There are plenty of special Sundays in sports. The king is Super Bowl Sunday; the Sunday of the Masters is special as well. But Selection Sunday should be considered a top five sports Sunday in any calendar year.
What's so fun about NCAA men's basketball teams being called out on a CBS affiliate station?
It's the event, the drama and the anticipation that puts this Sunday over the top. All day you are seeing quality basketball, as power conference title games fall on Selection Sunday, too. And who knows, sometimes there's a Cinderella team that can steal an automatic bid by winning their conference tournament. So not only do you get good quality basketball, but the drama that goes into it with every bounce of the ball.
And then there's the selection show (6 p.m. Sunday on WBTW). From one-seed to the bubble teams -- the entire process is a barroom debate waiting to happen. This year is setting up to be an intriguing NCAA tournament with plenty of parity among the field. I wouldn't be surprised if a couple of teams seeded between 3-and-6 found themselves in the Final Four come April.
I'll save tournament predictions for next week. This week - let's take one final look back at our local cagers who will be on the outside looking in Selection Sunday - as I offer a few thoughts on the Coastal Carolina University hoops season.
It's still to be determined what type of coach Cliff Ellis is from a NCAA recruiting violations standpoint, but from a psychological one -- he gets an A for the job he did last week.
Ellis played on logical doubts to rally his troops. Any team that lost two of its best three players in the final three weeks of the season should be questioned. Not to mention the team being down to eight players (and seven scholarship players) and having to play four games in seven days.
The moniker, "The Great 8," caught fire within the CCU community. Ellis admits he didn't coin the phrase, but he's the one that disseminated the information to the media. As corny as it sounds, when the 65-year old veteran coach started hooting and hollering over 'The Great 8"-- it made it cool.
But on Saturday, the Chanticleers came up short. The players weren't tired, but just played sloppy. Twenty one turnovers doomed Coastal Carolina. Not all fairy tales end with the villain being slain and everyone living happily ever after. But I think this team can hold its heads up high enough knowing they overcame many obstacles on the way to a second straight NIT bid.
Trucks back at Darlington
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is back at Darlington Raceway on Saturday. Trucks may be behind the Sprint and Nationwide series when it comes to overall popularity, but the race this weekend is exciting for other story lines.
Lots of eyes will be on the No. 18 Tundra owned by Kyle Busch Motorsports. Busch won in this truck two weeks ago in Phoenix and will hand the keys over to another cup driver, Kasey Kahne. Kahne won in a truck at Darlington in 2004 and will be a driver to keep an eye on at The Lady in Black.
While Kahne is in his prime, there are the other two spectrums of drivers who will be racing under the lights on Saturday. The older guys, Todd Bodine (2010 NCWTS Champion) and Ron Hornaday Jr. will be continuing to battle the young guns, Austin Dillon and James Buescher.
Saturday's "Too Tough to Tame 200" can be an all-day affordable event in Darlington. Tickets are as low as $15 and kids younger than 17 get in free. For more info, check out www.darlingtonraceway.com.