March was a humbling and encouraging month here at UVA.
UVA came into the tournament setting all sorts of records.
Their overall record of 31-2 earned them the nations outright, overall #1 seed for the tournament. They won the ACC Regular Season and the ACC tournament in controlled fashion.
With only one ACC conference loss, they were unbeatable on the road in conference play - also never done before.
I could go on, but let's suffice it to say - HOPE was at an all-time high here come March.
First Round Stunner
#1 UVA was ousted by #16 UMBC by 20 points 74-54 - making it the first time a #1 seed had lost the opening round to a #16. The first of 136 over 57 years!
The University was in shock, and the disappointment experienced was real, but we couldn't be more proud of what these men accomplished this year. I would be remiss not to say, how grateful I am to have a believer like Tony Bennet coaching our team through wins and losses. What a coach and man of faith!
Getting to the Gospel
During my ensuing conversations with athletes, we talked about HOPE and how our hope in the promises of God are not like our hope in UVA heading into the Tourney. Though we felt confident that we would win, we are SURE that God's promises will prevail because they have been guaranteed at the cross. Guaranteed In something that has already happened! Signed and sealed!
Other Short Stories
Learning from Bryce
Teaching me about what he learned during our "snow day." I'm so proud of this guy seizing his limited free time to grow in understanding our Lord. He was convicted by the idea that he was receiving God's word and even living it to an extent - but he wasn't giving it/sharing it with others. I'm so excited for this man and those around him.
God works through his people
Many of you have heard this story - and not from me. Adam (left) left UVA last year as a top draft pick for the Phillies. I have been grateful to hear from Adam how he continues to share his faith with his new teammates just like he did back here!
Even crazier - my good friend Jeff Boettcher was named the Chaplain of the Phillies this year! While at Spring Training Adam brought his friend to meet with Jeff. He prayed to trust Christ that same morning and was baptized days later!
God works in such cool ways! And I am so encouraged that the work we do here on campus continues to spread into the world as these students move on!
Picture courtesy of Jeff Boettcher!