ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. — If you're going to the big dance, you might as well have a party first.
To celebrate the greatest season in St. Bonaventure women's basketball history, the campus and Greater Olean communities are invited to an NCAA Selection Show Party Monday night at Bob Lanier Court in the Reilly Center. Admission is free.
"Coach Crowley and the team have been so grateful for the outpouring of community support for the team that they hope as many people as possible can attend to share in this remarkable moment of achievement with them," said Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., university president.
Doors to the event open at 6:15 p.m., with pre-ESPN festivities — including season highlight videos and player introductions — to begin about 6:40.
ESPN will unveil the field of 64 teams beginning at 7 p.m., with the last bracket to be announced at approximately 7:40. The broadcast will be shown on a giant screen. SBU-TV will also air an hour-long live special that will be streamed for free on GoBonnies.com.
Despite losing a heartbreaker in the Atlantic 10 title game Monday to Dayton, the Bonnies — 29-3 and ranked 16th in the latest AP poll — are all but guaranteed a spot in the field.
Before the broadcast begins and during ESPN commercial breaks after 7 p.m., prizes — including St. Bonaventure 150th anniversary history books and Tim Hortons gift cards — will be awarded to winners of select SCVNGR contests. The grand prize is an iPad, but one must be present to win and have participated in the SCVNGR game.
SCVNGR is a mobile game where players go places and play games on their phones or smart devices. To play on iPhone and Android, download the SCVNGR app and find the "Basketball Selection Show" trek. Users of other phones can play by texting "sbuselection" without quotes to 728647 (SCVNGR).
Once the Bonnies' place in the NCAA field is revealed, Athletic Director Steve Watson, A-10 Coach of the Year Jim Crowley and team captains will speak briefly before heading to a press conference.
Following the event's conclusion, the SBU Bookstore will sell commemorative T-shirts for $18 each at a table on the court located at the North endzone (opposite of the Hall of Fame Room).
Tentative plans are also in the works for a sendoff celebration when the team leaves campus next week for their first-round game; details will be announced later when travel plans are finalized on Tuesday.