College basketball announcer extraordinaire Dick Vitale is celebrating a win of his own in Sarasota, Fla. The bombastic 82-year-old Passaic, N.J., native tweeted that his doctor had given him the good news that he seems to have slam-dunked lymphoma.
J”ust rec’d GREAT NEWS vs Lymphoma from Dr Brown,” Vitale tweeted. “He said that after analyzing by bloodwork that I’m clear to RING THE BELL.This is MY March Madness Championship.”
That was a reference to the men’s NCAA tournament that recently ended following a month of intense college basketball.
Ringing a bell at the end of cancer treatment is common at many medical centers.
Vitale thanked his doctor, the staff at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, his family and everyone who sent him prayers and love, which he expressed several emoticons in his tweet. The bombastic basketball fanatic said in October that he had been diagnosed with cancer for second time in a matter or months. He said that he believed the cancers — melanoma followed by lymphoma — were unrelated.
“With all that said, I consider myself very lucky,” Vitale wrote in an essay for ESPN.
What are the best college basketball traditions?
Best college basketball traditions
College basketball traditions that have been embraced and passed down through the years often are as exciting and anticipated as the games themselves. We've assembled the best traditions to help kick off March Madness. Some are big and bold, some are kooky and colorful, but all of them have something special going for them. Go team!
Kansas fans have their own version of the wave, and it's a nod to the state's agricultural heritage. At crucial times in a football or basketball game, students slowly wave their arms over their heads, mimicking a field of Kansas wheat swaying in the breeze. The school's famous Rock Chalk chant dates all the way back to 1886 and, according to the school, it evolved from a cheer that a chemistry professor created for the science club.
Remember when a 90-something nun took over the NCAA tournament? This was definitely an under-the-radar tradition until 2018. But Jean Dolores Schmidt, now 102 years old and known around the world as "Sister Jean," has been chaplain of the men's basketball team at Chicago's Loyola University since 1994. And it's a responsibility she takes seriously. She has given a prayer on the arena floor before each home game and hugged each player as he walks off the court after games. During the 2018 tournament, when Loyola made an improbable run to the Final Four, she became a national celebrity. She politely talked trash with Charles Barkley and even got her own bobblehead doll.
The Hoosiers have turned the pedestrian basketball timeout into an anticipated event. The "William Tell Overture" is played at the first under 8-minute timeout of the second half of every Indiana basketball game. The cheerleaders start by gathering at center court for a spirited pom-pom routine before grabbing several big flags and running around the court. After the overture, the band leads the crowd in the "Indiana Fight Song." Things get loud.
The Cameron Crazies are those wacky, blue-painted kids at Duke Blue Devils basketball games. Named after Cameron Indoor Stadium, the Crazies throughout the years have mocked opposing players for their run-ins with the law and other embarrassments. Their taunts are legend; "air ball" was reportedly coined here. To become one of the crazies, you have to first set up camp in "Krzyzewskiville." For more than 30 years, students have camped out in a tent city outside the stadium as they line up for seats. Hundreds of students pack the lawn before big games.
‘One Shining Moment’
Sure, it's cheesy, but you can't declare an end to each year's NCAA tournament until the winning team has had its "One Shining Moment." Songwriter David Barrett says he was inspired to write the song after watching Larry Bird play in 1986. It quickly became the capper to CBS' NCAA Tournament coverage, and now it's a tradition.
Lots of fans do giant head cutouts of famous people to distract free-throw shooters now, but San Diego State students are credited with starting it all. The Aztec student section for home basketball games is often a rowdy, raucous, wacky zoo of fans cheering on their team. They're known as The Show. According to some reports, someone once posted on an SDSU sports message board, "You guys think you're the whole show." The name stuck.
Any student section can yell and scream. But Taylor University in Upland, Ind., had the bright idea to shut up. Every year at a game right before finals, Taylor students dress up in wacky costumes, pack Odle Arena and stay completely silent, until the Trojans score their 10th point. Then they go bonkers.
‘The Hawk Will Never Die’
You think you’ve got a tough job. The Hawk is the mascot of Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia. The mascot takes the school's motto "The Hawk Will Never Die" to extreme lengths by flapping its wings nonstop during every game. The Hawk doesn't even rest for halftime. ESPN did the math and figured that The Hawk flaps its wings about 3,500 times during an average game. But don't feel too bad for the student inside the suit: He or she gets a full scholarship.