Even battling flu symptoms this week, Dick Vitale can hardly contain his bubbling enthusiasm for college basketball. Thirty years after joining ESPN, Vitale, 69, still comes across like he’s calling his first game.
On Saturday night, he’ll be in Austin, Texas, to broadcast the OU-Texas game at 8 p.m. for ESPN. He will be joined by play-by-play announcer Dan Shulman and sideline reporter Erin Andrews.
"It should be a real interesting battle in terms of the Sooners pursuing No. 1 in America,” Vitale said.
ESPN’s "College GameDay” also will be there for shows at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday. Host Rece Davis will be joined by Jay Bilas, Digger Phelps, Hubert Davis and Bob Knight.
Vitale’s outlook wasn’t quite so rosy last season when throat surgery and a prostate procedure forced him to miss two months of telecasts. Although he’s cut back a bit on his schedule — no doubleheaders, few back-to-back nights, fewer interviews — he says he’s pretty much back at full strength.
"I was really down, because I felt so good other than that (voice problems),” Vitale said. "All of sudden, I got some great news. I got inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame and then the College Hall of Fame. It’s been an incredible run.”