Survive and Advance – FGCU Style

basketballWho expected Florida to be the best represented state in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet Sixteen? With the Hurricanes, Gators, and basketball nation’s new Cinderella team, Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles advancing to the next round of the tournament there’s a lot of basketball excitement for fans in the state of Florida. Yes, I’ll be watching; but for those who don’t share the love of the tournament but don’t want to be left out of the March Madness, watching the following ESPN 30 for 30 episodes may be a good alternative.

The newest episode with a basketball theme, Survive and Advance, is airing tonight and throughout the next several weeks so there are ample opportunities to view this story of college basketball highlighting events from the tournament 30 years ago. While I remember the Wolfpack run, I’d forgotten much of the drama surrounding their remarkable win. The ESPN documentary presented a great look back at a terrific story. The description from ESPN:

When the 1982-83 college basketball season began, Jim Valvano and his North Carolina State Wolfpack faced high expectations and high aspirations. But with 10 losses for the season, the Wolfpack’s only hope of making the NCAA Tournament was to win the ACC Tournament and earn the conference automatic berth. Nine straight improbable wins later over the likes of Sampson, Jordan, Olajuwon, and Drexler, North Carolina State had “survived and advanced” its way to a national championship.

…the dream fulfilled..(it) explores what at times has been a tragic and heartbreaking aftermath in the thirty years since. -ESPN

Not a Valvano fan, The Guru of Go documents the exciting play of the Loyola Marymount basketball team or the life and sudden death of Len Bias is the subject of Without Bias, both rebroadcast in the coming weeks. I didn’t see one of my favorites, There’s No Place Like Home listed on the schedule, but it’s worth checking out online or through Netflix. There’s No Place Like Home documents a story everyone can enjoy.

Sotheby’s auctioned of the most important historical document in sports history: James Naismith’s original rules of basketball. There’s No Place Like Home is the story of one fan’s obsessive quest to win the artifact at auction and bring the rule “home” to Lawrence, Kansas, where Naismith coached and taught for more than 40 years. -ESPN

Join the basketball conversation. Watch the tournament or a couple of the ESPN 30 for 30 episodes about the game. Who knows, maybe FGCU will be the subject of a future “Survive and Advance” story.