December 5th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, December 2016

There was a lot of drama over the college football playoff system all year long. Then the final week, it became very predictable. Clemson and Washington won their conference championships and grabbed the two spots opposite Alabama and Ohio State.

Penn State, Oklahoma, Michigan could all state their case but it was not enough as Washington grabbed the last spot. Now the Huskies face Alabama!

Clemson vs. Ohio Stat should be very exciting too.

There are a handful of intriguing bowl match-ups like USC vs. Penn State and Michigan vs. Florida State to name two. College football is ready for its postseason excitement, baby!

November 28th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, November 2016

I had a great time calling a semifinal and the final at the Advocare Invitational in Orlando.

The championship game turned into a classic, with Gonzaga holding on after squandering an 18-point lead. Iowa State had a chance to win the game but missed a shot at the buzzer.

I was really impressed with the Zags and their balance. They have so many players capable of beating you. Deonte Burton of Iowa State was the star of stars, getting the Cyclones back in the game, but it was not enough.

I also enjoy spending time coaching Mickey Mouse for a piece on television. Disney is a great place for Thanksgiving weekend.

 

November 21st, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, November 2016

I called the Rhode Island-Duke game at Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut on Sunday.

I was very impressed with both teams. The Rams will be right up there in the A-10. I loved watching EC Matthews and Hassan Martin.

Duke found a way to get to the winner’s circle despite a number of injuries. Luke Kennard was outstanding against the Rams, making big shots. Every time Rhode Island rallied, the Blue Devils had an answer.

When Coach K gets Jayson Tatum, Harry Giles and Marques Bolden in the line-up to help Amile Jefferson up front, this Duke team will be special.

November 16th 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, November 2016

I was so excited to start my 38th season calling college basketball game for ESPN.

Kentucky looked very good in all facets of the game, beating Michigan State by 21.

Big Blue Nation is going to love this edition of Kentucky basketball.

The Wildcats are deep, quick, can score in transition, defends well and will get better and better. John Calipari lost so much talent from last season: Tyler Ulis, Jamal Murray, Skal Labissiere, Alex Poythress. Calipari is a recruiting machine and he has reloaded.

Remember, this squad has been together for about a month. It is young but oh so talented. They play well as a team and a size advantage against the Spartans was a small factor.

This Wildcat club can run baby run! They have tremendous athletic ability and goes from the defensive end to the offensive end so fast. This has the making of a very special team.

Going into the game Tuesday, there were questions about Malik Monk’s shooting ability. My friends, what I saw on Tuesday was star ability as Monk hit trifecta after trifecta. He had rhythm, touch and range.

John Calipari looks like he has a Final Four contender once again.

November 14th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, November 2016

It was upset Saturday in college football as the race for a playoff spot is filled with drama.

Clemson, Washington and Michigan fell from the unbeaten ranks. Alabama and Western Michigan are the only two FBS schools with a zero in the loss column.

Now back to the race for the four playoff slots. Alabama is a lock, then you have five teams battling for the last three spots. Ohio State has looked great the last two weeks and the lone Buckeye loss came on the road to a Penn State team that is now in the top 10. Louisville struggled for three quarters against Wake Forest and then broke the game open.

Clemson, Washington and Michigan are the other three in contention despite losing Saturday. Clemson lost at home to a Pittsburgh team that had been struggling. Washington lost at home against a hot USC squad that has won six in a row. Michigan lost at Iowa on the game’s final play.

Stay tuned, there is a lot of excitement still ahead.

November 7th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, November 2016

I am so proud to be associated with the Dick Vitale Intercollegaite Tennis Classic. There were representatives from 22 different schools competing last weekend, it is was so special.

The event brings so many young and talented players to face off. The women’s singles champion was Anna Danilima, a junior at the University of Florida. The men’s singles champion was a diaper dandy, freshman Robert Levine of Duke. Florida also won the women’s doubles championship, while Central Florida won the men’s doubles crown.

Congratulations are also in order to Larry Wade, who helped raise over $90,000 in sponsorship banner sales. I also want to thank Paul Lederman, the Director of the Lakewood Ranch Tennis Club which hosted the event. His ard work paid off. Also a salute to head pro Chris Marquez. who handled the organization of the event.

Besides the players and fans in attendance, the big winner was the V Foundation for Cancer Research, which will get a check for over $70,000 for research in the fight of pediatric cancer. That money will go into the research grant in the honor of my late buddy John Saunders from ESPN.

I cannot wait for next year, when we put on the eighth annual Dick Vitale Intercollegiate Tennis Classic!

November 4th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, November 2016

We were thrilled Thursday night to be honored by the Tampa Bay Lightning as they presented us a check for the V Foundation in the amount of $60,000. This was all due to uniting with Coach Jon Cooper in a big event that he put on. Jon put together a fishing tournament and had me as the guest speaker at their banquet. Together we raise money for the V Foundation to help kids battling cancer.

I can’t thank the Tampa Bay Lightning enough.  As they are a first class organization starting with their owner Jeffrey Vinik and the head of the Lightning Foundation Elizabeth Frazier, and all the people involved administratively and in terms of the coaching staff and players.

They are awesome baby with a capitol “A”.

 

November 3rd, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, November 2016

It was over a century of waiting, but the Cubs finally did it, winning another World Series.

Game 7 was so special, so the 108-year wait was worth it. The Cubs had a winning attitude and so did the Indians. Terry Francona and Joe Maddon did great jobs.

Ben Zobrist won MVP of the World Series and I was so happy for him. I used to watch him with the Rays and he is a winner.

Congrats to both teams on a classic. Congrats on the Cubs for getting that gold trophy. Coming back from 3– down in the series was special.

November 2, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, November 2016

My wife and I had a great time at the University of Notre Dame for a football weekend verse Miami. We were also joined by my daughter Sherri and her husband Thomas who are both graduates of the university. In fact, they were student athletes, Sherri played tennis and Thomas played football. They are proud graduates of this prestigious university.

They had a fantastic weekend. Also accompanying us were my three grandchildren, Ava, Connor and Jake. They had a fabulous time touring the campus and seeing the various building and just enjoying the entire festivity. Football weekends at Notre Dame are absolutely unique and special. We love them dearly.

What made it an even greater weekend was that the Irish found a way to win late in the game and to beat Miami and get a big win which they needed badly.

October 31,2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, October 2016

If you thought it would be easy to go through an undefeated season, look at what happened last weekend.

Four schools that were previously unbeaten lost, all on the road. Texas upset Baylor; West Virginia fell to Oklahoma State; Nebraska lost at Wisconsin; Boise State was stunned by Wyoming.

Also, Michigan did not have an easy time at Michigan State. Clemson struggled but got past Florida State,

You really have to earn your way to the college football version of the Final Four!