Wednesday, April 06, 2016

NCAA Mens' Basketball Classic: A Lesson in Leadership and Courage

This is my first blog post in a while.  I had not been inspired to write recently--until this week.  The 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Final was what did it.

I have only one conclusion from watching and analyzing that wonderful game between the champion Villanova Wildcats and the runner-up North Carolina Tar Heels.

Yes, Kris Jenkins of Villanova won the game with a once-in-a lifetime, buzzer-beating, long-distance jumper.  He is the obvious hero.  However, my more important take away from that game is that, at least in basketball, you don't give the ball to your best shooter or scorer when the game is on the line. You give the ball to your leader and let him (or her) put your team in the best position to win.  On Monday night, both experienced and highly respected coaches let their leader lead.  Tar Heel head coach Roy Williams put their leader, Marcus Paige in the driver's seat at the end of the game.   Late in the game, the courageous Paige, a senior, found ways to keep the Tar Heels in the game.

Similarly, Wildcat head coach, Jay Wright, put the ball in the hands of point guard Ryan Arcidiacono. Arcidiacono, also a senior.  Arciciacono, who had show much poise and scoring ability throughout the game, ran the final play that led to the winning Jenkins jump shot.  Though he considered shooting, he made the right pass at the right time to get Jenkins the ball in a position to shoot.

Watch the video and you will see.  Leadership and courage by Paige, and then Arcidiacono, led to a classic finish and a timelessly valuable basketball lesson.

Thank you, Tar Heels.  Thank you, Wildcats.  Congratulations to both teams.  Enjoy the video!  

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