How does an overmatched & undersized team overcome the obstacles & become one of the greatest underdog stories in American sports history? It’s all about their Mindset!
The Cinderella Story
We hear about a ‘Cinderella’ team every year in the NCAA college basketball tournaments. These teams get labeled as ‘Cinderella’ teams because they achieve something nobody expected. Teams who win a David vs. Goliath style matchup & advance further in the tournament make some of the greatest March Madness stories of all time.
Some popular examples are the 8th seeded 1985 Villanova Wildcats (lowest seed to ever win a championship), 11th seeded George Mason making the Final Four in 2006 (their coach Jim Larranaga has a chance to bring 10th seeded Miami to the Final Four today as well), & most recently, Loyola Chicago reached the Final Four as an 11 seed in 2018.
Now, St. Peters has become arguably the best Cinderella story in March Madness history, being the first 15 seed to reach the Elite 8, where they play North Carolina tonight for a chance to reach the Final Four.
St. Peters March Madness Run
In the first round, 15th seeded St. Peters upset 2nd seeded Kentucky in an overtime thriller. To put the matchup into perspective; Kentucky was an 18 point favorite. A lot of people had Kentucky going all the way to the championship (including me) & most people around the country didn’t even know St. Peters University existed. Then, the Peacocks took March Madness by storm.
In the 2nd round, they beat Murray State. Nobody should have been surprised by this after they already beat Kentucky, but their Sweet 16 matchup with Purdue was another surprise win. St. Peters was 13 point underdogs because Purdue has a future NBA star in Jaden Ivey & they also have a 7’4” Center. The tallest hooper on St. Peters is 6’10”. Nobody (except Jersey & themselves) gave those kids a chance.
So how did they overcome those obstacles?
Sports teaches us a bunch of life lessons. Almost all of them have to do with mindset.
Camaraderie, Trust, Discipline, Hard Work, Leadership, Overcoming Adversity, & much more.
I wrote more about these life lessons in the article below.
St. Peters basketball embodies the mindset of a Man Of Order. When nobody gave them a chance, they trusted their hard work & made it happen. They were losing at halftime against Purdue, but did that discourage them? Nope! They overcame that adversity by playing their same disciplined basketball & working hard on defense.
Every player on that team has bought in to the fact that they’ve put the work in to run the table and win a National Championship. A lot of teams would have gone out against Kentucky with the mindset of a loser. Those teams would have lost by 17+ (as the other 3 #15 seeds did this year).
And matching up with the 7’4 giant at Purdue would have scared a lot of teams who have nobody over 7 feet tall. However, this team isn’t scared of anybody, just ask their coach.
I’ve got guys from New Jersey and New York City. You think we’re scared of anything?St. Peters Head Coach, Shaheen Holloway
St. Peters didn’t care that the whole world didn’t believe in them. They worked hard all year, and probably their entire lives, with the purpose of being the best men they could be. That’s all that mattered to them. That’s all that ever matters.
It comes down to your mindset.
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