The important, the not so important, and the downright trivial from a Sunday evening spent waiting for word of WVU's postseason basketball destinations.
In no particular order:
Six p.m., and the women's selection show is delayed by the end of the Big XII final. The Mountaineer women must be hopping about as anxiously as guys do when waiting on their wives or girlfriends to get ready to go out.
Note to ESPN - quit cramming stuff everyone wants to see so close together, especially when you know there's a good chance the first game or event is going to run long. Either start the first game earlier, or do the women's selection show on another network. Or start a new one - Stuart Scott may need more airtime.
Second note to ESPN - when your show has been shortened, don't wast time with the canned intro that adds about as much to our knowledge as one Rich Eisen's NFL network reports. Get to the picks!
The ladies are in! Of course, they get to play Ohio State on the Buckeyes' homecourt, but such is the price for being the last team picked from your conference. One of the ESPN talking heads immediately disses the Mountaineers by looking forward to an Ohio State - Boston College matchup. Geez, thanks.
Third note to ESPN - aw, forget it. I know they're not listening anyway.
I'm officially renaming Selection Sunday "Bad Hair Sunday". Andy Katz's poodle perm with a part sets new standards in weirdness, while Clark Kellogg's close shave on top, complete with some visible sideburns, reminds me of a young Mike Jarvis. And what's up with Billy Packer's makeup? Was he just so red at St. Joe's getting a number one seed that he burned off all the pancake before the cameras came on?
The women safely in, and articles published, I answer some email and cruise our message boards while waiting for the men's NIT bid. I have to respond to about six or seven missives that say we aren't going to get a bid at all. Have faith, people.
The clock ticks past nine, which is about the first time that picks could be expected. Unlike the NCAAs, the NIT doesn't release them all at once. They leave that up to the respective schools. Isn't there some struggling cable network that would pay at least a few thousand bucks for this? It doesn't even have to be sports related, although CSTV would seem to be a good choice. How about the Food Network? How many replays of Iron Chef can we watch, anyway?
The word comes down a few minutes before 10:00. WVU gets a tough draw, and doesn't get a first round bye - having to face Kent State on the road. But a bid is a bid. Time to go fire off a few emails to the doubters.
As the bracket fills out, it becomes apparent that Virginia Tech didn't get a bid. A quick check of Hokie boards shows outrage and barbs directed at WVU. More continue to flood in while I sit back and laugh, nearly awakening my sleeping daughter. (Although she would have enjoyed it too.)
Note to Tech: You might not expect any breaks from a tournament with close ties to the conference that you just lied to and backstabbed.
Wondering why WVU is the only Big East team to have to play in the opening round of the NIT. With 40 teams in the tourney, 16 teams play an opening round game, with the eight winners joining 24 other teams for an even bracket of 32. Of course, Kent State is probably wondering the same thing, especially with Villanova (16-16) and Oregon (15-12) getting those byes. But I'm not complaining. After all, we're not Virginia Tech.
Perusals of Kent State's site bring one immediate matchup to light - D'or Fischer versus the Golden Flashes seven-foot Jon Edwards. Both are defensive forces that should provide quite a show in the paint.
As usual, this type of stuff takes me far past my planned bedtime. But it's off to the sack with happy thoughts, and both Mountaineer basketball teams safely in the postseason fold.