The madness isn’t over just yet—yes, this might be the last day of March, however the NCAA basketball bracket is just warming up (fingers crossed the weather follows suit). In exactly 4 days, 4 teams will matchup to see which two will move on to compete for the NCAA Championship title. For most, the next two rounds are the most important games to be played in the entire tournament—this is when the beaucoup bucks can either be made or given to colleagues/friends/family members etc., talk about high stakes! While we at Koa don’t disagree that the Final Four and Championship games are hugely significant, we take personal interest in the early rounds.
Now this might sound somewhat bizarre, especially because of course everyone takes interest in these rounds—it’s not called March Madness because people only go crazy during the first week of April after all. However, the beginning rounds are of special interest to us because rank is nearly all but eliminated; each team has equal opportunity to win or to lose. The games aren’t dependent on a team’s seeding; rather they rely on heart, perseverance and motivation of the individual and of the team.
Let’s take a quick trip over to the Eastern side of our brackets. Villanova and UVA were seeded as first and second in the East respectively, and where are they now? Posting up in their dorms with a bowl of popcorn ready to tune into the Final Four! Villanova was upset in the second round by 8th ranked NC State and UVA lost to 7th seeded Michigan State, who is now happily on their way to the Final Four. Both of these games were considered unbelievable upsets, though they really should be observed as fantastic defeats.
As discussed in Koa’s mission statement, we believe sports should teach life lessons such as hard work, self-discipline and the ability to cope with adversity. All of these values are imperative to becoming a successful athlete and person. It is clear that teams like NC State and Michigan are also following these same principals as shown by their drive and determination to win even with the odds stacked up against them.
There will be moments in your athletic career when you encounter a team that has a better record or bigger players and that will be intimidating. Nevertheless, the end of a game should never be determined before you step on the field. You have an equal opportunity to win every game as long as you maintain a positive mindset and believe in you and your teammate’s abilities. Upsets no longer have to be “upsetting”; instead, they should be viewed as just another great game.
-Tony Korson, CEO 04/23/15