Commentary

This and That

Updated: March 16, 2009, 2:59 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

Each week I'll talk about the world of sports:

• Mike Slive and the NCAA tournament selection committee had such a tough job this year folowing upsets by Temple, USC and Mississippi State that led to several bubbles bursting. Every year you will hear from teams 66 and 67 complaining when they don't go dancing. I thought St. Mary's deserved to get in with Patty Mills healthy now. The Gaels suffered six losses all season, and four came with Mills hurt. I felt Arizona, after losing five of its final six and going 9-9 in the Pac-10, should have been out. That said, the Wildcats are capable of winning in the big dance. We will probably debate about the last few teams again next year.

• I wish the Manny Ramirez-Red Sox stuff would be put to bed already. I understand Jonathan Papelbon's frustration and it coming out in Esquire magazine. It should have out right after he left and not four or five months later. I understand Papelbon was just answering a question, but it is time to move on. The Red Sox are better off without Manny right now and the Dodgers are certainly better with him. • The Syracuse-Connecticut six-overtime thriller last week was a classic. It was a phenomenal game filled with so much drama. Think about those kids playing a doubleheader with so much intensity and emotion. Jonny Flynn was a hero, playing 67 minutes and hitting all 16 of his free throw attempts, including many clutch ones in the overtimes. Syracuse then went out and beat West Virginia the next night. Remember last year Georgia played a doubleheader in the SEC tournament but there was time to rest in between the two games. This was so intense in the six overtimes. Give the referees a hand for the way they handled the call at the end of regulation as Eric Devendorf's shot did not count and rightfully so. Years ago, when there was no use of the monitor, the shot would have counted and the game would have been over. It would have been a disaster. • I would like to see someone take a shot at signing Pedro Martinez. Just because of his pride and competitive nature, he would be ready to come back and have a good year. The key question is, can he stay healthy. I also hope the Pirates give veteran outfielder Craig Monroe a shot after he had a stretch with six home runs in spring training. He hit three in one game. Remember he did a solid job with the Tigers and later made the Twins before being released.

• I want to send my condolescences to the Davidson family on the passing of Pistons owner Bill Davidson. I was so thrilled to be inducted in the same Hall of Fame class as Mr. Davidson. He both hired me and later fired me as Pistons coach. Thanks to him I ended up in television baby! He was a very generous man helping many charities in the Detroit area. He will be missed.

• Next year the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic will have a solid field. Imagine if the favorites all make it to Madison Square Garden! North Carolina and Roy Williams ... California, led by Mike Montgomery; Thad Matta's Ohio State Buckeyes and Jim Boeheim's Syracuse Orange.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.

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