Sarasota’s Dick Vitale will finally have the chance to call “Final Four” games this year, but they will only be seen and heard outside the United States.
ESPN announced Tuesday that Vitale will be the color analyst for a semifinal game and the championship contest for ESPN International. The telecasts go to 150 countries and territories across 35 broadcast networks in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Canada.
Dick Vitale, who is never shy about anything, especially his love for his adopted hometown of Sarasota and “The Broken Egg” restaurant where he holds court just about every morning he’s not calling a game or on the road, has called more than 2,000 college basketball games since joining ESPN in 1979. He has been a studio analyst for the network's NCAA tournament coverage every year since but never announced a Final Four game due to the rights either being with NBC or CBS.
Vitale will work with play-by-play man Brad Nessler from Atlanta on April 6 and 8. Jay Bilas will be the analyst for the other semifinal.
Football season is over and now college basketball gets the main focus on television. CBS Sports Network features a doubleheader on tonight (Wednesday) beginning with Saint Louis at Fordham at 8:00 p.m. Tom McCarthy and Steve Wolf are the announcers from Rose Hill Gym in the Bronx. Colorado State at Nevada 10:00 p.m. follows from Lawlor Events Center in Reno, Nev. Ted Robinson, fresh off his radio play-by-play duties for the San Francisco 49’ers joins Steve Lappas to call the action, along with reporter Lauren Gardner.
Studio programming on Wednesday begins with “Courtside With Seth Davis”. Davis, the former head basketball coach at USF in Tampa, is joined by Indiana head coach Tom Crean and CBS Sports’ lead college basketball analyst Clark Kellogg. “Inside College Basketball” at midnight, the Network’s pre-game, halftime and post-game studio show features host Brent Stover, along with analyst Pete Gillen and insider Jon Rothstein.