Nov. 18, 2013

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, November 13

I had a blast in my first trip to Ames, Iowa.  Hilton Coliseum was a special place for me as it was everything that it was made out to be.  The Iowa State fans were incredible and I loved the hospitality and the environment.  Fred Hoiberg’s team got a great victory over a top 10 Michigan squad.  It was a very well played game with few fouls in the first half, and a great flow to the contest.  Melvin Ejim, back from a knee injury, scored 22 points and pulled down nine rebounds.  Iowa State has made the NCAA tournament two straight seasons and they should make it three.  Michigan got Mitch McGary back in the lineup and it will take a little time for him to get into shape and more minutes.  John Beilein has a lot of talent and the Wolverines will be heard from in the Big Ten.

 

Nov. 15, 2013

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, November 13

I am so excited as I am heading to Ames, Iowa this weekend.  That’s right, time to experience some Hilton Magic, baby!  Michigan is visiting Iowa State on Sunday and I am thrilled to be calling the game with Dave O’Brien.  The Wolverines are a bit different from last year’s squad, which fell just short of the national title.  Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. are in the NBA now (though Burke is hurt).  John Beilein has a nice club, including Glenn Robinson III, Nik Stauskas and company.  Right now, he has to be concerned about Mitch McGary’s back problems.  Fred Hoiberg has done a great job at Iowa State, leading the Cyclones to the NCAA tournament each of the last two seasons.  The Cyclones love to shoot the trifecta and that should be a big factor this weekend.  I hope you will watch the game on Sunday!

Nov. 13, 2013

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, November 13

It was a special night in Chicago, with four of the top five teams in America on the same court.  There were eight of the top 10 diaper dandies based on ESPNU’s rankings.  Talk about star of stars – Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle.  The Kansas-Duke game was incredible considering how many new players were out there.  Both teams executed so well.  Pride was really at stake with all four schools.  There were traditional powers going at it.  Kentucky rallied from a double figure deficit but fell short against a veteran Michigan State team.  My friends, all four of these teams will get better and better.  We could see all four of them at Jerry Jones Stadium at the Final Four, they are that talented.

Nov. 8 2013

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, November 13

College basketball is here and I am really excited. This should be a very interesting season in 2013-14.

There are going to be a few trends that will be important to follow.

1. With the referees not allowing hand-checking, and more whistles being blown, you will see a lot of the physicality taken away. Recently, the physical play has lessened the ability to score. It has changed the game dramatically, and now officials are trying to get things back in order. It will lead to many fouls called, so teams have to work on a daily basis to improve their free throw shooting. It will be vital to make your free throws as it could be the difference in a number of contests. Teams are going to get a lot of opportunities on the charity stripe and they must take advantage.

2. With this change in philosophy, teams are going to have to protect their players. They must have depth, and if you are not deep, you will have major problems with starters in foul trouble. I have often said that I would like to change the scenario to six personal fouls in the college game. Fans to not go to see players perform as assistant coaches on that sideline.

3. Coaches have to make sure that players move their feet on defense. It becomes more important to be in good defensive position, to help draw fouls and to stop the opposition. You do not want to see players in foul trouble because they were not fundamentally sound on defense.

I believe in the long run, the emphasis of cleaning up the game will be a positive. In the beginning, it will be tiresome and boring to see the whistle blown so much, We need a more fluid flow in the basketball game, allowing players to show their athleticism and do what they are supposed to do. There have been some contests that have looked more like wrestling matches out there. There is no place for tackling and holding on the court.

Let’s get ready to tip-off a great season!

Nov. 4, 2013

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, November 13

The Florida State Seminoles sent a message loud and clear. Jimbo Fisher’s team dominated a previously-unbeaten Miami Hurricanes team.
Jameis Winston showed why he is a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate as a freshman, just like Johnny Manziel won as a diaper dandy last year.
There are a number of legit contenders for the national championship game. Alabama, Florida State, Oregon and Ohio State are the frontrunners. It’s a shame that the four-team playoff doesn’t start this season. Somebody may go undefeated and get left out in the cold.

Nov. 1, 2013

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, November 13

The regular season is here and I am excited for basketball fans everywhere!  I was recently at the Broken Egg and a fan asked my opinion of the NBA season.  There is a lot of competition in the race for the championship.  The Miami Heat will be tested in the East by the Bulls, Pacers and Knicks.  Out West, the Spurs, Thunder and Clippers stand out.  At the end of the season, I believe the Heat will accomplish a three-peat.  As for Player of the Year, I think it will be a thrilling showdown.  LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose are all in the hunt.  I will go with Oklahoma City’s Durant to edge King James for the crown.  My choice for Rookie of the Year is Orlando’s Victor Oladipo out of Indiana.

Nov. 3, 2013

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, November 13

The Florida State Seminoles sent a message loud and clear.  Jimbo Fisher’s team dominated a previously unbeaten Miami Hurricanes team.  Jameis Winston showed why he is a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate as a freshman, just like Johnny Manziel won as a diaper dandy last year.  There are a number of legit contenders for the national championship game.  Alabama, Florida State, Oregon and Ohio State are the frontrunners.  It’s a shame that the four team playoff doesn’t start this season.  Somebody may go undefeated and get left out in the cold.

Oct. 31, 2013

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, October 13

Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox, World Series champions!  John Farrell did an incredible job in his first season as skipper.  Boston was able to turn things around from last year’s problems, thanks in part to a change of chemistry.  Ben Cherrington brought in guys like Jonny Gomes, Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli.  The pitching staff came through big time in the post season.  David Ortiz was MVP and his hot bat really carried the Sox.  Nobody was talking about chicken and beer in the clubhouse this year.  Winning can change things.  It was great for the fans in Boston, who went through so much with the Marathon bombing.  Congrats to all in Beantown!

Oct. 29, 2013

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, October 13

Right now, it seems like college football would be set with a great Final Four.  Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State are the frontrunners at the moment and each of them looked very good over the weekend.  This season, we do not have a four team playoff, so a few things must still shake out.  Usually it works out pretty well.  Ahead this Saturday is a Sunshine State showdown between Florida State and Miami.  This has been a great rivalry in the past.  The Hurricanes are #7 in the country but have struggled in recent weeks.  Al Golden’s team had to rally to beat North Carolina and Wake Forest.  They must perform at a higher level against the Seminoles, a team which destroyed a very good Clemson team in Death Valley.  There are some very good games ahead as the race for the national championship intensifies.

Oct. 18-19, 2013

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, October 13

I had a special weekend in South Bend for the ND/USC game.  I took my former assistant coach from the Univ. of Detroit and the Pistons, Mike Brunker and his beautiful wife, Maria with us.  The campus was as beautiful as ever and the school spirit was electric.  We went to the pep rally, bookstore, tailgated and walked the campus.  The Irish came out with a tough win 14-10.  A great weekend with long time friends!