How to Become a Cinderella

I love March Madness, perhaps I've mentioned that. Every year, there are upsets and then this year, there was THE upset. For the first time ever in Men's NCAA history, a #16 seed, UMBC, beat a #1 seed, UVA, and it was stunning. (The Harvard women pulled off such an upset against Stanford back in 1998...obvi, women took care of business first!). The UMBC win was a thrashing; they outplayed UVA every step of the game. Most people - myself included - didn't even know what UMBC stood for. It's University of Maryland Baltimore County, btw, and as with most Cinderella stories, theirs wasn't the by-product of a magic wand and some fairy dust. No, indeed. This UMBC team used the heart and grit and skill that it had developed over the course of countless hours of practice, study, and teamwork. 

The moral of course is that in order to become an overnight success, you have to put in countless hours, probably even years, of hustle. The moral is beautifully recounted in the words of the great Freeman Hrabowski, UMBC's lauded President and noted mathematician, in an essay he wrote for The Atlantic this past weekend after the team's historic win. It's worth a read and a great reminder that there is a story of grit and determination behind every overnight success.