For the first time since he joined the network in 1979, Dick Vitale will not be calling a Duke-North Carolina game broadcast on ESPN.
On Wednesday, when the Tar Heels travel to Durham to take on the Blue Devils, Jay Bilas and Dan Shulman will be on the call. In recent years, Vitale joined Bilas and Shulman in a three-man booth.
Vitale is getting on in years, but he’s a legend in the broadcasting community and is perhaps best known for his work on the Tobacco Road rivalry. Some of the most iconic moments over the course of the last 36 years were graced with the hoarse tones of Vitale screaming, including Jerry Stackhouse’s dunk … :
and Austin Rivers’ buzzer-beating three:
For what it’s worth, I live in Washington, D.C., which is ACC country. That means the game is blacked out on ESPN and broadcast on the ACC Network, so folks like me haven’t seen Vitale on any UNC-Duke broadcast in a long, long time.