March 14th marks the start of 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. The beginning of this tournament represents the end of a basketball career for many of the participants.
2006 NCAA Basketball Tournament: As the clock ticked away, George Mason’s final four run and cinderella story came to end.
The Underdog Narrative
In the 2013 NCAA Tournament, Florida Gulf Coast became America’s team. Before they began their tournament run, they had to survive their conference tournament. To briefly explain, there are 32 conferences in Division 1 college basketball.
There are over 351 schools that compete within these 32 conferences. Only 68 college basketball teams get to compete in the March Madness tournament. Most of the underdogs only end up getting in the tournament by receiving automatic bids through their conference tournament, as Florida Gulf Coast University did in 2013.
Awarded with a 15th seed, FGCU had the chance to play against a true Goliath: Georgetown University. They had no chance. Right?
Via Bleacher Report
Via Chicago Tribune
Let’s take a look at the odds FGCU were up against:
And yet they competed.
The Fairytale Element
At some point in our lives, we have entertained the thought of folkloric figures. Whether it was Santa Claus or the tooth fairy, these characters and stories were larger than life and represented the world far from our reality. This tournament represents the tale of David vs. Goliath.
The Goliaths are the well-known basketball programs.
The Davids come from colleges and universities no one has heard from. Here is a short documentary that encapsulates the surrealness of this tournament for those underdogs.
Whether one is a basketball fan or not, NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament presents to us the opportunity to witness a Goliath be downed. It lets us know that although the odds may be against you, nothing is ever a given in March.