ESPN’s Dick Vitale said today that the impending snowstorm expected to hit the Baltimore-Washington region means he won’t be able to travel north as planned for the network’s broadcast of Wednesday night’s Maryland-North Carolina game at Comcast Center.
Vitale was scheduled to handle the game with Dan Shulman.
“I won’t be able to get out there,” said Vitale, who lives in Florida. Vitale called Maryland’s season-opening game against Kentucky in Brooklyn, N.Y.
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ESPN said Fran Fraschilla would replace Vitale on the broadcast.
But Vitale, in a phone interview, offered some thoughts on the Terps and the ACC:
* Vitale said Maryland might have been in better position for an NCAA tournament berth if it had played a more competitive non-conference schedule. The Terps had a 13-game winning streak earlier in the season. But their schedule was notably light on road games and matchups with top teams.
“Their preseason schedule did not help them. I don’t think they had enough competition early,” Vitale said.
Maryland is scheduled to play in next season’s Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands that will include, among others, Vanderbilt, Providence, La Salle and Morgan State.
* Vitale said he didn’t believe the Terps were out of contention for an NCAA berth “but they can’t afford to lose the last two games.”
After hosting the Tar Heels, the Terps travel to Virginia for their final regular season game Sunday.
* Vitale said Maryland’s four-member freshmen class is progressing. Some fans may lose perspective because Kentucky won last season’s national championship on the strength of a dominant freshman class. He said freshmen usually need more time to develop, and it helps when they have a veteran supporting cast.
“That was a rare breed [at Kentucky],” Vitale said. “That was a whole different world.”