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1978 National Championship documentary coming to SEC Network

Odds are we’re going to need a pick-me-up on the day after Selection Sunday. SEC Network has just the thing. On Monday, March 15 at 9 p.m., the network will debut “Win or Else,” its latest SEC Storied film, which takes an in-depth look at Kentucky’s 1978 National Championship team. It is narrated by Goose Givens. Here’s the press release:

“Win or Else” reunites many of the players from that ‘78 team, along with head coach Joe B. Hall, in an exploration of how this special team—led by seniors Jack Givens, James Lee, Rick Robey and Mike Phillips—thrived under unrelenting pressure in order to achieve greatness and become the first Kentucky team to win the NCAA Championship since the Wildcats won their fourth title under Adolph Rupp in 1958.

“Even though I grew up 15 minutes from what was one of the best basketball schools in the country, I didn’t dream of playing basketball at Kentucky like most of my white friends did,” says Givens, the Most Outstanding Player of the ’78 Final Four. “Coach Rupp was winning games and championships, but I never watched because I didn’t see anyone on the team who looked like me. Coach Hall started changing the culture and I started thinking about going there for my college basketball career. Still, when it came time for me to pick a school, the decision was not as easy as you would think. But it turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life!”

Narrated by Givens, the documentary is directed by David Beilinson and produced by Neil Amdur, both of Rumur Inc.

“While the journey of the 1978 Kentucky basketball team is not widely known, it is one of those stories that transcends sports,” says Beilinson. “The film explores how the players and coaches took the unrelenting pressure of the legendary program and turned it into immortal success. As the first integrated team to win a championship at Kentucky, during culturally turbulent times, this remarkable group of men set the standard for a new tradition that has fueled the program’s ascent to the pinnacle of the sport.”

Beilinson has been producing and directing documentary films for over 20 years. As a partner at Rumur Inc., he’s collaborated with ESPN, Netflix, HBO, A&E, NBC, ABC, IFC, Sundance Channel, and PBS, among others. His 30 for 30 film, “The Sweat Solution,” explores the origin story of Gatorade.

Amdur began his sports writing career at The Miami Herald, then joined the New York Times as a reporter in 1968, ultimately becoming the sports editor from 1990 through 2002. He also worked as a producer at CBS Sports and was editor-in-chief of World Tennis Magazine.

Monday, March 15 at 9 p.m. ET, SEC Network. Set your DVRs.


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

6 Comments for 1978 National Championship documentary coming to SEC Network

  1. Sully
    12:24 pm March 3, 2021 Permalink

    That should be excellent. A great team largely and improperly forgotten nationally, but not by us.

  2. Lip Man 1
    12:50 pm March 3, 2021 Permalink

    Should be an excellent show. back when getting to the NBA was important for some players but not the be-all, end-all like it is today at the school, in many cases to the actual determent of said players who don’t develop, don’t get drafted and spend their athletic lives kicking around places in the globe (if they are lucky…)

  3. mashman 93
    1:13 pm March 3, 2021 Permalink

    WOW!!! I can hardly wait!!!!!

  4. Trinity45
    1:59 pm March 3, 2021 Permalink

    Can’t wait I was in high school and watched every game that made it to TV. This is the way basketball is supposed to be played.

  5. Bluehender
    2:25 pm March 3, 2021 Permalink

    Looking forward to that. They were a great team and as you know, the Goose was indeed Golden in that championship game..

  6. Jpcat15
    5:14 pm March 3, 2021 Permalink

    Why are comments getting blocked?