Monday, March 29, 2010
This and that
By Dick Vitale
Each week I talk about the world of sports:
• It has been a wild NCAA men's basketball tournament. Duke is the only No. 1 seed going to Indianapolis. There have been some great moments, but is this really a shocking group going to Lucas Oil Stadium? It's not, if you look at the preseason rankings. All four of those teams were in the ESPN/USA Today preseason top 10. I also wish they would re-seed the teams when they go to the Final Four, that would be more fair for both Duke and West Virginia.
• I was really surprised and disappointed to hear that the Masters will hold Tiger Woods' press conference on the same day as the NCAA championship game. Are you kidding me? There will be such a frenzy over that press conference, taking away from the big game. You can't tell me that they couldn't have done that in Augusta on Tuesday...
• How about a salute to Brittney Griner of Baylor. She had 27 points, seven rebounds and 10 blocks as her team upset Tennessee in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA women's basketball tournament. I know a lot of fans were looking forward to a showdown between Pat Summitt's Lady Vols and Geno Auriemma's UConn team in the Final Four, but Baylor washed that away.
• Congratulations to Fordham on a great move. I liked the decision to hire Tom Pecora as the new coach. He did a super job at Hofstra and now the Rams can look to improve in the A-10 standings.
• Gilbert Arenas has paid a pretty heavy price already for his actions. I am not saying what he did was right, but he has suffered a lot following his poor decision in December to carry guns into the Wizards locker room. It is all about using good judgement, which in this case, Arenas did not.
• I don't like the fact that some people evaluate a conference solely by its showing in the NCAA tournament. Even after what happened in the Big Dance, you can't tell me that the Big East wasn't the best conference in college basketball this season.
• My sympathies go to the family of former ESPN boss Chet Simmons, who passed away recently at age 81. I owe a lot to Simmons, who along with Scotty Connal, took a chance on me and gave me a job at ESPN. He was a genius in the sports television business and people at ESPN owe a debt of gratitude to him. Simmons was a pioneer who meant so much to this business. He gave people like Bob Ley, Chris Berman and myself great opportunities. My friends, he will be missed.