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February 24th 2017

My wife Lorraine and I had a great time in Cleveland as we were the guest of Dan Gilbert, the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Basketball team. We were Dans guests in his suite and got a chance to see the Cavaliers play the NY Knicks. The Cavaliers responded in a positive way behind the great play of LeBron James.



I was also in Cleveland to be the keynote speaker at a kickoff breakfast at the Cleveland Auto Show. Spoke to 700 dealers and salespeople in the auto industry. I was really thrilled to see the warm response from the crowds.  We had a tremendous time meeting many quality people.



The show will go on for ten days. There will be over a half a millions visitors during that period of time exploring the new models and learning what is transpiring in the Auto Industry.

 


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February 20th, 2017

We are less than a month away from Selection Sunday, and this year's Committee seeding the field of 68 will have several difficult tasks.  There are so many teams on the bubble that have pretty even resumes. There are big wins, suspect losses and tough decisions ahead. I believe championship week will help clear some of these things up.

Another factor is going to be injuries. A number of teams that could be in the field have been hampered by injuries. Earlier performances and success may be overshadowed by key players lost for the season. How will the committee evaluate the potential of a team which is without a key star.

Here are some examples from the weekend:

I saw an injury firsthand as Georgia's Yante Maten suffered a knee sprain early in the game against Kentucky. Georgia was on the outside looking in, but losing the third-leading scorer in the SEC is a major setback. The Bulldogs fought hard but fell short to Big Blue. JJ Frazier with 26 points was brilliant in defeat for Georgia.

Michigan State, which has been plagued by injuries all season, suffered a blow when Eron Harris was injured. He required season-ending knee surgery. The Spartans were a bubble team and the committee will have to evaluate Michigan State without a starting guard.

Injuries are a part of the game.

 
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February 11th, 2017

Friday was a special day in Detroit. We celebrated the 40th anniversary of the U. Of Detroit Titans team which won 21 straight games and beat eventual NCAA champion Marquette.

I really enjoyed catching up with all of the former players. Terry Duerod had his jersey retired and that was tremendous, a well-deserves honor.

Now it is off to call Florida State vs. Notre Dame on Saturday!

 

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February 6th, 2017

It was a miracle Super Bowl championship for the Patriots, Down 28-3, New England kept fighting, scoring the last 31 points to win in overtime.

Bill Belichick and Tom Brady will go down in history as the best coach and QB combo in NFL history. Brady was MVP for the fourth time, throwing for a record 466 passing yards. He now has five Super Bowl rings.

Hey, where were all the fans that screamed stick to hoops when the Falcons led 28-3. They were getting on me because VBDI said before the game 38-31 Patriots!
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January 30th, 2017

I worked the Florida-Oklahoma game over the weekend. The Gators won a blowout, but it was a special game. I was calling the game for the final time with an icon, a legend, Brent Musburger.

I have known him for over 25 years. When he calls a game, he paints a picture for the fans.

Brent has decided to retire from television after Tuesday's game at Kentucky. I was fortunate to have one more game with him and it was a blast. Because it was a one-sided contest, we were able to talk about sports, his career, etc.

Thanks for the memories, Brent. You will be missed by sports fans. Good luck in your next endeavor.

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January 23rd, 2017

I had a great time calling the Florida State-Louisville basketball game last Saturday.

My friends, Tallahassee was rocking and rolling. It is more than a college football town. The Seminoles are enjoying a special season, challenging for the ACC lead.

Leonard Hamilton has a deep and talented team. He goes out and uses 12 players, putting fresh bodies on the court. Sometimes that hurts the team's rhythm, but at the end of the game, Florida State is in good position.

I have been very impressed with Jonathan Isaac and Dwayne Bacon. This team will be a tough out come tournament time.
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January 16th, 2017

The NFL's version of the Final Four is set. The AFC and NFC Championship match-ups are in place as these teams are one win away from the Super Bowl.

The New England Patriots are in the AFC title game for the sixth straight year. Tom Brady and company held off the Texans to advance. Dion Lewis scored on a kickoff return, pass reception and rush. Now the Patriots host the AFC title game, looking for another Super Bowl trip.

