Dick Vitale

Dickie V to call Indiana-Michigan State with Magic Johnson


Just a day after news comes out that Dick Vitale will be broadcasting his first Final Four for ESPN International, more good news comes down the pipeline for ESPN’s excitable color analyst: he’ll be working a game with none other than Magic Johnson.

On February 19th at 7:00 p.m., Vitale and Mike Tirico will be teaming up with Magic to call No. 1 Indiana’s visit to No. 12 Michigan State.

I think this ought to be entertaining to listen to. It may not be the most informative broadcast — Vitale isn’t exactly known for his ability to break down x’s-and-o’s — but I’ve enjoyed Magic on the limited NBA broadcasts that I’ve seen and listening to him banter with Dickie V about their times in Michigan should produce a few chuckles. Hopefully they’ll pull out a few anecdotes.

Honestly, I just feel sorry for Tirico. It may be the first time in his career he’s paid to call a game where he never gets a word out.

Anyway, here are the statements from Johnson and Vitale in ESPN’s press release:

“From the time I was a high school basketball player in Michigan I was captivated by Coach Vitale’s spirit and passion,” said Johnson. “I’ve been fortunate to have developed a wonderful relationship with him – one which is bonded by our common love of basketball. I have the utmost admiration and respect for Dickie V as a person, a basketball genius and a commentator and I can’t wait to call this game with him and Mike Tirico.”

“I remember him as a kid so well. He was a basketball junkie, playing the game for hour after hour on the playgrounds,” Vitale said. “He became ‘Magic’ from his work ethic. I have always said if there was one player I wish I could’ve coached in my life it would be Earvin Magic Johnson. I am thrilled to be able to work with him and Mike Tirico. Although, I might have to remind him a few times that Indiana will be playing as well.”

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

CBT PODCAST: Indiana, UCLA, Ben Simmons and Thanksgiving sides

Ben Simmons
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New podcast!

In today’s episode, we talk quite a bit about Ben Simmons. How good of a prospect is he? Why do people insist on calling him overrated? Does LSU actually have a shot at missing the NCAA tournament?

[MORE: Why scouts are down on Simmons]

[MORE: Will Simmons be relevant in March?]

We also talk about Indiana’s disappointing showing in Maui, just how good Vanderbilt and Kansas have looked, Marquette’s ability to bounce back and whether or not we should be concerned about North Carolina and Maryland.

Oh, and Thanksgiving sides.

Do people really call stuffing ‘dressing’?

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Kansas-Vandy in Maui, rivalries renewed in Bahamas

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 19 Vanderbilt vs. No. 5 Kansas, 10:00 p.m.

The title game of the Maui Invitational pits the two best teams in the tournament, as it should. Outside of the final 10 minutes of their loss to Michigan State, the Jayhawks have looked terrific this season. And while Selden was not at his best against the Spartans, he looked awesome in two games in Maui. Vanderbilt, on the other hand, is a tough team for them to matchup with, especially without time to prepare. They are loaded with shooters who surround Damian Jones, one of the best big men in the country. Combine all that with Kevin Stallings’ play-calling, and the ‘Dores are tough.

This should be appointment television.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 18 UConn vs. Michigan, 9:30 p.m.

The best matchup in the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis pits two teams with terrific guard play that have question marks along their front court. The best individual matchup of the day may end up being Caris LeVert squaring off with Daniel Hamilton.


1. No. 10 Gonzaga vs. Washington, 12:00 p.m.: The Zags and their loaded front line get their first real test of the season against a Washington team that has been surprisingly good this year. This rivalry should be played every year. I wonder if it’s a coincidence they got matched up in the first round?

2. No. 13 Indiana vs. UNLV 5:00 p.m.: The Hoosiers have been a major disappointment out in Maui, while UNLV will look to bounce back after a loss to UCLA in their opener. Will Stephen Zimmerman be healthy enough to play?

3. Texas vs. No. 25 Texas A&M, 7:00 p.m.: All kinds of rivalries are being renewed out in the Bahamas. Another coincidence, I’m sure.

4. No. 2 Maryland at Rhode Island, 8:30 p.m.: The Terps have struggled their last two games against the likes of Illinois State and Rider. They can’t mess around against a quality team like URI.

5. Yale at No. 6 Duke, 7:00 p.m.: Yale nearly upset SMU at SMU. Duke is a different beast, but keep an eye on the Elis.


  • Lehigh at No. 12 Virginia, 7:00 p.m.
  • Arkansas State at No. 21 Oregon, 7:00 p.m.


  • Syracuse vs. Charlotte, 2:30 p.m.
  • Wake Forest vs. UCLA, 7:30 p.m.