It’s Time For Selection Sunday

This season’s about to get a whole lot more interesting. 

By Alexandra Cadet

After months of waiting, we’ve almost made it: March Madness is just days away. Over the next few weeks, 68 teams will battle it out for the coveted Championship––and fans will get to witness fun upsets and puzzle through bracketology in the process. But before we can get to the action, we have to survive Selection Sunday, an event that will profoundly shape the rest of the tournament. Here’s a rundown of what that is, as well as an analysis of what you should expect from this year’s edition.

What Even Is Selection Sunday? 

It’s exactly what it sounds like: a day where the seeding selections for the NCAA D1 Basketball Tournaments are revealed. Teams who didn’t automatically qualify for the competition via a conference championship find out whether they get a spot on that day, making the stakes pretty darn high. The announcement used to take place on Selection Monday for the women’s division, but was moved up after the 64-to-68 team expansion. 

So how does the Selection Committee determine which teams make the cut? For one, they use The Almighty NCAA Evaluation Tool™: a system that analyzes teams based on their win record, quality of opponents, location of games won, and overall efficiency of play. But this isn’t the only factor in the seeding process. The Committee can base their choices off of almost anything, from how well a team played during a loss to how badly a squad’s been impacted by injuries. In other words, the entire method is as arbitrary as the college admissions process. 

Nevertheless, despite the pitfalls of such a holistic approach, this Selection Sunday will be a thrilling occasion…as long as everyone keeps one thing in mind:

Don’t Panic!

It might be easy for fans of elite teams to freak out about the final bracket. And there are certainly many fights for top seeds that we’ll be anxious to see resolved this weekend. But it’s important to not assume the worst, even if your team looks to be in bad shape heading into Sunday’s reveal. 

Take UConn, for example; anyone who witnessed their season-long struggles without being aware of the selection criteria might assume that their seed will be disappointing. However, the Huskies’ injury woes––and the fact that they drastically improved upon the return of Paige Bueckers––will almost certainly be taken into account, giving them a high overall seed and an opportunity to play right in their own backyard.

Additionally, getting riled up over your team’s final placement probably isn’t worth the effort. Plenty of attention (and sympathy) will be directed towards teams who get placed in the Greensboro region, since that’s probably where South Carolina will end up. The Gamecocks have been utterly dominant this season, and will certainly strike fear into the hearts of the squad that draws them on Sunday. But as good as they are, they’re far from unbeatable, as proven by their rather weak display against Kentucky in their conference’s final. Anything can happen during March Madness, so don’t count out the little guys just yet. 

Bring on the Madness

Welcome to the first weekend of the rest of our lives…sort of. But in all seriousness, the events on Sunday will severely impact the road to Minneapolis ahead of us. We’ll be covering the tournament heavily at She Plays, so be on the lookout for everything from match recaps to in-depth analysis. But in the meantime, here’s to an exciting March––and all of the Madness (sorry) that’ll come with it. 

A provisional schedule of the NCAA D1 Women’s Basketball Tournament (pending seeding announcements) can be found here

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