by Jacy Johnston
The upsets and excitement have faded, and four out of five people couldn’t tell you who won the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship (probably even less outside of the state of Pennsylvania, and yes, Villanova is in Pennsylvania). March Madness steals the hearts of America with Cinderella teams that break brackets and stun players. And while it is a drama-filled show, we have to remember the best teams don’t always win in March.
By any statistical measure, UMBC should not have beaten Virginia in the NCAA Tournament this year. The number 16 seed has never stood a chance against the number one seed. If you played the game 100 times, Virginia would win in all of them. And yet, UMBC won, completing the impossible feat.
Every year an 11 or 12 seed in the NCAA tournament strings together an upset and the entire stadium, even the entire country rallies behind the belief of victory. Our hearts root for David, not Goliath. Twitter goes crazy when UMBC is winning, not when Virginia is winning. Sometimes the momentum of an underdog beats the better team.
But isn’t this why we play the game? We could simply give the trophy to the number one team according to AP Polls. Or we could develop a fool-proof computer algorithm to simply decide who is the best. But, I think everyone agrees that the journey is better than the destination. We play the 66 games before the championship because they are just as much fun to watch as the final game. We play each game because everyone takes pride in the victories. And, finally, we play for the love of the game. Every player on the court enjoys lacing up their shoes to go out and compete in their favorite sport.
The Concordia Women’s Basketball team was the best team in NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball. They proved it for an entire season. But, March still had a sour ending. And it happens. Sometimes David gets the victory. But, for the love of sport, we’re going to keep playing the games knowing the best team doesn’t always win in March.