The Super Bowl is over. For a part of Ohio, that ends a month of excitement, nerves, and some skin of the teeth stuff. The good news is, something even better awaits. Selection Sunday was a month from yesterday. As the pregame show rolled interminably on, the actual one month mark ticked by. The clock is now running.
For some bubble teams the season will fizzle out like a Semaje Perine run with the season on the line. CBS always puts cameras in the places where bubble teams have gathered to watch their fate decided. They tend to stick with the teams that have made it including, memorably, one year when Xavier was the last team named. In that moment the relief that came with being an 11 Seed was evident. A lot of teams watch for an hour and realize that the only thing waiting for them is the anti climax of the NIT.
For some lucky fans, a trip to Cincinnati awaits. The Queen City is hosting first round games this year. Not since Tee Higgins tried to decapitate Jalen Ramsey will there have been such excitement in the city. The Selection Show is the 13th, but that’s all we know for now. According to the NCAA “The show time and television network will be announced at a later date.” What we know for sure is that the games will start in Dayton and find their way down I 75 just two days later.
And that’s why the next month is so vital to Xavier. Teams on the top four lines can usually expect some geographical protection in pod placement. Would the committee be so bold as to allow X to play in Cincy? Probably not, even if they sneak up to a four seed. Definitely not if they remain on the six line where they are now.
Either way, Selection Sunday is approaching as rapidly as Aaron Donald on blitz. As if by divine ordinance, that is also the day that we gain an extra hour of daylight and warmth. In just a month snow will no longer blight the landscape. It will be possible to breathe outside. Having the windows open will mean the sounds of spring and air with a hint of warmth in it. Most importantly, the bracket will be out. Barring the truly unforseen, Xavier will be back on it. For one Sunday, all will be right in the world.
And sorry, Bengals fans, for your loss yesterday. While I did revel in it as a Browns fan, it would have been great to see so many of you excited on social media. Perhaps next year. This will be the last article with references to that loss. Maybe, unless I do it again tomorrow.