Greg Gumbel had announced 67 of the 68 teams in the NCAA tournament field and N.C. State was still waiting to hear its name. Almost 40 minutes had passed since the first name on the bracket was revealed and the Wolfpack had heard fellow bubble teams like Iona, BYU and South Florida get their invites.
There was one spot left. With no buildup and minimal fanfare, the CBS host revealed the final participant in this year's edition of March Madness.
If anyone ever doubts that this is the greatest three weeks on the sports calendar, refer them to this video. The unfettered joy that those players are feeling is contagious, unless you're a fan of spurned bubble teams like Drexel or Seton Hall, I suppose.
Part of me wonders what the scene in the rooms of those teams were like. (Is it silent? Is there yelling? Do people get up and leave immediately? Does the coach give an awkward "It's OK" speech or a fire and brimstone screed against the selection committee?) The other part of me doesn't want to know. Selection Sunday should be about the N.C. State type of moments, not Drexel ones.
[ Midwest Region: Strange seeding for Georgetown and Creighton ]
"It was a killer," N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried told Yahoo! Sports Radio's Tim Brando about waiting until the last possible spot. "It was gut-wrenching. Our guys erupted, the room went nuts. It was a long show for the Wolfpack."
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