By Charles Jardine
Every year around the middle of March one of every fan’s favorite seasons arrives: March Madness. March Madness in the modern era began in 1985, when the tournament expanded to the 64-team format we know today, but the basketball tournament has been present and evolving since 1939.
This year’s March Madness has presented fans with an exciting bracket. In the first round, a 16 seed upset a number one seed, a 15 seed upset a number two seed and a 13 seed upset a four seed, leaving no perfect brackets after the first round.
Upsets continued in the second round with the seventh ranked Michigan State upsetting second ranked Marquette and eighth seed Arkansas beating out one of the favorites to win the tournament, Kansas.
After the third round, no number one seeds were left in the tournament with five seeds, Miami and San Diego State, showing the one seeds, Houston and Alabama, who’s boss in not particularly close fashion.
With just over a week to go, the teams of the final four are yet to be decided and soon after the two contenders for the title of College Basketball Champion will be played out on April 3rd.
Yet if March Madness can teach us anything, it can teach us the power of the underdog. Not to say that some of these teams are outright better than the higher ranked opponents that they beat, but on that particular day they proved to be better.
FDU coach Tobin Anderson had this to say on their win over the number one seed Purdue, “If we played them 100 times, they’d probably beat us 99 times… Play them 100 times, we have one win. But tonight’s the one we had to be unique, we had to be unorthodox. We had to make it tough on them, just be different.”
In all of our competitive spirits we should be able to relate to this, knowing someone who just seems to be better than us at something we do. But success isn’t just made overnight, being able to beat the number one seed doesn’t just happen, it’s worked for.
FDU didn’t go into the game unprepared, like Coach Anderson said “we had to be unorthodox… [we had to] just be different.” This game plan was forged through hours of film, practice and the discipline to stick to the plan.
When we want to accomplish something in our own lives we shouldn’t just expect it to be given to us, we have to work for it. God calls us to go out and going out isn’t something you can do unprepared. To go out and live out your vocation, you must first understand your mission and secondly prepare yourself physically, mentally and spiritually for your mission.
Wining as the underdog is exciting but knowing God is on our side, pushing us to be better and better each day is significantly more meaningful.
So be like a 16th seed, don’t expect things to come to you and work for all the goals you want to accomplish.