Every year as the school year comes to an end, I always like to sit and reflect on the year I just had and how I’ve grown. Being a student athlete is more than just playing a sport and going to class. You learn so many life lessons and it makes the entire process worth while, even though it can be very time consuming. The family bond you form with your teammates and coaches make the experience that much more enjoyable.
At the same time while having all of these feelings about being a student athlete, sometimes I wonder if it’s even worth it. Is it really worth sacrificing time you could be using to hang with friends or finding internships or getting a job? Will playing basketball now even help my future? These are all valid questions and I honestly can say I’ve thought these through more than once. I sometimes ask myself all of these things but once I get back on the court it’s like it all fades away. This Is a game I have been playing since I was 4 years old and I honestly love every piece of it. Only 3.4% of kids playing high school basketball actually play at the collegiate level, so the mere fact that I am still playing is a privilege within itself and I definitely should cherish it while I still can.
The way I look at it, I only have 2 years left to play in my collegiate career and I want to make the most of what I have.
Remarkable. Amazing. Heart dropping.
These are all words that could help describe the ending of the National Championship game between the Villanova Wildcats and the North Carolina Tar Heels. After a highly competitive game and even strong comeback from the Tar Heels, Kris Jenkins hits a game winning three to give the Wildcats their first national championship since 1985.
Villanova was definitely the underdog in this story, even though they actually had a pretty good season and had a high seed. In the final four they decimated the Oklahoma Sooners beating them by a record breaking 44 points, holding Buddy Hield to only 8 points.
Throughout this college season, there have been talks that college basketball was starting to get boring and that all of the best players were one year and done. It’s refreshing to see a veteran led group like Villanova win a national championship in that fashion.
Re-live the moment here :
At this point in the college basketball season, over 90% of the division 1 NCAA programs are at home eating finger sandwiches and watching Netflix with the rest of their friends and family. Only 8 teams remained in the fight for the ultimate prize of winning a national championship.
Senior and soon to be national player of the year Buddy Hield of the Oklahoma Sooners, has had one of the most prolific tournament runs in NCAA tournament history . He’s currently averaging 29 points per game in the tournament, the only player to average more than that is NBA superstar Stephen Curry in his Davidson years. He dropped 37 points in their win against the #1 seeded Oregon Ducks. 37 points!
The surprise team of the tournament has been #10 seeded Syracuse upsetting #1 seeded Virginia in their 68 – 62 victory led by freshmen guard Malachi Richardson. Though Syracuse has a well known program, I don’t think anyone expected them to make it this far, I know I didn’t!
Here’s the scores for the Elite 8:
#10 Syracuse def #1 Virginia 68-62
#1 North Carolina def #6 Notre Dame 88-74
#2 Oklahoma def #1 Oregon 80-68
#2 Villanova def #1 Kansas 64-59
3…. 2…. 1…. GAME! Wisconsin wins!
Junior guard Bronson Koenig of the number 7 seeded Wisconsin Badgers stunned the number 2 seeded Xavier with a game winner at the buzzer winning the game 66-63, advancing his team to the sweet sixteen round of the NCAA tournament. It’s moments like this that make the tournament as popular and memorable as it is. But this wasn’t even the most shocking moment out of all of the games that took place last Sunday in the tournament.
The Texas A&M Aggies overcame what almost seemed to be an impossible 12 point deficit in the last 35 seconds of the game to defeat the University of Northern Iowa in an overtime victory winning 92-88. 35 seconds! That is unheard of! The NCAA proclaimed that this was the “greatest comeback in NCAA tournament history” and sports writer Neil Paine called it a “1-in-3000 comeback”. To lose a game after being up by 12 points after 35 seconds has to be heartbreaking. Even NBA player Lebron James commented on the shocking comeback stating “I would quit basketball” if it were him in the shoes of the UNI players.
But now we are here. The Sweet Sixteen. Only sixteen teams remain with the chance to win a national championship.
The remaining teams and matchups:
#1 Kansas vs #5 Maryland
#3 Miami vs #2 Villanova
#1 Oregon vs #4 Duke
#3 Texas A&M vs #2 Oklahoma
#1 Virginia vs #4 Iowa State
#11 Gonzaga vs #10 Syracuse
#6 Notre Dame vs #7 Wisconsin
#1 North Carolina vs #5 Indiana
March madness is here ladies and gentlemen! The NCAA’s annual national basketball tournament has arrived, with68 teams being selected to play for a chance to win a national championship.
Why is this even important you might ask.
Well here’s why.
Millions of Americans around the country join in putting in their guesses for their tournament bracket, choosing the teams they think will make it to the final four and ultimately win the national championship. This tournament has became infamously know for its high level of unpredictability, with the lower seeds often times upsetting the higher seeds. Aside from the natural excitement of not knowing who can win at any point, the financial side of this tournament is almost mind blowing.
After extending their contract with CBS sports through 2024 for a record setting 10.8 billion dollars last year, the NCAA is projected to at least make 720 million just off this tournament alone!
Another question you might have is, well how much of this money actually goes to the college players.
Well here’s your answer. Zero.
Not one cent is being paid to the players, the student athletes who are creating this madness in the first place. Now that is the true madness.
There is a HUGE misconception on the life of an actual student athlete and I am here to give you all some insight into what’s really going on. For years and years, the whole idea of a college athlete being spoon fed grades and having this worry-less college experience is absolutely untrue. Now I can get the whole idea where one would think that student athletes always get to miss class or the fact that student athletes get to travel and go to various locations just to play a sport. These are some of the perks of playing a sport in college unquestionably, but the amount of time missed in class makes this perk into a liability. For example, the way our basketball schedule was set up this year, we had several stretches where we had back to back away games in states that were outside of Texas causing us to miss a whole week of school. Now some (not all) people think that us athletes have actual tutors that sit there and handle our work for us…
Trust me I honestly wish this was true, it would make my life 10 times less stressful.
But its not, more often than not we have to complete our work at a faster rate than most students, and don’t even get me started on the classes that count attendance as part of the grade. Those are the worst. There’s been several times where I brought a professor my note detailing on the fact that I would be missing some classes due to our scheduling and that it should be excused and still got marked as absent.
Think about that guys, I LITERALLY brought a note excusing me and STILL got marked absent. This is how stress begins to happen.
Now I don’t want you guys thinking that this whole blog is going to be about my pity party because that’s definitely not where this blog will be heading. I’m here to help others and educate on what’s really going on. I just figured I would enlighten you all on the MISCONCEPTION, from my point of view first.