Dick Vitale’s return to the broadcast booth on Tuesday while battling lymphoma made waves and the 40-plus year ESPN college basketball analyst was met with an outpouring of support as he called the game between No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 2 UCLA.
The Bulldogs won handily, beating UCLA by 20, but for fans of the sport, it was enough to simply hear Vitale back on the mic.
On Friday, Vitale was thrust into action again to call the matchup between Dayton and No. 4 Kansas. This time, Vitale got an exciting matchup worthy of and matching his trademark passion and exuberance for the sport.
The Jayhawks jumped out to an early lead and were in front by as much as 15 before Dayton came back to win at the buzzer to pull off the upset. But it was Vitale’s call that made the Flyers’ upset that much more special and served as good punctuation to a season of college basketball that’s had its share of upsets already.
Dayton guard Malachi Smith drove to the basket and put up a shot with five seconds left, which was blocked. Dayton’s Mustapha Amzil grabbed the offensive board and put up an off-balance shot at the buzzer which clanged around the rim before falling and giving the Flyers the win.
That was Amzil’s only field goal in 15 minutes of work.
The win was also a historic one for the Flyers, who moved to 3-3 on the season and handed Kansas its first loss.
Dayton is the 2nd team over the last 10 seasons to come from 15 points down and beat an AP Top-5 team on a buzzer-beater, joining Stephen F. Austin at (1) Duke in 2019.
That game was 2 years ago today…Nov. 26, 2019 👀 pic.twitter.com/lOLYxnLqAQ
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 26, 2021
Dayton went 14-10 a season ago and made it to the first round of the NIT while Kansas went 21-9 and made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.