"March Madness" is over. But that sports spectacle's life lessons linger.
Charleston's Darius Rucker hasn't just made the shift from popular "Hootie and the Blowfish" front man to hit-making country star. He's also developed into a dandy singer of "The Star-Spangled Banner," as he was again before Monday night's NCAA men's basketball tournament final.
Democrats and Republicans really can get along fine, as former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush did while sitting together during the championship showdown at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Alleged "fans" of winning and losing teams really can make fools - and even criminals - of themselves, as some miscreants at the University of Connecticut and University of Kentucky did on apparently drunken, property-destroying rampages after the Huskies' 60-54 title-game victory. Some disgracefully sore losers in Lexington, Ky., even burned 19 couches.
And perhaps the most edifying lesson from that game - and that tournament:
The ability to come back from adversity is the true mark of a champion.
On March 8, Connecticut suffered a humiliating 81-48 blowout loss - at home - to Louisville in its final regular-season game. A week later, Louisville beat the Huskies again, 71-61, in the American Athletic Conference tournament final.
Five days after that, UConn trailed St. Joseph's by three points with 49 seconds left in its first NCAA tournament game before rallying for an overtime victory.
The Huskies then overcame a nine-point second-half deficit to stun Michigan State in the East Regional final.
In Saturday's national semifinal, UConn trailed Florida 30-15 midway through the first half before rallying for another upset victory.
And on Monday night, the Huskies won the national championship over Kentucky.
So don't assume that defeats, even lopsided ones, preclude the possibility of ultimate victory.
And don't use your favorite team's failure - or success - as an excuse for burning furniture.