Yesterday was Selection Sunday, the day the NCAA selection committee decides what 36 teams receive at-large bids and join the 32 automatic qualifiers in the NCAA basketball tournament.
March Madness is officially underway. So if your reading this today, make sure to turn to page A8 to get your copy of the full-field bracket.
Who knows? You could win $1 billion.
American businessman Warren Buffett teamed up with Quicken Loans to offer $1 billion to anyone who submits a perfect bracket online with Yahoo Sports.
But then again, he didn’t become one of the richest people in the world by accident. The contest’s official rules put the odds of a grand prize winner at 1 to 9.23 quintillion (that’s a 9 followed by 18 decimal places). Odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are probably better.
Unlike last year, when for the first time since 1977 the state of Texas was not represented in the tournament field, four teams from the Lone Star State made it, including Texas Southern University.
TSU, the Southwestern Athletic Conference champion, received a No. 16 seed in the 68-team tournament and will have to win a first-round play-in game to earn the honor of taking on one of the tournament’s No. 1 overall seeds — the Wichita State Shockers (my pick to win it all this year. Sorry, Tigers.)
TSU, making its fifth NCAA appearance but first since 2003, will face Cal Poly, who, despite their 13-19 record, managed to win the Big West Conference tournament and the automatic bid that goes with it. The Tigers bring a 19-14 record into the tourney.
Other Texas teams in the field are Stephen F. Austin, a 12 seed, Baylor, a six seed, and the University of Texas, seeded seventh.
SFA, the Southland Conference champion, begins tournament play Friday in San Diego where they will put their 31-2 record on the line against fifth-seeded Virginia Commonwealth.
Baylor, who lost in the final of the Big 12 Conference tournament, will face Nebraska on Friday in San Antonio.
I’m sure plenty of folks locally will be pulling for Nebraska in that one since Ball High graduate Terran Petteway is the Cornhuskers’ leading scorer after transferring from Texas Tech.
The Texas Longhorns will travel to Milwaukee to play No. 10 seed Arizona State on Thursday.
The Longhorns, 23-10, were ousted from the Big 12 tourney by Baylor.
So, get ready for the wild rise they call March Madness.
And, maybe after the National Championship game is over on April 7, you (or someone you know) will be making plans to pick up your $1 billion.