January 11th, 2016

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in 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 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 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 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 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 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.

December 11th, 2015

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in December 2015

Undefeated teams are in the spotlight this weekend.

Can the Golden State Warriors move to 24-0? They continue a tough road trip in Boston on Friday night. Stephen Curry and company hope to be up to the challenge.

The lone unbeaten in the NFL, the Carolina Panthers, host the Atlanta Falcons. Which team will lose first, the Warriors or the Panthers?

Meanwhile, there are only 10 unbeatens left in Division I men’s basketball and we haven’t even played a full month.

December 7th, 2015

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in December 2015

My wife and I are very proud of our recent meeting with the Boys and Girls Club members in Sarasota, FL. We had our annual Dick Vitale Scholarship day and We gave out scholarships to five youngsters who were selected by the executive staff of the Boys And Girls Club headed by the Executive Director, Bill Sadlo.

Each year they select five outstanding seniors who are going on to college and we award a total of $5000. We have done this for 17 years. The students selected this year were Carlos Arevalo, Maribel Cedillo, Erik Bouck, Amber Headley and Mario Portillo.

In addition, we also bring lots of gifts for the kids that are there in attendance. We bring autgraphed books, posters,and basketballs. I love each year that I get the opportunity to speak to children ages 5-17 on making it in the game of life. This year I spoke to them about pride, passion and chasing your dreams.

December 3rd, 2015

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in December 2015

Another ACC-Big Ten Challenge is in the books. It went down to the wire as the Big Ten won 8-6 thanks to Iowa’s overtime win over Florida State.

There were a lot of exciting games. North Carolina got Marcus Paige back and beat Maryland. Michigan State rallied to beat a game Louisville team.

I was very impressed with Duke’s performance in beating a good Indiana team. Brandon Ingram came out and worked early on his game and it showed against the Hoosiers. I was also struck by Indiana’s inability to play team defense. This group must buy into Tom Crean’s defensive philosophy or it will be a long season.

November 30th, 2015

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in November 2015

I just came back from doing the commentary on the AdvoCare Invitational in Orlando, Fl. We had a great time staying in the Beautiful Gaylord Palms Resort. I had the opportunity to share a moment with Disney characters as ESPn had me doing motivational speeches to Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck And Pluto. I had a great time sharing a moment with them and they utilized that during the telecast which featured the final game in the championship between Xavier and Dayton. Xavier was sensational and they are a legitimate top 15 seed as they blew out Southern California in the Semi Finals and Dayton in the Finals.