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30 for 30 Shorts: The Billion Dollar Game

Welcome back to our 30 for 30 documentary short series.

In 1989, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament was at a crossroads. Schools from larger conferences like the SEC and Big East didn’t see the need to keep allowing the mid-major teams into the Big Dance. They always lost, so what was the point? When Alonzo Mourning’s no. 1 seed Georgetown Hoyas entered the tournament, they had their eyes set on the Final Four and a national title. Dealing with the likes of Ivy League champion and no. 16 seed Princeton was more of an afterthought. So when these two teams faced off on March 17, 1989, in Providence, Rhode Island, no one, not even Princeton, expected much of a game. They were all wrong. Pete Carril’s Tigers not only played one of the greatest games in college basketball history, they also let the NCAA and the rest of the world know that the mid-majors could play and were here to stay. Without that game, the tournament would not be what it is today — a billion-dollar enterprise that stops America for two weeks each year.

Click here for Nick Guthe’s director’s statement.

Recent 30 for 30 Shorts

An Immortal Man, directed by Josh Koury and Myles Kane »
The Sweat Solution, directed by David Beilinson and Neil Amdur »
Student/Athlete, directed by Ken Jeong »
Robbed, directed by Eric Drath »
Our Tough Guy, directed by Molly Schiot »
The Great Trade Robbery, directed by Stuart Zicherman »

Filed Under: 30 For 30, 30 for 30 Shorts, Georgetown, Princeton, NCAA tournament