During March, one of the biggest events in college sports is March Madness, wherein 64 college basketball teams compete to see who wins the tournament. The season records go out the window, and the 64 teams who are chosen for the tournament go full throttle. Their competitive spirit is raised to a different level. Why? It’s one and done, that is, you lose just one game and you are out of the tournament. So everyone plays to their maximum capacity…NO SECOND CHANCES!! The competition is on overdrive.
This was so evident in the game between the University of Virginia and Syracuse. Both teams battled. The first half belonged to Virginia, based on the three-point shooting of London Perrantes. As basketball aficionados would say, “He was in the zone.” At half-time, Syracuse was behind by double digits. But then, Syracuse picked up the pace and their competitive spirit. The second half, along with the victory, belonged to Syracuse after a hard-fought, competitive game by both teams.
Needless to say, following the last play, the Syracuse players erupted with jubilation!
Except for one … Michael Gbinije. The picture that was posted on Face Book shows Michael at the Virginia bench. He is leaning over London Perrantes, who is distraught, and giving him words of solace.
March Madness does bring out the best of a person, even in a highly competitive sport. It is an image that will stay with me for years to come: A fellow human being giving compassion to a fallen, fellow warrior, rather than basking in the joy of the victory. What an example of the moral virtue. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Thank you, Michael, for bringing out the best of March Madness.