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May 5th, 2024 - GALA UPDATE

I pinch myself thinking about raising $24.8 million last night at our Gala for Pediatric Cancer Research for The V Foundation.

The kindness of ALL was so special but the highlight was @themarkpentecost  challenging the crowd to help us reach our goal of $12 million & that if we did he & his wife Cindy would match up to 12 million- we raised $12.8 plus with the $12 million match we now have raised  $24.8 million in 2024 thus giving us a total of $93.1 for pediatric research since we started the Gala. 
Thanks to ALL OF U THAT HAVE DONATED!Every dollar helps the cause -
It was #awesomebaby.
Now we start our fundraising for next year!
Just DONATE at v.org/pediatrics or at dickvitale.com 

 

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March 14, 2024 - March Madness Baby!

Dick Vitale’s All-Rolls Royce Teams

 

March Madness is awesome, baby! It's that exhilarating time of the year filled with buzzer beaters, heartbreakers, and upsets.
And what a year we’ve witnessed. The reigning national champion UConn Huskies are poised to etch their names in history as they strive to become the first repeat champions since Billy Donovan's tremendous teams of 2006 and 2007.
Behind a formidable defense, the Houston Cougars seamlessly transitioned to the Big 12 and clinched a conference title in their inaugural year.
Zach Edey of Purdue continues to assert his dominance as the premier post player in the nation. He’s on track to secure back-to-back national player of the year honors, a feat last achieved by Virginia's Ralph Sampson in the early 1980s.
While some preseason favorites faltered, others rose to prominence, such as the South Florida Bulls under the guidance of first-year coach Amir Abdur-Rahim and the South Carolina Gamecocks, picked last in the Southeastern Conference, finished in a tie for second.
The preseason all-stars showed brightly, while the new crop of Diaper Dandy’s kept the excitement of the game going.
Now, without further ado, let's unveil my 2023-24 Dickie V All-Rolls Royce and Diaper Dandy teams.
My pick for Player of the Year is none other than Purdue's Zach Edey, a tremendous talent who has earned every individual award and now needs that team title to complete his trophy case.
Reed Sheppard of the Kentucky Wildcats earns the title of Diaper Dandy of the Year. His knack for clutch plays and all-around contribution makes the Wildcats a formidable force in the postseason. He also secures a spot on my All-Star Second Team.
When it comes to defensive prowess, look no further than Houston's Kelvin Sampson, my National Coach of the Year. His ability to consistently mold winning teams is unparalleled.

 

And now, the rest of the Dickie V All-Rolls Royce teams

Player of the Year: Zach Edey, Purdue Boilermakers

Diaper Dandy of the Year: Reed Sheppard, Kentucky Wildcats

Coach of the Year: Kelvin Sampson, Houston Cougars

First Team

Zach Edey, Purdue Boilermakers

RJ Davis, North Carolina Tar Heels

Dalton Knecht, Tennessee Volunteers

Jaedon LeDee, San Diego State Aztecs

Jamal Shead, Houston Cougars  

Second Team

DaRon Holmes, Dayton Flyers     

Kyle Filipowski, Duke Blue Devils

Tyler Kolek, Marquette Golden Eagles     

Reed Sheppard, Kentucky Wildcats                          

Baylor Scheierman, Creighton Bluejays

Third Team

Hunter Dickinson, Kansas Jayhawks

Johni Broome, Auburn Tigers      

Caleb Love, Arizona Wildcats      

Tristen Newton, UConn Huskies

Mark Sears, Alabama Crimson Tide

Diaper Dandy’s

Reed Sheppard, Kentucky Wildcats                          

Markus Burton, Notre Dame Fighting Irish            

Stephon Castle, UConn Huskies                                 

Isaiah Collier, USC Trojans                                            

Rob Dillingham, Kentucky Wildcats

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February 29, 2024

Purchase Dick Vitale's new book.  Click to Order!

