30 for 30 (2009– )
8 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 ... Self (archive footage)
Red Auerbach Red Auerbach ... Self (archive footage)
Thurl Bailey Thurl Bailey ... Self
Lorenzo Charles Lorenzo Charles ... Self (archive footage)
Stu Coman Stu Coman ... Self - Wolfpacker Publisher
Dave Didion Dave Didion ... Self - NCAA Investigator
Clyde Drexler ... Self (archive footage)
Charles 'Lefty' Driesell Charles 'Lefty' Driesell ... Self
Patrick Ewing ... Self (archive footage)
Terry Gannon Terry Gannon ... Self
Reid Gettys Reid Gettys ... Self
Sidney Green Sidney Green ... Self (archive footage)
Jim Harrick Jim Harrick ... Self - Coach
Lou Holtz Lou Holtz ... Self (archive footage)
Michael Jordan ... Self (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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User Reviews

Reminiscing Over Shared History with a Big, Open-Hearted Family
21 September 2018 | by drqshadow-reviewsSee all my reviews

A wild ride to the NCAA men's basketball finals with plucky third-year coach Jim Valvano and his unlikely NC State Wolfpack. Already lead players in a dramatic, historic underdog tale, in getting to know the team on a personal basis, we're given even more reasons to pull for their seemingly-impossible victory.

The surviving members of the squad, having suffered two major personal losses in the thirty years since they were Final Four Cinderellas, now meet on an annual basis to reconnect and recount memories of that one destiny-driven ride. We sit in on one such reunion, with the former teammates' overwhelming sense of community and kinship not only providing a more colorful, entertaining narration for the action on the court, but an intense, raw shared emotion that shows us the full depth of character present in each man. By the closing credits, they feel like family and the incredible conclusion of their athletic pinnacle, thirty years gone, resonates with a new sense of vibrancy.

Stirring, motivating, emotionally-affecting stuff that swells the heart and moves the spirit.

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Release Date:

17 March 2013 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

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ESPN Films See more »
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