30 for 30 (2009– )
5 user 3 critic

Survive and Advance 

Follows the life of Valvano. It includes reflections by some players many years later.


Jonathan Hock




Episode credited cast:
Benny Anders Benny Anders ... Himself (archive footage)
Red Auerbach Red Auerbach ... Himself (archive footage)
Thurl Bailey Thurl Bailey ... Himself
Lorenzo Charles Lorenzo Charles ... Himself (archive footage)
Stu Coman Stu Coman ... Himself - Wolfpacker Publisher
Dave Didion Dave Didion ... Himself - NCAA Investigator
Clyde Drexler ... Himself (archive footage)
Charles 'Lefty' Driesell Charles 'Lefty' Driesell ... Himself
Patrick Ewing ... Himself (archive footage)
Terry Gannon Terry Gannon ... Himself
Reid Gettys Reid Gettys ... Himself
Sidney Green Sidney Green ... Himself (archive footage)
Jim Harrick Jim Harrick ... Himself - Coach
Lou Holtz Lou Holtz ... Himself (archive footage)
Michael Jordan ... Himself (archive footage)


In 1983, the NC State Wolfpack, coached by Jim Valvano, stayed alive in the post-season through a series of nine overtime and one point games, beating the likes of Michael Jordan and Sam Perkins. The unlikely squad made it to the national championship game against #1 Houston, aka Phi Slamma Jama, a team featuring future NBA Top 50 all-time players Akeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler. NC State was one of the biggest underdogs ever in the final game, one that went down as possibly the best college basketball game in history - ending with one of the most well-known plays of all time. Written by ESPN Films

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Release Date:

17 March 2013 (USA) See more »

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ESPN Films See more »
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Features SportsCenter (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

With such a compelling story, it's hard not to get sucked into this one...
23 December 2014 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This installment from "30 for 30" is about Jim Valvano and the NCAA champion NC State team from 1983. So, it is NOT a biography of Valvano nor is it really about any of Valvano's other teams he coached. Why is this subject THAT compelling? Because there really never has been another NCAA basketball team that kept winning in the post-season even though they were usually behind with only a minute or two to go. Yet, again and again, they pulled victory out of the blue--first at the ACC tournament and then in the subsequent NCAA tournament. This film is their story. However, because Valvano died prematurely of cancer in 1993, the film is taught mostly using the surviving members of the 1983 team.

Like so many of ESPN's "30 for 30" documentaries, this one is surprisingly good and entertaining EVEN WITH FOLKS WHO DON'T CARE FOR SPORTS! Yes, I am not much of a sports fan in general and particularly don't like basketball...yet I was fascinated by the story from start to finish because the subject matter was compelling and because it was told so well.

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