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Monday, August 22, 2011
Vitale's roundball chatter

By Dick Vitale
ESPN.com

Each week I'll write about the sport I love, college basketball:

• Fans who want a part of history can own a pair of seats from UCLA's Pauley Pavilion. Since the facility is being refurbished, old seats are being sold on-line by the school's athletic department on their website. These pieces of Bruin history are available for $479 per pair and may be ordered online at UCLA's site. Any Athletic Department profits on this sale will be reinvested in the Pauley Pavilion Renovation project.

• Congratulations to Hall of Famer Pete Carril of Princeton, Jim Phelan of Mount St. Mary's and Debbie Ryan of Virginia, as all three coaches will receive the Joe Lapchick character award Nov. 17 at Madison Square Garden.

• These overseas exhibition games don't usually make big news. That was not the case when Georgetown played in China and a brawl broke out. Great to see John Thompson III had Hoyas in make-up situation with team from China after ugly brawl. Then there was USC's recent trip which proved costly when star guard Jio Fontan was lost for the entire 2011-12 season after tearing the ACL in his left knee during the third game of the Trojans' trip to Brazil. That was a major blow to coach Kevin O'Neill.

• Villanova forward Isaiah Armwood is the latest player to decide he needed more playing time and opted to transfer. He came into college with high hopes and has not adjusted well enough at Villanova, so its off to another school.

• Big news out of St. Mary's. The school should be praised for giving coach Randy Bennett a 10-year extension. Bennett has created a lot of excitement for the Gaels program.

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