Selection show sans suspense

In most past years, Mid-Ohio Valley sports fans have been on pins and needles waiting on the selection show that reveals the 68-team field for March Madness.

This wasn’t like most years.

For the first time since Bob Huggins returned to West Virginia, the Mountaineers won’t be part of the NCAA field.

There will be no NIT or CBI or CIT bid, either. That’s what happens when you have a 13-19 record.

Speaking of 13-19 records, that’s also how Marshall University finished the season.

So there will be no Mountain State teams for which to cheer during the three-week NCAA Tournament.

I was hoping we would have a local team in the tournament as Ohio was gunning for its 25th win of the season against Akron in the Mid American Conference championship game.

But the Bobcats lost by 19, virtually scuttling any hope they had of making the tournament field.

So the only drama involving any of the teams of intense local interest was Ohio State’s seeding and to which regional the Buckeyes would be sent.

Speaking of drama, this tournament is going to be filled with it.

Last year, it was virtually a foregone conclusion that massively talented Kentucky was going to win and the Wildcats did just that.

This year, you can make a legitimate case for as many as a dozen teams to win the championship, ranging geographically from Miami to Gonzaga.

March Madness never fails to disappoint.

This year, it may well exceed all expectations.

I’ll break down the brackets and list some potential shockers in Tuesday’s column.

All-state teams: At its annual meeting on Saturday, the all-state basketball committee of the West Virginia Sports Writers Association decided to make a major change in the way teams are released.

In previous years, the three girls all-state teams were announced one week with the three boys teams coming out the following week.

This year, they will appear in statewide newspapers on six consecutive days, beginning this Tuesday.

The schedule for release is: Tuesday, girls Class A; Wednesday, boys Class A; Thursday, girls Class AA; Friday, boys Class AA; Saturday, girls Class AAA; Sunday, boys Class AAA.

The reason behind move is that the longer the time between the selection of the teams and their publication, the more time for them to be leaked.

I can speak from personal experience on that subject. The Parkersburg News and Sentinel has had a long-standing agreement with the Little Kanawha Conference that we won’t run all-LKC teams until the last league member is eliminated. That way the members of the teams still playing don’t know who earned honors and who didn’t. But there have been times in the past it has been leaked as early as the day after it was picked.

Contact Dave Poe at dpoe@newsandsentinel.com