Improbable but still

The 1983 Championship game was the epitome of David (NC St.) vs Goliath (Houston). Goliath was the #1 team in the nation led by two future NBA Hall of Fame players. David was a 7 point underdog who had a 17-10 record entering their conference tournament. NC State’s final 9 games are often described as the Cinderella Run which included victories over the #1, #2, #4, #5, and #6 ranked teams in the nation. One thing NC St. had which the others did not was Coach Jim Valvano. His personal mantra of “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up” is notable and was showcased by that ‘83 Championship team. The ESPN 30 for 30 documentary Survive and Advance relives the team’s story in impeccable fashion. If you have not seen it, set aside 2 hours of your life and watch it; you can thank me later. In the end, NC St. finished the season with a record of 26-10. David defeated Goliath 54-52 on a last second alley oop from some 30 feet out (I’m sure you’ve seen the video clip). And that is what the NCAA Tournament is all about: fighting, scraping, never giving up, surviving, advancing, and eventually celebrating. As you scan the 68 teams in the field you will find endless data (Rank, RPI, SOS, record, etc.). All of this can be useful but it doesn’t account for everything. Don’t forget to look for that 1 team who is missing a slipper. Who will your Cinderella be?