One of the most exciting days of the entire college basketball season is upon us, and it has nothing to do with any games being played, although there will be plenty of them.
It's Selection Sunday, when the 65-team NCAA tournament bracket is unveiled. Various squads across the country either celebrate or enter a deep state of depression depending on whether they hear their names called.
The automatic qualifiers and highly ranked teams don't have much to sweat over because they know they're in the Big Dance. Still, they're anxious to find out who, when and where they play.
It's all those so-called bubble teams -- and there are always plenty of them -- whose players and coaches probably didn't get much sleep Saturday night.
Speaking of bubble, Missouri is squarely in the middle of it. Considered a solid contender for the Final Four when the season started, the Tigers bumbled and stumbled their way through a disappointing campaign and now are at the mercy of the selection committee.
My personal opinion is that the underachieving Tigers don't deserve a bid, especially after getting hammered by Kansas Friday night in the Big 12 Conference tournament quarterfinals, but they still might get one.
The Show Me Believers, a team based out of St. Charles, Mo., that competes in the National Indoor Football League, again will feature a local flavor.
Don Brown, a former Southeast Missouri State University assistant football coach who lives in Jackson, was a top running back for the team last season.
Scott Pingel, a St. Vincent High School product who set numerous NCAA Division III receiving records at Westminster College in Fulton and is now an assistant coach there, was an all-star wide out for the Believers last year.
And Jason Strickland, a Central High School graduate who spent most of last season on the Believers' practice squad before getting into some games late, is once again with their developmental practice team after making the switch from defensive end to offensive line.
The Believers kick off their season today at Fort Wayne, Ind. Their home opener is next Sunday against Lexington, Ky., at 1:30 p.m. The team plays a 14-game schedule, with seven home contests at the Family Arena.
Marty Mishow is a sports writer for the Southeast Missourian.