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March 9, 2017

It’s our NCAA party, and you’re invited!

Join fans in Alico Arena for Selection Sunday

California, here we come? Will we be shuffling off to Buffalo? Shall we wish upon a star in Orlando?

Only the NCAA Selection Committee knows for sure where FGCU’s men’s basketball team will be headed and who the Eagles will play in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament — and even committee members won’t really know those answers until Sunday afternoon.

The best part of this exciting March Madness Mystery for FGCU fans? They’ll have the chance to find out where the Dunk City road show opens and what team it will face in the Big Dance at the exact same time as the team itself. That’s the beauty of being at the NCAA Selection Show Party at 5 p.m. Sunday in Alico Arena, where fans can join Coach Joe Dooley and his 2016-17 Atlantic Sun Conference regular-season and tournament championship team when they get their marching orders.

Admission is free, and enthusiastic cheering is mandatory when the acronym “FGCU” appears on the bracket that will be projected on the big screen in Alico during Sunday’s telecast, which begins at 5:30 p.m. on CBS. The show will be led by host Greg Gumbel, and he’ll be joined live in studio by analysts Clark Kellogg and Seth Davis from New York City. Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith will also provide commentary from Turner Studios in Atlanta.

We gave a hint as to possible Dunk City destinations for NCAA Round One in the tease at the beginning of the story, but for the record, here are all the sites for the first two rounds of the tournament, which take place Thursday and Saturday (March 16-18) and Friday and Sunday (March 17-19): Buffalo, Milwaukee, Orlando, Salt Lake City, Greenville (S.C.), Indianapolis, Tulsa and Sacramento. The First Four games — which FGCU participated in last year as an upset A-Sun tournament winner — again take place in Dayton, Ohio, on Tuesday and Wednesday (March 14-15), but FGCU’s resume is likely strong enough to avoid a play-in game.

Of course, once the Eagles know their destination and opponent, FGCU Athletics will be offering a limited number of tickets for sale to the public. But even if you can’t make the tournament in person, you can still celebrate with fellow FGCU fans at dedicated watch parties around Southwest Florida. For more information on those two options for celebrating the fun of FGCU at March Madness, be sure to check fgcuathletics.com after Sunday’s selection show.