Selection Sunday: Behind the Scenes

Selection Sunday is a big day for Cardinalmaniacs, with a building wave of anticipation and final climax of brackets unveiled. But the real business of Stanford basketball on this day is frenzied, though hidden behind the scenes. Stan4Hoops spent the day with the basketball staff to see just what transpires. Here is his report.

Like most Cardinal fans I have become spoiled. It seems like ages ago that I was glued to the TV with my USA Today newspaper in my hand, wondering if we were even going to make it in the field of 64. Remember when we hoped to win a NCAA game? Selection Sunday just wasn't special anymore.

This year I was fortunate to be in the Stanford Basketball office on Selection Sunday. Here is my scouting report:

The Cast

Sandi Peregrina, Administrative Assistant – The veteran of the group. Will be coordinating travel arrangements, the traveling party and logistics

Matt Babrick, Basketball Operations – Tapes games, procures tapes and breaks tapes down into scouting reports.

Jamie Zaninovich, Director of Basketball Operations – Logistics, communications, operations, presentation

Kris Weems, Basketball Operations – Cage Club, Sixth Man Club; anything that needs to be done, Kris can do it.

Mike Izzi, Assistant Director of Development – Department veteran. Knows the ins and outs.

The Managers – Help Matt out with procurement.

Pre-Selection Sunday

Logistics – The NCAA sends each school a booklet on the tournament. The book has everything you ever wanted to know about how the tournament is being run and your teams obligations and responsibilities. Additionally each host site sends a booklet saying what hotel each seed has, bus companies and details about that particular site.

Sandy has the tentative list of the traveling party. She also has a file for every trip the team has taken for the last umpteen years

Tapes – Matt Babrick has taped over 100 games over the past month. He also has contacts around the country that have been taping games. There is also a company in Newark who tapes every Division 1 game, from whom the office will purchase tapes.

Selection Sunday

2:00 p.m. Matt is busy organizing tapes. Kris and Jamie talk about the 6th Man function at 3:00 and student ticket distribution. I asked Kris which is tougher, playing or behind the scenes. He said that behind the scenes is tougher. As a player all you need to do is play.

2:15 Jamie and Sandi talk about traveling party, what time the team will leave and other logistics.

2:20 Rev asks Matt to find first flight out of Newark to San Francisco Monday morning. Five tapes of our first three possible opponents will be on that flight. Sandi, who was on a travel web page, has the answer in 3 minutes.

2:50 Coaches go to locker room to see selections with the players. Mike Izzi comes into office to see selection show, talk about ticket allocation and possible logistic issues.

3:10 We are going to St Louis! Sandi gets the NCAA operation manuals out and gets to work. She calls our assigned hotel, starts checking flights and bus companies.

3:15 Jamie comes in and starts talking to Sandi and Izzi about travel itinerary. We need to leave late Tuesday afternoon so kids can go to class and practice. Commercial flights leave at 6:15 and arrive via Dallas at 11:59. Looks like a charter flight would work best.

3:20 Rev, Turner and Babrick come in and go straight into Rev's office. During the next 90 minutes coaches were on Internet sites, ordering and procuring tapes on Western Kentucky, Kansas and Holy Cross.

5:00-on The coaches will have two tapes, which they will be breaking down.


A. Coaches will have identified all of WK's sets and will have them on film.

B. Remaining 15 tapes will be on campus by 12:00 to be dissected

C. Practice 1:00

D. Logistics completed by noon


A. Practice 1:00

B. 5:00ish off to St Louis

All in all, a good day. Western Kentucky is a good team. If we get by them, we most likely play Kansas. The road forward, to continue making our mark in college basketball, goes through Kansas. I know our team would welcome the opportunity.

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