Thursday, January 23, 2014

TV Review: ESPN 30 for 30: Survive and Advance: NCAA Championship: North Carolina State: 1983
I started watching this show because I noticed Thurl Bailey was in it.  He is a former Jazz player so this intrigued me.  But then the story grabbed me.  In addition to Thurl Bailey the had Sideney Low and Dereck Whittenburg at guard.  They could shot. Also Lorenzo Charles and Cozell McQueen underneath with Bailey.
Because of an injury to one of their key players, Whittenburg, early in the year, North Carolina State had ten losses.  There was little chance they would make the NCAA tournament without an automatic bid.  They had to win the ACC tournament in order to make it to the NCAA Men's basketball championship in 1983. That would require four consecutive wins against the nations top league.
After their run hey would be known at the cardiac pack.  They played close game after close game.  Wake Forest they beat by one point, North Carolina with Michael Jordan they beat in overtime, and Virginia with Ralph Sampson, a team they hadn't beaten in the Sampson era, they were able to bet by three points and steal the ACC title.
Then began the NCAA tournament.  They were either looking past Pepperdine, or still exhausted from the ACC or something, but with less than a minute to play they found themselves six points behind.  They best foul shooter on their time, missed two one-and-ones to give them a chance to tie, and they won in double overtime.  UNLV was just as hard, but in the end Thurl Bailey outplayed Sidney Green for the victory.  Then an easier game against Utah, but then Virgina again to make the final four.  Again they squeezed out a come-from-behind victory.
In the semi-final they had a bit easier game with Georgia.  But then the final against Houston--Akeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler.  The odds did not give North Carolina State much of a chance.  They were not given any kind of a chance.  They slowed Houston by not letting them dunk the ball.  They usually got energy by living off the dunk.  North Carolina State won the first half, but the second half was different.  They went to Akeem again and again, and Houston took a seven point lead.  However Akeem tired playing in therth  altitude, and North Carolina had their chance.  They benefited from a timely missed foul shot, and had the last shot for a victory.  The shot missed, but Lorenzo Charles rebounded and put slammed it through for the victory.  They were called a team of destiny, which survived nine times in a row.
But this movie is more than basketball.  It shows the team reaction to the death of Lorenzo Charles, and the death of Jim Valvano, their coach.  It shows excerpts of a speech by Jim Valvano after he was diagnosed with cancer.

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