North Carolina State won the NCAA Division 1 Basketball Tournament (a single elimination tournament) in 1983 with a memorable upset victory on a last-second shot. Queens, New York-born N.C. State basketball coach Jim Valvano (1946-1993) stated his team’s philosophy in an Associated Press interview in December 1983:
Thus, last season’s odyssey to Albuquerque has spawned a new motto—survive and advance. “You don’t go into it thinking, ‘Well, I can win it...’” the coach said. “Play the game you’re playing, and if you survive that, you advance. That’s what we did last year without really having that philosophy.”
“For N.C. State, it was ‘S and A,’ coach Jim Valvano said—Survive and Advance—where the final score is the only statistic that counts” was cited in 1985. Valvano’s “survive and advance” term continues to be used by many other NCAA basketball tournament teams.
Wikipedia: Jim Valvano
James Thomas Anthony “Jim” Valvano (March 10, 1946 – April 28, 1993), nicknamed Jimmy V, was an American college basketball player, coach, and broadcaster.
While the head basketball coach at North Carolina State University, he won the 1983 NCAA Basketball Tournament against long odds. Valvano is not only remembered for running up and down the court after winning the 1983 NCAA championship, seemingly in disbelief and looking for someone to hug, but also for his inspirational 1993 ESPY Awards speech, given just eight weeks before he died of bone cancer.
31 December 1983, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “A pleasant surprise: Valvano can’t believe N.C. State keeps on winning” (AP), pg. 13B, col. 4:
Poise carries teams a great distance, as Valvano has discovered. Thus, last season’s odyssey to Albuquerque has spawned a new motto—survive and advance.
“You don’t go into it thinking, ‘Well, I can win it...’” the coach said. “Play the game you’re playing, and if you survive that, you advance. That’s what we did last year without really having that philosophy.”
Google News Archive
23 March 1985, Evening Independent (St. Petersburg, FL), “N.C. State motto: ‘Survive and Advance’” by Sarajane Freligh (Knight-Ridder Newspapers), pg. 5-C, cols. 1-2:
For N.C. State, it was “S and A,” coach Jim Valvano said—Survive and Advance—where the final score is the only statistic that counts.
Google News Archive
12 March 1987, Wilmington (NC) Morning Star, “Valvano says State’s goal is to survive and advance” (AP), pg. 3B, cols. 1-2:
RALEIGH—North Carolina State basketball coach Jim Valvano, who has pulled off several major tournament upsets as Wolfpack coach, said Wednesday that he will rely on his magic coaching potion to beat Florida in the NCAA Tournament.
“In the tournament...our goal is to survive and advance,” Valvano said, choking on a piece of pizza at a news conference. “To me that means win the game you are playing. Don’t worry about trying to get on a run.”
Google News Archive
22 February 1993, The News (Boca Raton, FL), “Valvano vows to keep on fighting; N.C. State honors former coach, inspires battle against cancer” (AP), pg. 3C, col. 2:
He said the memories of that 1983 carry him through his illness. It was the “Survive and Advance” slogan that went along with N.C. State that championship year.
OCLC WorldCat record
Survive and advance
Author: Philip Aromando; Alex Evans, (Television producer); Jim Podhoretz; Deirdre Fenton; Jonathan Hock; All authors
Publisher: [Bristol, Connecticut?] : ESPN Home Entertainment, Owensboro, KY : Team Marketing,   ©2013
Series: 30 for 30, number 7.
Edition/Format: DVD video : NTSC color broadcast system : English
In 1983, the NC State Wolfpack, coached by Jim Valvano, stayed alive in the postseason by winning nine do-or-die games in a row, seven of which they were losing in the final minute. NC State was one of the biggest underdogs ever in the final game, one that went down as possibly the best college basketball game in history and ending with one of the most well-known plays of all time. Told through the eyes of senior captain Dereck Whittenburg, the film takes a look at that championship run and the spirit and impact of coach Jim Valvano.
Daily News (New York, NY)
ESPN film ‘Survive and Advance’ captures best of Jimmy Valvano and 1983 North Carolina State championship team
The movie is the culmination of an 18-month labor of love for Whittenburg and the creative force behind this movie, an immensely gifted filmmaker named Jonathan Hock, part of ESPN’s ‘30 for 30’ series, fittingly enough on the 30th anniversary of Jimmy V’s 10-loss State team, which kept rallying behind his cry of ‘survive and advance’
By Mike Lupica
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Monday, March 18, 2013, 10:47 PM
The Best College Sports News Network
NC State vs Villanova: Who Will ‘Survive and Advance’?
Posted by Kevin Porterville on Saturday, 21 March 2015 in Atlantic Coast Conference Blog
It has become one of the most famous phrases in college basketball and perhaps college sports in general, “Survive and Advance”. Coined by former Wolfpack coaching great Jim Valvano during State’s 1983 NCAA title run, the phrase certainly applies to this year’s Wolfpack.
NCAA March Madness
SURVIVE AND ADVANCE!
No. 3 Notre Dame wins OT thriller vs No. 6 Butler, 67-64. #MarchMadness #ndvsbutler
11:25 PM - 21 Mar 2015