March Madness Excitement Inspires Sunstone’s Push For Success 

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Welcome back to The Sunstone Way.

It’s March Madness!

Even non-fans of college basketball know of the phenomenon. The NCAA national championship tournament is pervasive in our society, not just because of the exciting games, or the one-and-done drama or the ubiquitous bracket contests.

 March Madness has become a symbol of the search for excellence, the journey of the underdog and the ultimate triumph from hard work, talent and a little luck.

A Bit Of Background

The first NCAA men’s basketball tournament took place in 1939 – eight teams, still in a one loss and you’re out format. It became commonly known as March Madness in the 1980s as part of – you guessed it – a series of television promotions helped by eager sports announcers.

The tournament starts with 68 teams. That’s out of 358 schools in 32 Division I basketball conferences. The bottom four ranked teams play a wild card game to get in the main bracket of 64.

The champions of each conference, usually through a conference tournament, get an automatic bid. Then a selection committee chooses another 32 teams amongst the biggest winners of the regular season. (That Selection Sunday, on March 17 this year, provides the first big dramatic moments of the tournament.)

There’s also an increasingly popular women’s national championship tournament with the exact same formula – and the same drama.

History Of Excellence

One name dominates March Madness  history – John Wooden. He was UCLA’s head basketball coach from 1948 through 1975, and compiled a tournament record unlikely to ever be equaled.

Between 1964 and 1975, UCLA won 10 NCAA national championships. His teams had a record 88 consecutive victories from 1971 to 1974 and racked up four perfect 30-0 seasons. He retired literally on top, after a victory over Tennessee for the 1975 national championship.

Coach Wooden’s basketball legacy is amazing. But his philosophy of life and leadership is even more amazing and likely will last even longer. He called it The Pyramid of Success, and it’s taught in leadership classes around the world.

The thing I like most about the pyramid is that it never once mentions winning as the definition of success. Yes, competitive greatness is near the top, but the qualities of fight and integrity are on either side. Here’s Wooden’s great definition of success:

“Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”

How We March Madness

My colleagues and I will be watching the tournament closely, but we’re also very excited about our own version of March Madness. We are moving forward on several fronts, both behind the scenes and in public.

Initiatives range from enhanced compliance to a full-court press by our registered representatives. We’re moving closer to an Irvine Tech Accelerator and working with the developers of Fairmont Breakers Long Beach.

Every member of our team is playing a part, from the center on the court to the last person on the bench. And the way we keep score, assists are worth more than points.

We want to be, expect to be, a number one seed as we compete to enrich our communities. We believe we now have all the components necessary to make it to the top of Coach Wooden’s pyramid, and our offense features multiple approaches.

Most of all, we are a team, and we are working together as a team. We are becoming the best we are capable of becoming.

Because that’s The Sunstone Way.

As always, be a Sunstone!

John Keisler 

CEO & Managing Partner 

Sunstone Management, Inc. 

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More About Sunstone Management
Sunstone Management is a diversified private capital sponsor firm headquartered in Southern California. Identified by Financial Times as one of America’s Fastest Growing Companies three years in a row. In the second quarter of 2023, PitchBook ranked Sunstone the seventh most active early-stage venture capital firm in the country, and 18th overall.

© Sunstone Management Inc., 2024

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