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Losing Is NEVER Easy, Losing With Grace Teaches Us Lessons (North Carolina Coach Roy Williams)

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Iowa State beat North Carolina, for me.....right now, WHY doesn't matter, it's HOW.

I must admit I wanted Iowa State to win. I am from Iowa and getting any team from Iowa to the tournament is not common enough, and a Sweet 16 appearance is an all too rare occasion. It was in 2000, 14 years ago, when Iowa State made the Sweet 16. 

With that Iowa State win, a very talented North Carolina team lost. If they play ten games, Iowa State may win four. Winning and losing is a part of life.  But it is HOW you win and lose that separate those who possess a higher set of character skills and have a better understanding of what life is really about.

Late in the game, Iowa State regained the lead 85-83 by scoring a basket when DeAndre Kane made a twisting layup leaving 1.6 seconds on the clock. Nate Britt took the North Carolina inbounded ball across half court and called a timeout before the time ran out.

But wait...after some confusion, the officials reviewed the play. Most of those watching believed the officials were trying to determine how much time was going to be put back on the clock.  Then they reviewed the play some more.

During this time, North Carolina's coach Williams was setting up a play for the last shot, one last shot to save the season and advance to the next round.

After the official called the two coaches to mid-court, Iowa State's Fred Hoiberg and Roy Williams heard the determination.  There would be no time left and Iowa State wins the game, North Carolina's season is finished. 

Even after watching this decision it was difficult to determine what happened. The reason why it was so hard to understand what was going on was because of the way Coach Williams calmly accepted the explanation, the season ending explanation.

Coach Williams simply shook Hoiberg's hand and walked towards Iowa State's bench and congratulated the team on their win.  Coach Williams was stoic, or a person who can endure pain or hardship without showing their feelings or complaining.

Trust me, being stoic in that situation seems near impossible, but I often wear my emotions on my sleeve. Here is a big thumbs up from a person who believes, a person should always "act like they have been there."

If you win, great!  If you lose, learn from it, or you have really lost.

Congratulations on your stoic loss coach, I learned from it.