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ESPN remembers Jimmy V

North Carolina State coach Jim Valvano waves the

North Carolina State coach Jim Valvano waves the net in victory in Albuquerque, New Mexico, after his team defeated Houston in the NCAA Final Four championship game on April 5, 1983. Credit: AP / Leonard Ignelzi

As iconic as the finale of the 1983 NCAA Tournament remains – Dereck Whittenburg, Lorenzo Charles, Jimmy V, etc. – it is a bit of a shame the rest of North Carolina State’s startling run has faded over time.

Remembering what led to the upset at the Pit in Albuquerque is the best thing about ESPN’s latest 30 for 30 entry, “Survive and Advance,’’ which premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday, after the 2013 field is set.

The Wolfpack earned a chance to upset Houston only via a series of unlikely escapes during the ACC and NCAA tournaments.

The two-hour documentary is built around a spirited reunion of the now-middle-aged players, revealing interviews such as one with Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, and most of all the overwhelming force of personality that was their late coach, Seaford High’s own Jim Valvano.

The moral – in basketball in life – is articulated in what amounted to V’s farewell address at the 1993 ESPYs: “Don’t give up; don’t ever give up.’’

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