February 8th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, February 2016

The Denver Broncos are the NFL champions and Peyton Manning was able to celebrate.

My friends, it was the defense that put on a show. Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware were outstanding as the pass rush applied a lot of pressure to Cam Newton.

Carolina made too any mistakes in defeat. Newton still was league MVP and had a great season, but Denver got to hold up the trophy as champions.

February 2nd, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, February 2016

It was fun to watch two of the top PTP’ers in America, Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield and LSU’s Ben Simmons.These two young men are outstanding athletes and quality kids off the court. They are special to their teammates, and they were part of a great game last weekend. Oklahoma found a way to get to the winner’s circle, never losing their poise despite trailing by 14 points.

I love the way Hield has elevated his game. Last year, he was told he would be a second round draft pick, and he decided to return to school. He has worked hard on his game and his stock has climbed dramatically.Hield has improved so much, becoming one of the best three-point shooters in America, He is so versatile, capable of scoring in so many ways. Besides being great at shooting the trifecta, he can explode to the basket. Hield is now ready for the next level. I also love his desire to win. His passion rubs off on his teammates.

Simmons is also well-liked by his teammates. Part of that is due to his tremendous passing skills. Some people have compared his handling of the basketball to the Magic Man, Ervin “Magic” Johnson. The LSU standout has great vision, but he is so unselfish, it is almost to a fault. His presence draws so much attention, so he often finds the open teammate for jump shots. It allows others to score.

I feel he is too passive looking for his own shot at times. He has to be even more aggressive. Simmons has the skills to go to the basket but he has to make moves and look to score. There is some pressure for Simmons to put the team on his back in big games. He did not look for his opportunities to score against Oklahoma. He has to want the basketball on the big stage. He is a rebounding machine, among the nation’s leaders on the boards. He has adjusted nicely from high school to the rigors of college life in the spotlight.

January 25th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, January 2016

The Super Bowl 50 match-up is set. The Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers will square off for the championship.

There will be a lot of attention paid to the quarterbacks, Peyton Manning and Cam Newton. My friends, these two teams go after it on defense too. Denver has a great pass rush with DeMarcus Ware and company. Von Miller is an outstanding linebacker.

Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly is one of the best in the game.

Both teams have outstanding members of the secondary. Then there is Ron Rivera and Gary Kubiak on the sidelines. It should be a great showdown. Let the hype begin.

January 18th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, January 2016

The NFL’s version of the Final Four is set. Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady as the Patriots visit Denver. Carolina and Arizona had super seasons and now meet in the NFC title game. Each is one game away from getting to the Super Bowl.

Last week, all four road teams won playoff games. This week, all four home teams won. What will happen in the two games ahead? It should provide excitement galore.

January 11th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, January 2016

The first weekend of the NFL playoffs certainly brought drama.

The twists and turns of the Steelers-Bengals game will be talked about for years. Ben Roethlisberger came back despite injury and led Pittsburgh to a win. Jeremy Hill will be remembered for his fumble and Vontez Burfict and Adam Jones for their penalties. What about the job AJ McCarron did in rallying his team from a 15-0 deficit?

Blair Walsh will be remembered for missing a short field goal as the Vikings lost at home to Seattle.

Kansas City looked great in shutting out Houston. Green Bay fell behind early and rallied to beat the Redskins. All four road teams got to the winner’s circle.

It will be tougher next weekend with New England, Denver, Arizona and Carolina hosting games.

January 5th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, January 2016

What an incredible night in Lawrence, Kansas. Oklahoma and Kansas went three overtimes in the battle for number one. It was a sporting event that truly lived up to its hype and went well beyond.

They went at it like a championship fight. They each deserve a standing ovation for the performance that they put on. They gave it everything they had, playing with so much passion, energy, spirit and emotion.

In the end, Kansas won its 32nd straight game at Phog Allen Fieldhouse and Oklahoma still left without a win; the last victory there was 1993.

That was the loudest I have heard an arena get in my 37 years of calling games on television. The atmosphere was absolutely electric and both teams played so hard for 55 minutes. It was the best game I have called in my career.

The stars really shined. Buddy Hield set a record for points for an opponent at Allen Field House, scoring 46 points while playing all but one minute. He showed that he could score in so many ways. He performed as well s anyone could on such a big stage.

Perry Ellis showed why he is an inside-outside threat. He was especially tough in the low blocks against Ryan Spangler. He’s a solid interior player who put on a show at times. Ellis finished with 27 points and the Jayhawks needed every one of them.

December 30th, 2015

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, December 2015

New Year’s Eve will be rocking for college football fans. We end 2015 with two national semifinals in the college football playoff.

Clemson and Oklahoma meet in the first game. The Sooners lost to the Tigers in a bowl game last season, and Bob Stoops’ team wants revenge. Can Oklahoma slow down DeShaun Watson? I think they will.

I like Derrick Henry to run through a tough Michigan State defense in the other game.

In the championship, Nick Saban gets to celebrate another trophy! I am picking Alabama to win it all.

Happy New Year!

December 22nd, 2015

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, December 2015

I had a terrific few days in NYC combining work with pleasure. My wife, daughter, son in law and my three grandkids were able to join me, which made for a wonderful trip! NYC is so beautiful during the holidays and we were able to really get in the Christmas spirit. I was there to do the Duke/Utah game at Madison Square Garden. Which was an unbelievable game, with Utah winning in overtime. While we were there we enjoyed three shows: School of Rock, Rockettes Christmas Spectacular and the Color Purple. I also took my grandsons to a Knicks/Bulls game, where they met Carmelo Anthony and Joakim Noah. Of course we walked around Rockefeller Center and saw the magnificent tree and the amazing lights in all the storefronts. It was a busy weekend but filled with wonderful memories with my family!

December 18th, 2015

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, December 2015

My wife and I had a blast at the annual Boys and Girls club of Sarasota Christmas party. We are so proud to host this event every year and enjoy bringing a smile to so many youngsters. It was a thrill to watch their faces when Santa Claus, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, and Frosty the Snowman passed out the gifts to the children. Its a great night for all and my wife and I feel so much pride and are so blessed to be able to provide gifts and food for this special event.

December 13th, 2015

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, December 2015

There is nothing like a weekend of basketball in Kentucky.

The fans of Big Blue Nation are as passionate as any in the sport. Then there is the beauty of seeing horse farms which are all over the state. I was fortunate enough to see Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. That is a beautiful animal and a true winner.

John Calipari has a young team and it is different from last year. It is going to take some time for this group to reach its full potential, but they will grow and challenge in the big dance. There will be bumps in the road like UCLA, but this team will make noise.