Vitale’s calls in first championship game
by Daniel Uthman, USA TODAY Sports
ATLANTA — Dick Vitale was hoarse Monday night, but that didn’t affect his verbal repertoire or volume as he provided color commentary in his first NCAA men’s basketball championship game.
ESPN invited USA TODAY Sports into its production trailer for an exclusive viewing of Vitale’s broadcast with play-by-play man Brad Nessler on ESPN International. Less than 30 seconds had elapsed in the game when he uttered his first Vitale-ism, saying of Louisville coach Rick Pitino, “He’s a Picasso on the sideline!”
But it was Michigan freshman Spike Albrecht who brought out the Vitale we’ve come to know for the past 30-plus years. Albrecht went 3-for-3 from three-point range and reached a career high in the game’s first seven minutes.
After the first three:
After the second: “Are you serious, are you serious? Nobody wanted me, but the Wolverines did, babee!
“You love to see unsung heroes rise to the occasion. Here’s Mr. Albrecht, knocking it down, just like he did against the ‘Cuse!”
Then, when Albrecht hit a 28-foot 3-pointer to give Michigan a 20-13 lead, Vitale went all in: “America! All over the world! His name is Albrecht Albrecht Albrecht!
“Are we getting paid to watch this? This is incredible! This is super!”
Vitale, after Albrecht goes 4-for-4 from three: “I can’t believe what I’m seeing! Bam bam bam. Is this kid for real? A kid in Indiana! I bet he had a basket in his yard and would shoot it and shoot it and shoot it!”
At the end of the first half, Vitale expressed his excitement in signature form.
“It’s been awesome baby, with a capital A!”… [For more on Dick Vitale's first calls in his first championship game, click here.]