ESPN’s Dick Vitale, 84, eyes TV comeback in 2024-25 as he predicts March Madness

  • The basketball announcer was previously treated for melanoma and lymphoma
  • His 41-year TV career was put on pause after he needed surgery for dysplasia
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ESPN’s Dick Vitale has revealed his aim to return to broadcasting by the start of the 2024-25 college basketball, as he predicts the Kentucky Wildcats to win this year’s NCAA Tournament. 

Nearly three months after announcing that he’s cancer free and is intending to make another comeback in his 41-year tenure as the leading voice for March Madness, the 84-year-old Vitale recognized that he needs to continue resting his vocal cords, first and foremost. 

The legendary basketball sportscaster told USA Today via text: ‘It will take more time before I get the strength back in my voice. 

‘The 35 radiation treatments I had for my vocal cord cancer wiped out the cancer but created some problems to my vocal cords.’

Vitale, who was previously treated for both melanoma and lymphoma back in 2021, needed surgery for dysplasia that same year, forcing him to miss time calling games during the 2021-22 season. He returned to ESPN the following season, however, prior to missing the entirety of 2023-24.

ESPN’s legendary basketball sportscaster Dick Vitale, 84, is eyeing a broadcasting comeback

Describing his overall health now as ‘fantastic,’ Vitale can’t wait to be back in arenas in the near future. 

He said: ‘I miss so much the entire college spirit at the games as I always love being able to share time with the players, coaches, fans, media and especially me ESPN colleagues.’ 

Providing his thoughts on the landscape of this year’s NCAA Tournament and the favorites to win it, Vitale mentioned his astonishment at having constant changes in rankings throughout the season, before the start of March Madness. 

Vitale predicts Kentucy to win its ninth national championship by the end of March Madness

Vitale predicts Kentucy to win its ninth national championship by the end of March Madness

He also claimed that Houston, Purdue and Connecticut ‘separated themselves from the competition’ but that Kentucy and Tennessee, led by ‘prime time player’ Dalton Knecht, are the two teams he’s loved to watch this season. 

That’s why he’s so sure that both SEC will make the Final Four, along with Baylor and Connecticut. In the end, Vitale foresees the Kentucy Wildcats winning their ninth national championship. 

‘I feel that this is the year John Calipari will get this incredibly talented team to respond and be 2024 national champs,’ he said. 

‘They have size — explosive talents all through their lineup and a veteran big-time scorer in Antonio Reeves and the best all-around freshman in the nation in Reed Sheppard, plus instant offense off the bench in exciting Rob Dillingham.’