FINAL until my last breath COVER front png copy

Until My Last Breath: Fighting Cancer With My Young Heroes
Those are the words of a three-time cancer survivor determined to inspire the world. Yet anyone who knows Dick Vitale – or Dickie V as he’s better known – understands that he is hardly a man of few words, especially on the topic of fighting cancer. The Hall of Fame broadcaster is known by millions from his four decades (and counting) with ESPN, where he’s built a one-of-a-kind connection with college basketball fans. In his new memoir, authored with USA Today writer Scott Gleeson and with Coach Mike Krzyzewski penning the foreword, Vitale chronicles his own harrowing experiences with cancer and the childhood battles that inspired him along the way. 
Vitale felt imprisoned in his own body while unable to speak for four months battling vocal-cord cancer, but still managed to find his voice through the pages of this book. With his signature enthusiasm and a sensitive tone, Vitale visits the homes of a dozen pediatric cancer survivors and shares the lessons of hope and perseverance he learned from these remarkable children who have overcome the fight of their life. 
In the most intimate look at Vitale’s family life to date, his wife, Lorraine, and their daughters, Terri and Sherri, tell a story of fighting cancer through family togetherness. Go behind-the-scenes with Vitale’s doctors, as he opens up about the emotional battles that accompanied his lymphoma in 2021-2022 and his vocal-cord cancer in 2023 – all setting the stage for a gradual return to broadcasting NCAA games in a record 45th season with ESPN. 
The 84-year-old Vitale takes a baton from his dear friend, Jim Valvano, who famously told the world of his own cancer battle, “Don’t Give Up…Don’t Ever Give Up!”® Until My Last Breath: Fighting Cancer with My Young Heroes is a touching tribute to the motto, capturing the oversized heart of Vitale, the comforting impact he has on cancer-affected families, and the overarching inspiration of children. 

Click to Order Now!

 
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February 9, 2024

Dickie V's Super 6 Point Guards

To win big in today’s game, it is beneficial to have an extension of the coach on the floor with a quality point guard. As a former coach, the two things I looked for in a player in that role are those that can effectively create shots for their teammates and those who can contain penetration defensively. Certainly, the ability to make perimeter shots is a big time plus, but court vision and the ability to disrupt plays are keys on every possession.

Likewise, big time point guards are the floor generals who are relied upon to make the offense efficient while making sure the team is in the correct defense on the other end. That’s why having a PTPer at the point guard spot is key.

And so, here’s my All-Dickie V Super 6 Point Guards in alphabetical order:

Dajuan Harris, Kansas Jayhawks

An agile and skilled point guard, Dajuan Harris is one of the top assist-to-turnover ratio players in the Big 12 with solid defensive skills. He’s increased his assists per game total every year, topping at a career-best 6.6 this season.

PPG: 7.4, RPG: 2.0, APG: 6.6, SPG: 1.5

Tyler Kolek, Marquette Golden Eagles

Tyler Kolek is one of the top skilled playmakers who can shoot and pass the ball. He’s been outstanding at distributing the basketball throughout his career and runs the point to a tee. He’s a bit too unselfish, but he has a solid feel for the game.

PPG: 15.1, RPG: 4.8, APG: 7.2; SPG: 1.7

Tristen Newton, UConn Huskies

Not only is he a tall playmaker who can score in a variety of ways, but Tristen Newton is one of those PTPers who I love to watch pass the ball. He can score off the dribble and has the athleticism that makes him a solid rebounder.

PPG: 15.9, RPG: 6.8, APG: 5.7; SPG: 1.2

Reed Sheppard, Kentucky Wildcats

Reed Sheppard is that rare combination that excels at both guard positions. We knew he could score and pass but has proven to be a better athlete. He’s still learning the college game but has been a shining star among the freshman class.

PPG: 12.3, RPG: 4.3, APG: 4.2; SPG: 2.3

Braden Smith, Purdue Boilermakers

Braden Smith continues his improvement on the floor, especially in 3-point shooting at 42%. He’s raised his profile in every major stat category and makes Purdue’s high-powered offense run.

PPG: 12.4, RPG: 5.4, APG: 7.3; SPG: 1.5

Isaiah Stevens, Colorado State Rams

Isaiah Stevens is another in a long line of athletic, skilled playmakers who can score in many ways. He’s improved his ability at the point and is getting better at defending.

