Thursday, February 06, 2003

Another reason Dick Vitale should never be allowed near a microphone: Last night's broadcast of the Carolina-Duke basketball game. The contest itself should enter the pantheon of great battles in this rivalry, with a clearly overmatched Tar Heel team outplaying Duke for 35 minutes before finally running out of gas (and failing to figure out a surprising Duke match-up zone). The Heels were more short-handed than usual, with leading scorer Rashad McCants playing only 8 minutes. Why? He's been in Coach Matt Doherty's doghouse lately for failing to play defense, and that's the line we got from Vitale and Mike Patrick ... platitudes like, "He's fighting himself ... He's not handling his new role, coming off the bench, well ..."

None of this was relevant, as this story points out: McCants has suffered from back problems, and "spent much of the second half flat on his back in front of the Carolina bench being stretched out by the training staff." Perhaps Vitale couldn't spot that from his nosebleed perch inside Cameron. But ESPN had Jay Bilas there as a sideline reporter, for crying out loud. Was he AWOL? ARRRGGHH!!

Vitale certainly loves basketball, but he rarely comments on the game that's in progress ... the game he's allegedly supposed to call; that's why he's the worst analyst in sports.

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