

Oklahoma's Sherri Coale and Baylor's Kim Mulkey are still in disbelief at how much they over-packed for such short stays in Kansas City for the Big 12 tournament. Texas coach Gail Goestenkors is glad she tossed that extra outfit in her suitcase. OK, the truth is, she had another one in there for the Big 12 title game … and almost needed it.

Instead, Oklahoma State coach Kurt Budke got to sport his visible-from-outer-space orange blazer on the sidelines.

It's all done, and now we just wait for Monday night -- 7 p.m. ET on ESPN -- to find out what teams Tennessee and UConn have to dismiss to meet each other in the preordained championship game that was promised to Candace Parker and Maya Moore when they were being recruited.

[+] EnlargeCleveland State Celebrate
AP Photo/Matt LudtkeIn 2005-06, Cleveland State won just four games. Now, the Horizon League champion Vikings have earned their first trip to the NCAA tournament.

JOKE!

Actually, the NCAA has decided that my pal Mel Greenberg will pick "random" championship-game contenders out of a hat … but he's a crafty dude. Go ahead and bet on seeing Delta State vs. Immaculata.

OK, that was a joke, too. We're all a little antsy, I guess. It's still weird getting used to this Selection Monday business.

Having pretended to sit in the selection committee's seats back during our mock bracket seminar in February, I can tell you what happens when things get really intense in that room.

The committee members turn around and see if anybody has brought in more Reese's peanut butter cups or Twizzlers or Twix bars.

Oh, wait. That's just what we mock bracketeers did. Never mind.

In our seminar, we didn't have enough time to get a full bracket done. And not just because we were distracted by looking for candy. It just takes a lot of hours to debate, crunch numbers, vote, re-vote, etc.

The real committee members have the heavy weight on their shoulders of trying to do the right thing by everybody, a weight that we tried to simulate but really can't. Whatever they do, there will be some very happy people, some very unhappy people and questions to answer.

Committee chair Judy Southard, senior associate director of athletics at LSU, has a teleconference with the media at 8:15 p.m. ET, a perfectly convenient time for everyone on deadline.

Of course, no matter what gets thrown at her on this call, it will be a breeze compared to last year. Because at least this time, she won't have to dread any of us rogues disregarding instruction and asking, "What in the world is going on at LSU?" as was the case in 2007.

So go ahead, make your last amendments to your mock bracket. Fiddle the day away pretending to work. You know you're not going to get anything done, but you can fake it. Then tune in and see what our friends in Indianapolis have come up with this time.

Mechelle Voepel of The Kansas City Star is a regular contributor to ESPN.com. She can be reached at mvoepel123@yahoo.com.

Mechelle Voepel joined ESPN.com in 1996 and covers women's college hoops, the WNBA, the LPGA, and additional collegiate sports for espnW.

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