I had the great fortune of being in New Orleans last weekend for the Final Four. I had the even greater fortune of spending an hour at an event next to Bill Raftery, one of my all-time favorite sports commentators. Full disclosure time: I’m a Syracuse University graduate and a die-hard Syracuse hoops fan. Because Syracuse is traditionally a top team, they play an enormous amount of games on national television. Most of which, seemingly anyway, have included Bill Raftery as one of the commentators.
Bill Raftery, or Coach, as I called him, didn’t know me when he sat down next to me. We’ve never met, and yet, it felt like I’ve known him for the last ten years. We’ve watched a lot of Syracuse basketball together – some of which were defining moments of my college experience. We spoke about how clutch Gerry McNamara was and how depressed I was about Fab Melo being suspended from the tournament. Not surprisingly, Coach Raftery put his hand on my shoulder and told me that he understood.
Coach is a bit taller than I expected, but otherwise he is exactly who I’ve come to know throughout the years. There have been many, many articles that talk about the importance of sports, but the individuals that help bring those moments to fans play an important part in memory making. Coach Raftery has probably already forgotten about our dinner together, but I’ll always laugh when I think about the stories that he told me during our encounter. Syracuse should be good again next season and I’m already looking forward to hanging out with him another 20 times next year.
– Brian Landau
Brian Landau is a Westwood One contributor and is one of a very small group of people who would be happy to spend a few days in Syracuse in February – so long as there’s a game at the Carrier Dome.
Most Recent NCAA Basketball Posts
Another season in the books, and with that comes coaching changes and predictions for the next year, although with transfers and spring recruiting and NBA Draft entries still coming, there is still...
If March is about Cinderella springing a big upset in the NCAA Tournament, then April is about the kings and queens of college basketball showing why they've been on top so long.
In the span of 24...
Congratulations to Duke on a very hard-fought win over an emotionally spent Wisconsin team in the final. I am not going to lie...the fact that Duke cruised to a win over Michigan State while...
Congratulations are in order for Wisconsin senior Frank Kaminsky, who was named the AutoZone "In the Zone" College Basketball Player of the Year on Monday night during Westwood One's coverage of the...
TAMPA, FL - For an unprecedented 10th time overall - and for the third straight season - the UConn Huskies are the champions of women's college basketball.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Moriah...
TAMPA, FL – The final game of the Division I NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament has a familiar feel to it as the Huskies of UConn will take on Notre Dame for the second straight season.
TAMPA, FL - Geno Auriemma and the Connecticut Huskies women's basketball team will go for an unprecedented 10th title tonight when they face Notre Dame in a rematch of last year's championship...
TAMPA, FL - Heading into tonight's Women's National Championship Game, there's no doubt who's the favorite - that would be the nine-time champions from UConn.
But Notre Dame is also a #1 seed and...
Check out this photo gallery of some of the best shots from Monday night in Indianapolis taken by our own Scott Newman.
INDIANAPOLIS- Tyus Jones scored a game-high 23 points including 19 in the second half to lead the Duke Blue Devils to their fifth national title with a 68-63 championship win over Wisconsin. Jones...