By Dalton Carver
Staff reporter

Although March has wound down and passed, it definitely came in like a lion. However, I’m talking about college basketball, not the weather. If I was to be more specific, I’d say that the month of March came in like a slam dunk, and went out with the backboard shattering.

Examining March Madness more closely, fans may find that more than the tournament symbolizes something more than just basketball and highlight reels. It’s a metaphor for many facets of life, and how we adjust and react to those facets. For example, for many events and situations in our lives, we create a plan of how we think things should go. Doesn’t creating a bracket, guessing who’s going to win the tournament, represent a plan as well?

What happens when this bracket doesn’t go according to plan? Missouri and Duke, two top seeded teams in the tournament, ended up losing in the first round. The coaches, the players and even the fans must adjust to this situation and move on. Both teams had good seasons, but didn’t quite get to their desired goal. Their reactions to the failure are what will define them for next season.

Off the court, let’s say you get called for a job interview and you nail it. Everything seems to be falling into place: It’s a good distance from home, you like the people that work there, it seems like an excellent fit, etc. However, you don’t end up getting the job. The events leading up to the final decision were well-executed and successful, but you just don’t receive the results you want. The same “post-season” choice applies to you as it did the basketball teams. How will you recover and do better next time?

On the other hand, several teams in the tournament, such as Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio State and Louisville, found success. Even though they’re tasting victory now, who’s to say that they’ll have the same success next season, or even the next several seasons? Just because they’re winning, do you think they will let themselves grow complacent? Consistent, hard work seems to be a primary key to success in anything you might be involved in. Athletics get a good reputation of hard work, but in reality, most hard work is done in the workplace or home. Life in general is just hard work.

March Madness has also been a theater for the underdog, the Cinderella story, the team that no one expected to make it this far. Despite clichés, those types of teams are inspiring. I find myself thinking, “If a 16 seeded team took down a one seed, then I can definitely make it through class today.” Once again, it comes back to hard work. How badly do you want to succeed? Even if you’re low on the totem pole or last in the pecking order, who says that you can’t achieve what everyone else around you has? Just like the basketball teams fight for position in the tournament, you fight for position in your world. Anyone can win a “championship”. It just depends on how far your “team” is willing to go to take it.

Dalton Carver is a freshman majoring in communication. You can email him at dalton.carver@sckans.edu.