St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
TampaBay.com
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
tampabay.com

printer version

After 21 years, Vitale to visit some prestige upon Bulls

By SHARON GINN
© St. Petersburg Times,
published December 7, 2001

Like him or not, you know your team is big time when Dick Vitale comes to town.

Sure, Vitale lives in Sarasota, about an hour from South Florida's campus. But usually if he gets anywhere near the Fowler Avenue exit on I-275 this time of year, it's because he's on his way to Gainesville to see Florida. Vitale hasn't set foot in the Sun Dome for basketball since 1980, when the Bulls played Duke in one of their first nationally televised games.

Saturday, he'll be back to call USF's home game with play-by-partner Brad Nessler. Okay, so the opponent is Florida. But the Gators aren't the only reason Vitale finally will be seeing the Bulls in person.

"I'm excited about going back" to USF, he said. "They certainly right now have one of the Rip Van Winkle sleeper teams nationally. A lot of people aren't aware how good they are. When I get done Saturday, they'll know."

For USF, Vitale's appearance couldn't come at a better time. The Bulls are 7-0 for the first time in school history. And during a month when it usually can bring in only teams more interested in vacationing in Florida than playing basketball, USF hosts the highest-profile opponent of coach Seth Greenberg's six seasons.

Vitale said the Bulls, led by forward B.B. Waldon and wing Altron Jackson, have earned the exposure.

During the game, "I'm going to rate the five best combinations in terms of inside-outside combinations," Vitale said. "I'm going to have South Florida's kids in that top five." Florida's Brett Nelson and Udonis Haslem also fall into that top five, he said.

Vitale said though the Bulls have struggled down the stretch in recent years, he thinks this will be the season they earn an invitation to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since Greenberg's arrival.

"I can't wait, because I think people are going to be shocked at how good this South Florida team is this year," Vitale said. "The way they blew out California the other day -- they absolutely put a blitz on them. I think Seth Greenberg has the best team he's had since he's been there."

BUCK, MEET THE BUCS: Fox announcer Joe Buck, well-known and respected for his major-league baseball work, will call the Lions-Bucs game from Raymond James Stadium on Sunday. It will be Buck's third NFL game this season.

Before November, he hadn't called an NFL game since 1997. Buck may not return to the NFL full time, but his renewed interest might be a sign that he will become part of Fox's regular rotation next year after the baseball season ends.

MILLER TO RETURN?: If his immediate boss has the final say-so, Dennis Miller will be back on Monday Night Football next season.

"I'm thinking a lot about next year already, and he is as big a part of my show right now as anyone else," producer Fred Gaudelli told the Associated Press. "He should be back."

Is that good news or bad news? Who can say? Miller's comic timing and intellect tend either to blow viewers away or drive them away (or to the dictionary). Most viewers want Miller to say smart, funny things, and goodness knows he can, but then he goes and makes a reference to "isotope arms," and even the guy who writes the "Annotated Dennis Miller" column for ABCSports online can't figure out what he's talking about. (Don't ask.)

USA Today says it would cost ABC $1-million to buy out Miller before next season. So it's a good bet he'll stay with MNF through 2002. Maybe by then, Lions GM Matt Millen will be available.

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright
 

From the Times sports desk

Lightning
  • Lecavalier wants a trade
  • Lightning makes it count

  • Bucs/NFL
  • Moore likely to play despite injured hip
  • The race for the playoffs

  • Devil Rays
  • Amid MLB woes, Rays numbers are optimistic

  • Sailing
  • Amazon pirates kill famous yachtsman

  • College basketball
  • After 21 years, Vitale to visit some prestige upon Bulls
  • Bulls bits

  • Mutiny
  • MLS also exploring contraction

  • Colleges
  • Arkansas St. glad to have ex-USF AD Griffin
  • Florida may not look familiar to its familiar Final Four foe
  • Women's region volleyball semifinals

  • Et cetera
  • Gifts for the golfer/duck lover in your life

  • Preps
  • Spartan shorts
  • Spartans spotlight
  • Championship week about more than the game
  • Skatin' to state
  • Chamberlain vs. Naples sideline
  • Lancers' cold spell helps Gators
  • Leopard comes roaring back
  • Warhawks deny ulterior motives
  • Hurricane watch title game
  • Rebel drops 40 on Vikings


  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts