The coaches, players and TV announcers waited breathlessly for the reveal, then broke down the snubs, seedings and matchups with the same glee as kids unwrapping gifts under the Christmas tree.
No player on Tennessee's roster has ever played in the NCAA Tournament.
That's really not the case this season.
Hours after winning its 31st Southeastern Conference Tournament title, the University of Kentucky men's basketball extended its national record for most NCAA Tournament appearances to 57 on Sunday, as the team was selected as the No. 5 seed in the South Region.
The SEC's other teams include ninth-seeded Alabama, No. 7 seed Arkansas, sixth-seeded Florida, No. 8 seed Missouri and No. 7 seed Texas A&M.
The Pac-12 Tournament Champion Wildcats used a strong second half to knock off the USC Trojans with a 75-61 victory in the championship game.
Notre Dame did its best to strengthen its case late in the season after forward Bonzie Colson returned from injury, going 3-2 with a close loss to Virginia, but it wasn't enough.
"I don't know that he can be 100 percent, " Self said after learning the Jayhawks' seed, "but there are a lot of guys who sprain an ankle and they're not 100 percent and you still play because there's not a risk of hurting it more".
For now, though, the games go on.
The brackets came out Sunday, replete with the usual fanfare that accompanies America's biggest office pool.
The Four No. 1 seeds were Virginia, Kansas, Xavier and Villanova. New Mexico State's Jemerrio Jones was named the Western Athletic Conference Tournament MVP after averaging 18.3 rebounds and 12.3 points.
The Hokies were one of the teams who beat the Cavaliers this year. Michigan State holds the third spot.
No. 7 Rhode Island vs.
Here is a look at all of the dates and locations for the entire 2018 NCAA March Madness Tournament. Arizona State also made it off the bubble. "They were tough this year", he said.
Tournament action will kick off with the First Four on Tuesday and Wednesday before the rest of the field tips off on Thursday and Friday.
I wait all year for March Madness. In the 2016 tournament, the Jim Boeheim-led squad advanced to the Final Four. At stake: A three-week extravaganza worth almost $20 billion in TV money alone. They made the NCAA championship game in 1951 with Jack Gardner as their coach.