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Thursday, December 20, 2012
Handing out Christmas gifts

By Dick Vitale

It is that time of the year, when I get to play Santa Claus for college basketball, baby!

It is great to give out gifts to those who have been nice. 'Tis the season to be jolly!

Let's start off with a natural gift, Santa. Give Indiana and Kentucky fans a chance to see their teams meet every season. Perhaps they could play at a neutral site like the Barclays Center, where the fans of the Hoosiers and Wildcats came out in full force for different opponents earlier this season. Santa, ask Tom Crean and John Calipari to get it done for the fans, baby! Let's make sure we have more rivalry games to help the sport.

Santa, what about that new league of seven Catholic schools? They want to form their own basketball conference upon leaving the Big East! I believe you should give them five more teams and a new television contract, and let them have a dynamite dazzling dozen. Give them the success that they deserve. Enough talk about football driving the bus -- let these schools do their own thing! Pigskin should not dictate their future.

Macy's Santa
Does Santa have another 100 wins for Jim Boeheim in his bag?

Mr. Claus, please let Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Boeheim get to 1,000 wins! That would be phenomenal; give them many more years of W's and success! They could join solid-gold Hall of Famer Pat Summitt. She is the only coach in Division I in the 1,000-win club, and Coach K and Boeheim could be the first two to hit that mark in men's hoops.

Santa, give us more coaches like Boeheim, who are so honest in their views. After he reached the 900-win mark, he spoke about gun violence in our country and he was so eloquent in his remarks.

Hey Santa, give us a new rule that will allow us to enjoy the greatness of some of these diaper-dandy freshmen for more than one season. It would help college basketball and it would make the sport more special if we saw these kids hang around a little bit longer, improving their skills for the long term.

Dear Santa, continue to give us great play from the super players like Trey Burke of Michigan, Doug McDermott of Creighton, Mason Plumlee of Duke, Cody Zeller of Indiana, and Brandon Paul of Illinois. These guys have been special so far during the 2012-13 campaign.

Santa, it is time to give some second lieutenants a chance to have a first-class job. Assistant coaches like Steve Wojciechowski and Chris Collins of Duke, Dwayne Stephens of Michigan State, Scott Garson of UCLA, and Orlando Antigua of Kentucky would be great in the head-coaching role if given the right opportunity. Get them a chance to find the right program.

Santa, help out Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall, who had three key players go down with injuries. Give him some healthy bodies for the stretch run. Also give Louisville back a healthy Gorgui Dieng; coach Rick Pitino would have a different team with the shot-blocker in the middle!

Santa, give Northern Kentucky, Maryland-Eastern Shore, St. Francis of Pennsylvania, Grambling and Mississippi Valley State a W! Let them feel the joy of a victory and get them to break into the win column.

Finally, Santa, give the fans a happy and healthy holiday season. Let 2013 be special in every way.