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December 7th, 2016

Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden was so special. The Jimmy V Classic included a good game between Duke and Florida with Luke Kennard (29 points) and Amile Jefferson (24 points, 15 rebounds) keying the Blue Devils' victory.

It was a great night because we raised money and awareness for the V Foundation for Cancer Research. Jimmy Valvano and my buddy John Saunders were smiling in hoop heaven.

This was the first time that John was not at the Jimmy V. Classic and he was sorely missed. We are raising money for a research grant in his honor to be given out at my gala in May.

I was honored to give a speech at halftime of the Duke-Florida game. I talked about the need for more dollars to help pediatric cancer research. I have met so many kids that have fought the dreaded disease. It is so tough on the families.

If you can help, please donate to the V Foundation at jimmyv.org/Saunders. That money will go to the research grant in honor of the great John Saunders.

 

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December 5th, 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!
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November 28th, 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.

 

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November 21st, 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.

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November 16th 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.

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Quote of the Week

"The amazing Roger Federer is absolutely the GOAT!! He now has a record eight Wimbledon men's singles titles."

  -Dick Vitale