March 25th, 2014

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, March 14

We have cut down the field from 68 to a very Sweet 16.

There have been so many great moments already, with buzzer beaters and overtime thrillers, upset city showings. The greatest three weeks in sports continues as we get closer to a trip to the Arlington, Texas area for the Final Four.

I am very excited about a lot of the match-ups coming Thursday and Friday. What about Louisville and Kentucky, as a sea of red and a sea of blue will pack Indianapolis. Michigan and Virginia should be an outstanding game. Arizona and San Diego State hook up again; the Wildcats won the first meeting, 69-60, early in the season.

Florida’s defense faces UCLA’s offense. Then there is the Cinderella showdown of 10-Stanford and 11-Dayton.

Let’s hope the action is as good as last week’s.

March 20th, 2014

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, March 14

The NCAA tournament had a number of exciting contests on Thursday.

Harvard upset Cincinnati; North Dakota State stunned Oklahoma; Dayton took out Ohio State.

Florida was tested by Albany. It was 39-39 when Patric Young had a three-point play to spark the Gators. Connecticut rallied to beat St. Joseph’s. Saint Louis came back from 16 down as NC State could not seal the deal.

Unsung heroes came through too. Just look at Lawrence Alexander, North Dakota State; Elgin Cook, Oregon and Vee Samford, Dayton. Alexander, who averaged just under 11 ppg during the season, had 28 vs. Oklahoma. Cook, who averaged 6.3 during the season, had 23 vs. Oregon in a way over BYU. Samford hit the winning shot for Dayton.

It was an exciting day of hoops, baby!

March 18th 2014

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, March 14

What a whirlwind 24 hours!

I was so thrilled to be honored by the Lightning as a Community Hero. Owner Jeff Vinik and his organization donated $50,000 to the V Foundation.

Then I went to Fort Worth for a media tour as part of the Allstate bracket challenge. I had a blast working with so many beautiful people like Peter, Annie and company.

I went up against Joel the Longhorn in a Bracket Battle.

March 17, 2014

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, March 14

Greensboro Coliseum was so special on Sunday afternoon.

Virginia and Duke showed a lot of emotion and passion. Both Coach K and Tony Bennett were so intensely into the game.

The Cavaliers played such terrific defense and showed great balance. Malcolm Brogdon and Joe Harris were so special. They did a great job on the boards.

Virginia won its first ACC title since 1976. Now the Cavaliers are a number one seed in the bi dance.

March 10, 2014

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, March 14

We are heading into the third part of the college basketball season, with Championship Week featuring major conference action.

It gives many schools an opportunity at redemption. Only the Ivy League has an automatic bid for the regular-season champion.

You know this is a wild season when teams like Virginia, Kansas, Michigan State and Arizona all lost over the weekend.

This is the week that bubble teams have to prove their worth and state their case to the NCAA committee. Then again, they could get an automatic berth by winning the conference tournament.

March 3, 2014

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, March 14

I was so impressed with Virginia in its win over Syracuse. John Paul Jones Arena was rocking and rolling as the Cavaliers put on a show in the second half.

This team is well coached by Tony Bennett. There are no true superstars and they play together as a team, doing a great job on both ends of the court. Malcolm Brogdon was so clutch for Virginia there is a reason he leads the ACC in free throw percentage.

The Cavaliers clinched their first ACC regular-season title since 1981.

February 27, 2014

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, February 14

I was thrilled to be the guest speaker for a Merrill Lynch conference at the Ritz Carlton in Orlando.  There were over 900 leaders from all over the United States present.  The evening was hosted by the head of Merrill Lynch, John Thiel.  In the crowd, was my family’s advisor and good friend, Michael Valdes.  I truly appreciated the standing ovation by the crowd.  This was the 8th Merrill Lynch group that I have been the keynote speaker for.  They are truly, Awesome Baby, with a capital A!

February 23, 2014

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, February 14

There was an electric atmosphere at Cameron Indoor Stadium Saturday night. It was the rematch of Duke and Syracuse, and this one also went to the wire.

A difficult block-charge call with around 10 seconds left led to the demise of the Orange. CJ Fair made contact with Rodney Hood, and he was called for a charge, which set Jim Boeheim into a rage. I hate to see a close game end that way, but after watching the replay, there was no doubt that the Hall of Fame coach deserved two technical and his ejection. Duke went on to make three-of-four of the free throws from the assessed technical, putting the game away for the Dukies . Syracuse doesn’t have much time to regroup, facing a tough task at Maryland Monday.
Jabari Parker showed why he is the premier diaper dandy in America, being a force inside on the glass and as a scorer.

February 16, 2014

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, February 14

I love doing games at Rupp Arena. Big Blue Nation has the most passionate fans in America.

Kentucky is so tough at home. John Calipari had an 81-2 record at Rupp as Cats coach until Billy Donovan and Florida got to the winner’s circle Saturday night. Florida tied a school record with its 17th straight win, while Kentucky’s 22-game home win streak was snapped. 

Experience and poise was such a big factor. Florida had not won at Rupp since 2007 (the second national championship season), and this group of Gators seniors embraced a final chance to win in Lexington. Scottie Wilbekin was clutch on the foul line. Casey Prather was solid inside. Patric Young made several big plays in the paint. 

Florida is in the driver’s seat in the SEC. Kentucky will go back to the drawing board after a tough loss.

February 13, 2014

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, February 14

It was a thrill to speak today for the beautiful people at Express Employment Professionals.  I got an opportunity to meet the two founders Robert Funk and Bill Stoller, who started the company 31 years ago.  I also had an opportunity to meet the VP of Sales and Marketing, Cory Benton.  I was really appreciative of the standing ovation by the crowd of over 700 that gathered at the spectacular Gaylord Palms Resort in the Orlando area.  Express Employment Professionals is in the business of having numerous franchises across the country and locating jobs for people.  They helped secure over 4,000 jobs for people last year .  Their headquarters are in Oklahoma City, where they are proud to talk about Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder.  The theme of the event was to do more than just exist, to be challenged, to be recognized, to be outstanding, and to believe.  It was a super event and I am so proud to have been a small part of it.