So this is the week that the NCAA Basketball Tournament starts. The brackets were unveiled yesterday. This is one of my favorite times of the year. I love filling out a bracket and then watching the games as the tournament progresses. But one of the interesting discussions on Monday is about the teams that were on the bubble heading into the weekend and the debate that ensues about whether the right teams made it into the tournament or not.
For those of you who are not familiar with the term, “on the bubble” let me take a moment and explain it. The NCAA Tournament only has space for 65 teams. About 30 of those teams make it in through an automatic bid which goes to the winners of the different conferences. The other 35 teams are selected as “at large teams” by a committee. Usually most of those 35 teams had a great season and obviously deserve a spot in the tournament, but the last 4 or 5 spots in the tournament are always up for grabs and could go to about 8 or 10 different teams. Those 8-10 teams are considered to be “on the bubble” and that means that about half of them will make it and the other half will not. This year some of the bubble teams that made it were Minnesota, Utah State, and Florida and some of the bubble teams that just missed the cut were Mississippi State, Virginia Tech, and Illinois.
Imagine being one of these “bubble” teams waiting to see if you made it to the tournament or not. The wait was probably quite excruciating. But ultimately the teams only had themselves to blame. Those teams were on the bubble because they didn’t take care of business when they needed to. Instead of excelling, they were just mediocre. Minnesota is a great example. They had a decent season, going 21-13 on the season, but they had some bad losses including losing to Northwestern and Michigan down the stretch. They ended up having a good run in the Big Ten Championship to get off the bubble and into the tournament, but if they had not had that late rally they probably would have found themselves on the outside looking in.
The “on the bubble” teams wound up there because they were satisfied with mediocrity instead of excellence. They had some good moments, but they also had too many bad moments that kept them mired in mediocrity. They could have taken care of business all along and stayed away from the “bubble.”
So why am I blogging about the NCAA Tournament? The reason is because I believe that we have a tendency to live our lives “on the bubble.” Instead of excelling, we just kind of slide by. We don’t put the priority on abiding in Christ that we should and we spend too much time flirting with things that have no business in our lives. I believe the Lord wants us to get off “the bubble” and excel. Let me remind us of what we read in Revelation 3:15-16: “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
I want to challenge us to not be satisfied with living life “on the bubble.” Let’s step up and follow the Lord with everything we’ve got!