In lieu of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament beginning I thought this would be a fitting blog post. I'm sure by now many of you are aware that last night many witnessed history with the #16 seeded UMBC Retrievers upsetting the #1 Virginia Cavaliers. In 136 attempts no #16 was able to accomplish this feat. The question is who considered this an upset?
It would be safe to say 99.9% of the population considered this one of, if not the biggest upset in college sports. The .01% remaining would have to be the UMBC Retrievers. When we see "underdogs" win it is a perfect example that, "you will never outperform you belief system." The only people that needed to believe UMBC would win were the players and coaches themselves. Teams cannot exist and succeed on talent alone. On any given night teams that really believe in who they are can outperform the talent on paper. This is why sports are so entertaining and why millions of people fill out brackets, not to see the top seeds win but to see the upsets, the so called Cinderella teams.
Think about conversations you most remember centered around this time of year. Is it how good the best teams are or games like Buffalo beating Arizona and UMBC taking it to Virginia? So how does this happen? It happens with intentionality not only from the players believing in themselves but also believing in the staff that prepares them and in the work they put in throughout an entire year. If that game were to be replayed tonight, would we witness the same outcome? Nobody knows but I would venture to say Virginia players and coaches would come in with a different mindset. This isn't saying they entered the game not giving enough respect to UMBC but perhaps they weren't intentional enough about who they were and who they wanted to be every time they stepped on the court.
I would encourage those that didn't see Coach Tony Bennet's interview to look it up, as he handled a very difficult situation with great character. The players that look up to him have a great leader to follow and I can assure you the next time they are lucky enough to find themselves in a similar situation they will have learned from the pain this team has felt.
Good luck to the remaining teams and if you would like to see a more in depth explanation of belief and talent please watch my previous blog video.