Friday, January 22, 2016
It won't be long until MARCH MADNESS! The seedings and pairings will be announced for the NCAA men's basketball tournament and the complaints will begin. The following is a scriptural view of selection, taken from 3-11-07.
It's official! Today is Selection Sunday for the NCAA basketball tournaments, when seedings are announced and match ups become public. No big surprises in the number one seeds in the field of sixty five: Florida, Kansas, North Carolina, Ohio State. All four are heavyweights on the collegiate level and all are considered legitimate threats to make a run at the national title. Thirty-one bids to the Big Dance are automatic, coming from an end of the season conference tournament champs plus the Ivy League, which has no tourney, regular season winner. The at-large bids are another matter. There are thirty-four of these issued. Some might as well have been automatic as in the case of Wisconsin, ranked #1 only two weeks ago. Here is where the invitation process become contentious; the little guys tend to get left behind. Missouri State and Drexel went uninvited this evening. Media critics are already lambasting the slights. Their fans and players/coaches are in mourning....but there is the NIT, a scaled-down version open to the also-rans. It won't be the same. Most teams, I am convinced, would rather be eliminated in the first round of the NCAA's than win the NIT. Wait 'til next year.
There's going to be a Selection Sunday for all of us someday. Well, it might be Monday or Thursday but it's coming. Some will be selected; some will be rejected. There will be rejoicing and there will be weeping. Based on several of Jesus' teachings, some will be shocked that their names aren't penciled into a slot. In Matthew 7, prophesying/driving out demons/performing miracles would not guarantee a reservation. In Matthew 25, in regards to the goats in the sheep/goats analogy, ignorance was not acceptable as an excuse. (Some of the sheep seem surprised as well for their inclusion!) We will be in or we will be out. There will be no play-in games or seedings and no more wait' til next year cries. There will be no office pools....because there won't be anymore offices! They call this time of year March Madness. Interestingly, the first games this year will tip off on March 15th...the Ides of March. Not a good day for Julius Caesar! History will repeat itself this Thursday for a number of pretenders for the throne, when great triumph vanishes in a blink of an eye. But, everybody who loses this Thursday...still got in! The more important field isn't set yet. It isn't limited to sixty-five or any fixed number. Unlike the NCAA tourney teams, it doesn't help to be prominent. Come as you are...but come! There's still time!
Applicable quote of the day:
"For a college basketball player or coach, to reach the Final Four is la-la land. You've achieved, you've got your stamp of approval."
Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University basketball coach)
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Posted by Steve Hawley at 8:33 PM