On Selection Sunday, 68 of the nation's finest college basketball programs get to view their paths to achieving the epic dream of winning the national championship.
More importantly, it is the day when fans everywhere get a shot at redemption for their terrible brackets a year ago.
The selection show is enthralling from many different angles.
We learn which teams have earned coveted No. 1 seeds, which I predict below. A few teams will inevitably be seeded too low and/or have a lot of travel. And let us not forget about the perception of each region—there is almost always a discernible pecking order.
Then, of course, there are the bubble teams. We will learn which programs sitting on the borderline will be given a ticket to the Big Dance and which will have to start planning for the NIT.
Here is when and where you can catch the drama and excitement.
Selection Sunday TV Coverage
When: March 16 at 6 p.m. ET
TV Coverage: CBS
Predicting No. 1 Seeds
Midwest: Wichita State
Florida is a lock for a No. 1 seed. It doesn't matter what the Gators do in the SEC tournament. Florida is the No. 1 team in the nation after going 29-2 in the regular season and leaving no doubt about its validity in the process.
The Gators destroyed Kentucky in their regular-season finale. After the game, Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel captured a quote from senior starter Patric Young. Young made a great point about why the Gators are so dangerous: "Just having a highly rated recruiting class doesn't mean everything. I don't know what goes on inside Kentucky's program, but we're a bunch of guys who stuck around, grew up together and love each other. We're not just playing for ourselves."
So, pencil in Florida for a No. 1 seed, and add Wichita State while you're at it.
Wichita State's validity as a No. 1 seed can be debated. The team played a weak schedule, but the Shockers are the first team since UNLV in 1991 to enter the NCAA tournament with an unblemished record.
This was enough for College Basketball Talk's Rob Dauster to say, "I’m not simply saying it should get Wichita State a No. 1 seed. I’m telling you that it will."
Out west, if Arizona is able to reach the Pac-12 championship game, the Wildcats will be in great shape. You can view the Pac-12 bracket here.
Arizona looks good to win that tournament. California, the No. 4 seed, lost to the Wildcats by 27 back on Feb. 22.
The No. 2 and No. 3 seeds are UCLA and Arizona State, respectively. The Wildcats were a perfect 3-0 on the season against those two, and two of those wins came on the road.
The Wildcats lost just three conference games this year and will win that tournament.
Villanova gets my nod for the final No. 1 seed, but that one is tough to project.
Kansas, which has more wins against teams in the top 50 of the Ratings Percentage Index, can make a strong case. The Jayhawks, however, have a bit of a concern.
Gary Parrish, CBSSports.com's college basketball insider, explains:
Kansas coach Bill Self acknowledged this morning that Joel Embiid might miss the Big 12 tournament. Story: http://t.co/DqFXXgvn7c— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) March 10, 2014
So instead of Kansas, I'm leaning toward Villanova.
The Wildcats are an impressive 29-3, although that has come in a weak Big East. That weak conference will help Villanova have a successful run through its conference tournament.
The Wildcats' only real obstacle in that tournament is Creighton. With Villanova the No. 1 seed and Creighton the No. 2, however, those two wouldn't meet until the final.
Creighton has lost two of its last three and is no lock to make the championship game. This clears the path for Villanova to enter March Madness as the No. 1 seed in the East.