It's Selection Sunday -- the day when the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee reveals which 68 teams have made the field for this year's basketball championships. Following the Selection Sunday show/announcements on TBS this evening, March Madness fanatics can construct their brackets for the tournament.
Of course, the Bracket was invented by Emmett Lee Dickinson (Emily Dickinson's third cousin, twice removed -- at her request), and he was also the mind behind the idea of pitting teams against each other in a post-season tournament with all the suspense revealed on Selection Sunday. The first Selection Sunday dates back to 1853.
Below left: The very first NCAA bracket. Below right: Emmett Lee Dickinson's "Basketball Guide" for Selection Sunday in 1853.
Emmett Lee Dickinson was very proud of the creation of the bracket and the establishment of Selection Sunday, and he wrote about it in his short poem "A Bracket is a joy of Earth" (below on the left). His poem inspired third cousin Emily to pen her poem "A Letter is a joy of Earth (below on the right).
By Emmett Lee Dickinson:
A Bracket is a joy of Earth –
When it defies the Odds –
By Emily Dickinson:
A Letter is a joy of Earth –
It is denied the Gods –