Vitale: This and that
Each week I talk about the world of sports...
• Let's salute Phil Mickelson on winning his third Masters green jacket. He had to play under a ton of pressure, yet still made a number of brilliant shots and really came through down at Augusta. The back-to-back eagles on Saturday were incredible. Tiger Woods made a run at it, but fell a few strokes short of a miraculous comeback.
• During the NBA draft last June, I predicted that Stephen Curry of Golden State would be the Rookie of the Year. A lot of critics scoffed at that comment. I know that Tyreke Evans of Sacramento and Brandon Jennings of Milwaukee are considered frontrunners, but look at what Curry has done recently. Evans has missed some time due to injury and Jennings has been up-and-down lately. Curry deserves some serious consideration, baby!
• The pressures to win in college basketball are getting totally wacky! I see all of these coaching changes, close to 40 already, and I question the job security. Guys who are well over .500, even guys who have won NCAA tournament games, are getting the ziggy!
• I was sorry to hear the news that Martina Navratilova has breast cancer. She has always been a winner on and off the court, and I am sure she will win this battle too. We have to beat this dreaded disease that affects so many people! "Cancer" doesn't care if you are white or black, man or woman, Catholic or Jewish. We have made great strides over the years, but there is still more work to be done.
• How about a salute to a fellow paison, Matteo Manassero. The 16-year-old from Italy became the youngest player in history to make the cut at the Masters. He is already a special golfer after making the cut and finishing in the top 15 at the British Open last year. What's incredible about his achievement is that the prior record-holder for the youngest player to make a Masters cut was 19.
• I recently spoke to West Virginia coach Bob Huggins. We spoke about his visit to the families of the miners and -- trust me -- Hug is a genuine, caring good guy! It was a terrible tragedy down there and I send my best wishes to the families who went through so much.
• Did you check out the Nike Summit game, USA vs. World team? Wow! Guys like Harrison Barnes (heading to North Carolina), Jared Sullinger (Ohio State-bound) and Enes Kantor (from Turkey) will be instant stars in college!
ESPN TOP HEADLINES
- Thunder handle Grizzlies to win at home
- Well off pace: Hawks hammer No. 1 Indiana
- Nationals' Harper benched for 'lack of hustle'
- Hopkins, 49, becomes oldest to unify titles