The Atlanta Falcons were impressive in beating the Seattle Seahawks. Matt Ryan threw for over 300 yards and the Atlanta defense put a lot of pressure on Russell Wilson. Next up is a battle against the surprising Packers and Aaron Rodgers. What a great finish in the upset of Dallas. Jared Cook made an incredible catch to set up the winning field goal.
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January 12th, 2017

I had a great time hosting a party for the Notre Dame lacrosse team, which was working out at IMG Academy. The Irish will play an exhibition game against the USA national team on Sunday at 1 pm.

Coach Kevin Corrigan is excited about Notre Dame this season as the team is ranked fourth nationally in the preseason poll.

I know someone else who is excited about the Irish. My son-in-law, Dr. Chris Sforzo, played lacrosse at Notre Dame and loved his time in South Bend.

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January 9th, 2017

I had a great time calling the Tennessee-Florida game last Saturday. Don't be misled by the final margin as the Gators had to battle against a young Vols squad.

Tennessee loves to run and has great depth. Experience was a factor for Florida, plus outstanding three-point shooting in the second half, going seven-of-seven from long range. The Gators got solid performances from KeVaugh Allen, Justin Leon and Kasey Hill.

It was also fun for me calling the game with Tom Hart. Twenty years ago, I met Hart and told him to chase his dreams. He thanked me for that advice and did a great job on play-by-play.

I love seeing the Rowdy Reptile fans down in Gainesvile. They have renovated the O-Dome and Florida is the one team that can give Kentucky a challenge in the SEC.
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January 2nd, 2017

Football fans are closer to finding out about champions in the NFL and college football.

The playoffs are set in the pros. The Patriots clinched home field throughout the AC playoffs. The Chiefs earned the second seed with a win over the Chargers and a Raiders loss at Denver. Green Bay and Detroit both made the playoffs, making Sunday night's game a little less important.

The NFC is loaded with Dallas, Atlanta, Seattle, Green Bay and the Giants in the playoffs.

College football has a rematch for the national championship. Alabama gave up a touchdown against Washington and then proceeded to score the next 24. Clemson humbled Ohio State, handing Urban Meyer his first shutout with the Buckeyes.

Alabama and Clemson will meet in Tampa on January 9th for the title. I cannot wait, I will be there.
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December 26th, 2017

While many NFL fans are looking ahead at the playoff picture, I want to commend three teams for their effort last weekend.

The Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars and San Francisco 49ers were three of the worst teams in the league based on record. Yet all three got to the winner's circle.

The Browns beat the Chargers. The Jaguars dealt a major blow to the Tennessee Titans, while the Niners rallied to beat the Rams.

Combined those teams entered last weekend with a total of four wins. They didn't stop trying and they combined for three victories last weekend.
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December 19th, 2016

What a weekend in the world of sports. Bowl games got underway, Malik Monk put on quite a show, the Patriots and Tom Brady continued to roll and the Raiders clinch a playoff berth for the first time in over a decade.

Monk scored 47 for Kentucky in a win over North Carolina. Purdue beat Notre Dame and Butler got past Indiana in a couple of other key weekend games.

Brady and the Pats won at Denver to clinch another AFC East crown. The Raiders beat the Chargers and locked up a playoff spot for the first time since 2002.
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December 17th, 2016

My wife, Lorraine, and I love hosting a Christmas Party for over 300 kids at the Sarasota Boys and Girls Club. It was so rewarding seeing the beautiful smiles on their faces as they get their gifts. It is a day we always look forward to as there is nothing better then bringing joy to a child.

Happy Holidays!

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December 12th 2016

I had a lot of fun in Las Vegas recently. I was out calling the Duke-UNLV game, and while it was not close, it was great to see Duke getting healthy. Grayson Allen looked like the player he was last season, scoring 34 points against the Rebels.

For UNLV fans, it is going to take some time to rebuild the program. I suggest patience as the Rebels only have three players back from last year's team and the talent level is not up there with a Duke. UNLV will be able to recruit with th beautiful new T-Mobile Arena, which seats 18,000 for basketball.

I also had a great time seeing shows, including Jennifer Lopez, Reba McIntyre with Brooks and Dunn, and Jeff Dunham.
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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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November 14th, 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.
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Quote of the Week

“Stay tuned as the soap opera of the college hoop scandal continues.”

 -Dick Vitale