- Dick Vitale, College Basketball analyst
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Each week I'll write about the sport I love, college basketball:
• Congratulations to Belmont, UNC-Asheville, Creighton and Murray State as the first four teams to have their tickets punched for the big dance. It has been an amazing season in Murray, Kentucky as the Racers are the only Division I school that has not lost a road or neutral game all year. Steve Prohm has to be the rookie coach of the year, and up there among the national elite.
• Now is the time of season that schools on the bubble do some scoreboard watching. They do not want upset city in conferences where a favorite is lock city for a bid. If that conference gets a surprise tourney winner, it could be off the bubble and NIT baby. Do you think some of those bubble teams were rooting for Creighton over Illinois State in the Missouri Valley Conference final?
• I was really impressed with North Carolina in its win at Duke. Kendall Marshall can now score as well as dish the rock. The frontline features NBA talent. The Tar Heels will be a tough out in the NCAA as Roy Williams could get his third national title.
• Connecticut got a must win over Pittsburgh. Having Jim Calhoun back was big for the Huskies as the players responded. I still feel they need to do some work in the Big East tourney, starting with the opener against a DePaul team which blew out Seton Hall last weekend.
• Stan Heath has done a fabulous job at South Florida. Even with Saturday's loss to West Virginia, you have to be impressed. Winning 12 games in the Big East is an automatic entry to the big dance in my book. Remember, they did not have Anthony Collins early. Look for the program to move uptown next year with new facilities. That will help recruiting as his team gets better and better.
• Last week marked the 50th anniversary of Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point performance against the Knicks in Hershey, Pa. Wilt scoring 100 was fantastic, but to me, the greatest was the Big O, Oscar Robertson, averaging a triple-double per game. Trust me, that will NEVER be done again.
• My thoughts and prayers go out to the families affected by the tornadoes last week. That is a terrible tragedy and I wish them well ... God bless.
18hPat McManamon and Jeremy Fowler