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This wasn't Selection Sunday. There was none of the drama and suspense that comes on March 12 when fans will nervously wait to see if their favorite school is called before getting their brackets out and picking winners.

Many thought it was totally useless, especially when a bunch of the teams named as a top-four seed lost later that day or the next.

Still, the NCAA Basketball Tournament Selection Committee's decision to reveal who the top 16 seeds were as of last Saturday was interesting.

But why stop now?

The committee's intent was to whet everyone's appetite for March Madness when it showed the top four teams in each region last Saturday. Plus, it got many talking about why certain teams weren't included.

The most glaring omission was no Big Ten Conference team being among the top 16, especially with the selection chairman, Mark Hollis, being Michigan State's athletic director.

However, this was the last revealing before Selection Sunday. 

The College Football Playoff committee unveils their rankings on a weekly basis starting about a month before the final four teams are announced. The anguish after each unveiling among boosters is almost comical, but it achieves the purpose of getting fans revved up and engaged.

The NCAA Basketball Tournament is one of the greatest three-week sporting spectacles in this country. Fans are going to watch regardless whether the top four seeds in each region are released on a weekly basis.

Yet it would be fascinating to see how the seedings would change on a week-to-week basis. Fans would be able to really understand how a bad loss — or, conversely, a big victory — affects a team's fortunes. 

Last weekend's unveiling didn't mean much to Missouri Valley Conference fans wondering if Illinois State and Wichita State were both in the field at the moment.

When CBS bracket guy Jerry Palm came on later and revealed his entire 68-team field, only the Redbirds were in as the Valley's automatic qualifier.

Sure that was noticed in Wichita.

College BB: Virginia at North Carolina (ESPN, 7:15 p.m. Saturday): The great defense of Virginia meets the powerful offense of Carolina. Talk about a clash of wills. 

NBA: All-Star Game (TNT, 7 p.m. Sunday): If you like uncontested 3-pointers, fast breaks and alley-oop dunks, then please tune in. If you want defense, this is not the place to be.

NASCAR: Can-Am Duel races (Fox Sports 1, 6 p.m. Thursday): This used to be called the Twin 125s and sets the lineup for next Sunday's Daytona 500 — and nine months of left turns.  

Contact Jim Benson at


Sports Writer

Sports Writer for The Pantagraph.

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