PPG: 16.6, RPG: 3.0, APG: 7.1; SPG: 1.5

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January 4th, 2024

Dickie V’s Elite 8 Mid Majors to Watch!
The first half of the college basketball season has been nothing short of exhilarating, marked by thrilling matchups, unexpected upsets, and the emergence of powerful mid-major programs that are poised to make a significant impact in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
The parity in the college basketball landscape has never been more evident, as mid-major programs, armed with talent, depth, and a fearless mindset, have consistently challenged the status quo. These teams have not only secured impressive victories but have also demonstrated a level of consistency and resilience that makes them dangerous adversaries as the season progresses.
As the first half concludes, I eagerly await the opportunity to witness these emerging mid-major powerhouses take on the established giants. The unpredictability of college basketball has been the defining narrative, setting the stage for an exhilarating second half and a tournament that promises to be filled with surprises, upsets, and the potential for mid-major programs to make deep runs and etch their names into the annals of March Madness history.
Here’s my picks to click on the road to the tournament.
Florida Atlantic Owls, American Athletic Conference – It’s been an up-and-down pre-conference journey for the Owls who enjoyed the success of knocking off the Arizona Wildcats on their home floor and neutral site win over a highly regarded Texas A&M Aggies squad to a couple of head scratching Quad 4 losses to the Bryant Bulldogs and the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles. With a solid top 20 NET ranking, FAU is favored in every game until the final four games of the season when it faces off twice against the Memphis Tigers for what will likely be for the regular season title.
Princeton Tigers, Ivy League – The class of the Ivy League Princeton Tigers are sitting solidly in the top 30 NET rankings with a 12-1 non-conference record and three Quad 2 wins. The Tigers, who made a Sweet 16 run last year, are looking to make back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances for the first time since three straight from 1996-98. Princeton’s 9-0 start was its best in more than 100 years.
Indiana State Sycamores, Missouri Valley Conference – The Sycamores are on pace to do something that hasn’t been done on the quiet Terre Haute, Ind., campus in over 20 years and that’s post back-to-back 20-win seasons. It’s also on pace to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011. Last year’s 23-win season gave this team confidence to compete, and they are the favorites to win their first MVC regular season title since 2000. With a top 40 NET ranking, they are solidly in the field and will try to rise up above the No. 12 line in Joe Lunardi’s projections.
Colorado State Rams, Mountain West Conference – The Rams captured their best wins of the season over the Creighton Blue Jays and rival Colorado Buffaloes and are 5-1 versus Quads 1 (2-0) and 2 (3-1) opponents. They also own a neutral site win against the Washington Huskies. Their only loss came to St. Mary’s. Life on the road is tough, so look for CSU to be tested at Nevada, San Diego State and New Mexico. Projected a 5-seed by Joe Lunardi, the Rams need to keep winning to hold that line.
New Mexico Lobos, Mountain West Conference – in his third season at New Mexico, Richard Pitino has brought the Lobos back to relevance on the national scene. Jamal Mashburn Jr., who came with Pitino from Minnesota, returned to the lineup after missing seven games due to injury. With a top 40 NET ranking, the Lobos are positioned to rise about their projected 11-seed .
Nevada Wolfpack, Mountain West Conference – Nevada is another team that rolled through its non-conference schedule and collected a pair of Quad 1 wins over the Washington Huskies and TCU Horned Frogs. The Wolfpack, who find themselves solidly on the No. 8 line in tournament projections with a top 40 NET ranking, will have to hold serve at home and steal a road win or two.
James Madison Dukes, Sun Belt Conference – By far the best team in the Sun Belt Conference, the Dukes have a chance to go undefeated in the regular season and become the first team since Gonzaga in 2021 to enter the Dance without a loss. I know that’s saying a lot in January. Since the season-opening overtime win at Michigan State, the Dukes have put on a scoring clinic, ranking third in the nation with 91.8 points per game, having scored under 80 points one time in the pre-conference slate. With a one Quad 1 win and a NET ranking of 31, JMU needs to run the table to rise into a single digit seed line for the NCAA Tournament.
Grand Canyon Antelopes, Western Athletic Conference – As the only WAC team with a top 50 NET ranking, the Lopes are poised to be the lone conference representative in the latest NCAA tournament projections. Thanks to a challenging non-conference schedule, GCU owns three Quad 1 wins and one Quad 2 victory. Bryce Drew enters conference play on a nine-game win streak and is favored to complete a perfect league slate. Drew, took the Lopes to the NCAA tournament in 2021 (No. 15 seed) and 2023 (No. 14 seed), could see this team boast its highest seed ever.
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Quote of the Week

 
 Keep battling and fighting to achieve your goals! - Dick Vitale