Commentary

Roundball Chatter

Updated: January 22, 2010, 2:05 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

Each week I'll talk about the sport I love, college basketball:

• I want to wish Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun a speedy recovery. He has been the Frank Lloyd Wright of basketball at Connecticut, building one of the premier programs in America. But right now, the most important thing is his health. The Huskies snapped a losing streak by beating St. John's on Wednesday. The UConn nucleus of Jerome Dyson, Stanley Robinson and Kemba Walker keyed the victory.

• Paul Hewitt's Georgia Tech team has put together a solid resume in the ACC. The Yellow Jackets earned a hard-fought win over a very good Clemson team on Tuesday. Tech has wins over Duke and North Carolina as well this season. Different players have stepped up in crunch time. Iman Shumpert had 30 big points in the win at North Carolina. Gani Lawal and Derrick Favors came through against the Tigers. Watch out for the Yellow Jackets come tourney time.

• Fans in North Carolina have got to be patient with the Tar Heels struggling. Any time you lose the likes of Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington and Danny Green, you have to expect a drop. North Carolina suffered a tough break when Ed Davis sat out Wednesday night's loss to Wake Forest. There is still time to regroup this season and Roy Williams' club will be scrapping and clawing every night out. Remember, this program will be a bear next season.

• Congratulations to Notre Dame women's coach Muffet McGraw on her 600th career victory. She reached that impressive milestone with a win over Louisville.

• Great job by Jim Boeheim and Syracuse in winning three in a row on the road in the Big East! Monday night's win at South Bend was another positive for an Orange club that was picked sixth in the conference's preseason poll. This is a legit NCAA title threat! Wes Johnson has been the premier All-Marco Polo transfer this season. Andy Rautins has stepped up his game as well, and I love the physical nature of the frontcourt.

• There was quite the celebration taking place in Manhattan as Kansas State beat No. 1 Texas! How about a salute to Frank Martin, who has done an incredible job there in a short time. Jamar Samuels had a super showing, overshadowing Damion James and Dexter Pittman up front. Kansas and Texas better watch out -- the Wildcats are for real! I can't wait to see them in person on January 30th. Do you think they're excited in Lexington as John Calipari's Wildcats are the only unbeaten team left in America?

• How about a salute to Gregg Marshall and Wichita State. The Shockers have turned things around and are 17-3 this season following a win over a ranked Northern Iowa club. The former Winthrop coach has done a super job this season and he deserves more ink, baby!

• I was sorry to learn of the passing of former Gonzaga coach Dan Fitzgerald. He was the leader of the program before Don Monson and Mark Few. Believe me, he laid the groundwork for the great Zags program that is a dangerous NCAA team year in and year out.

• I had a great time calling the Jazz at Spurs NBA game on Wednesday night. It was fun seeing the likes of Tim Duncan, DeJuan Blair and Carlos Boozer again. I had great conversations with two coaches I have so much respect for -- Gregg Popovich and Jerry Sloan. Dan Shulman and I had a blast and Utah came away with a big W. The Western Conference is going to be something special as 11 teams compete for eight playoff berths.

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.