Dec. 7, 2005
Tuesday night was very special. The Jimmy V. Classic helped raise funds to fight the dreaded disease of cancer. Lives will be saved through the dollars raised for research.
The basketball was special as well as St. Joseph's held off Kansas. The Jayhawks had a dreadful night on the foul line, making just six-of-19. Bill Self's young, talented team suffered its fourth loss of the season, but something tells me that Kansas will break out. They have some quality diaper dandies who will get better and better. Julian Wright showed some glimpses of brilliance.
Experience was the key for the Hawks as the combination of Chet Stachitas and Dwayne Lee was brilliant. Phil Martelli does a fabulous job getting the most of his people. St. Joseph's responded after a slow start, falling behind 17-4.
In the Goliath matchup of heavyweights, it was too much Maurice Ager and Paul Davis leading Michigan State past Boston College. The execution and efficiency of the Spartans was a factor. Tom Izzo's team made the big shots in the second half, making them count. Quality shots were important as shot selection is so important.
Al Skinner's team has so much potential and they will be tough to handle in ACC play. Ironically, the Eagles play their inaugural conference game at Maryland, coached by former BC mentor Gary Williams. Jared Dudley is an absolute superstar. Craig Smith was help under wraps for much of the game against the Spartans. When they get back Sean Williams, a shot blocker, it will add a different dimension to Skinner's lineup.
College basketball had more crazy moments as Indiana lost at Indiana State while Iowa was beaten by Northern Iowa. I have one question how many players on Indiana State's roster were recruited by Indiana? How many on Iowa's roster were recruited by Northern Iowa.
This just shows that so many kids out there can flat out play. There is so much talent across the country, so many hidden gems that can shine when given the opportunity on the Division I level. That is why there have been so many surprising scores this season.
Tuesday night was special at Madison Square Garden, but we still need a lot of help in the fight against cancer. At this holiday time of the year, please try to help out by calling 1-800-4-JIMMYV and making a donation.
Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in 1979. Send a question for Vitale for possible use on ESPNEWS.