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Survive and Advance
Survive and Advance
Published by Swampy Meadows
Survive and Advance

BEVERLY HILLS (MI) -- As the curtain goes up on the greatest two-day spectacle in college sports, it is interesting to take a look at what is required for a team to achieve the ultimate success during March Madness.

First of all, you gotta get invited

Quite simply, if you don’t get in; you can’t cut down the nets.

I stumbled upon this great website other day.

It’s the NCAA video vault.

There are highlights and entire games from the NCAA Tournament going all the way back to the 1970s.

Linky video vault goodness: http://vault.ncaa.com/

Don’t bother looking for any Flyer footage.

There is none.

The second element necessary for NCAA Tournament success is a little harder to quantify.


I’m not a big believer in Ken Pomeroy’s statistical algorithm for predicting the outcome of a team’s season. However, one stat that he complies that I keep an eye on is Ken Pom’s “luck factor.” This season’s edition of Flyer basketball ranked #335 out of 347 Division 1 basketball programs in terms of “luck factor.”

Lady Luck certainly had a big hand in perhaps the greatest surprise in NCAA Tournament history -- the 1983 NC State team coached by Jim Valvano.

That Wolfpack squad is the subject of the latest 30 for 30 documentary on ESPN entitled “Survive and Advance” directed by Jonathan Hock:

Here is a link to some highlights and details on this excellent film:


To even get into the NCAAs that year, NC State knew that they had to win the ACC Tournament. To do so, the Wolfpack had to go thru not only UNC with Michael Jordan, but also UVA, featuring Ralph Sampson.

In the 2nd half of the Virginia game Sampson is destroying Valvano’s team. So what did he do? He scrapped his entire defensive game plan and went with a “Triangle and Two.”

It worked.

Multiple games on their magical run went into overtime. In one tilt, with NC State making a comeback they fouled a kid who was an 80% FT shooter.

He missed.

Two times in a row!

NC State had to face Virginia again in the Big Dance and came out victorious. All of which led up to the showdown with the Houston Cougars, aka Phi Slamma Jamma featuring Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler and the unforgettable putback dunk by the late Lorenzo Charles off of a missed desperation heave by Dereck Whittenburg.

The third element to success in the NCAA Tournament is this:

You gotta believe

Jim Valvano and the NC State Wolfpack team actually practiced cutting down the nets during the season!

Now that is what is called the courage of your convictions.

Enjoy March Madness!

That’s it “From the Swamp.”
You can email me at: swampy@udpride.com
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