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That famous line from the beginning of the legendary TV show, "Wide World of Sports," is never more applicable than it is during the NCAA tournament, March Madness. We start with sixty-five teams in a single-elimination tournament. Every game is a sudden death situation. Lose, and your season is over; win, and you move on to the next round. As Pat Riley, Hall of Fame NBA coach says, "Survive and advance."
Every game during the season cannot be evaluated, won, or lost by only the final play. Similarly, the entire season cannot be evaluated by only the final game. Only one team in the NCAA tournament goes home with a victory in their final game. That does not mean that everyone else was a failure. Teams at all levels that reach the playoffs have had tremendous seasons, and players and coaches need to be mindful of their accomplishments throughout the year, rather than their failures in the final game. Some teams that don't even win many games may have played up to their potential and can be proud of their efforts. Sure, everyone wants to win them all, so disappointment is natural. Be disappointed, and then evaluate and learn from any mistakes. Get back to work on your game and try your best to improve. Then, defeat will never be agonizing.