Selection Sunday is something basketball fans anticipate all year long, going so far as to make their own brackets before the teams are announced to measure their college hoops knowledge. For basketball-crazed fans throughout Indiana, the excitement may be even more palpable.
For many aspiring college hoopsters and youngsters, the thought of sitting there with the cameras on as your team gets called is the stuff of dreams.
For two former Plainfield Quakers, that dream became a reality as the University at Albany was selected after the Great Danes captured the America East Conference for the first time since 2007.
The moment was everything senior Blake Metcalf hoped it would be.
“It was a dream come true,” Metcalf said. “When I committed to Albany, the one thing that has always been on my mind was making it to the tournament. Finally accomplishing that goal of winning our conference and doing it with the guys that I came here with really meant a lot to me in my senior year.”
The accomplishment came earlier in the career of redshirt freshman Chris Page, but was not lost on him.
“It was great and a big deal getting the 15th seed and we were all excited about it and to have an opportunity to play such a big team like Duke,” Page said. “You grow up watching the Sunday selection show and always just want to be there and it was a great experience to be able to do that.”
Metcalf, a 6-foot-9 center, spent his career trying to get Albany back to the postseason.
The Great Danes went to back-to-back NCAA tournaments in 2006 and ‘07. As a two-time captain, Metcalf helped Albany from a 7-25 season his first year to a 24-11 record this season.
“It’s been an awesome four years,” he said. “To go and get this program back up to where it should be and where it has been in the past is an unbelievable feeling and accomplishment for all of us.