Bill Raftery and Verne Lundquist are two of the most well-known names in sports broadcasting, and on the big stage at Madison Square Garden, the two of them will be on the call for the UVA-Michigan State game Friday night.
Raftery and Lundquist are no stranger to big games, and over the years they've seen some great basketball. So trust them when they say this is a marquee match-up between Virginia and Michigan State.
"They've had some great prize fights here and this could be one of them," Raftery said.
The Friday night showdown between the Cavaliers and the Spartans has a lot of people excited, and despite some deeming UVA as the underdog even as the top seed, Lundquist and Raftery agree Virginia is the real deal.
"What are they yielding defensively? 55.5 points per game? You'd better find some way to solve that defense,” Lundquist said. “I find it not applauding style. I find it an excellent way to approach the game, and they've obviously been quite successful."
Raftery added: "If you like good basketball, they take good shots. They value the ball. They make sure that they give it up for better shots -- a good shot to a great shot kind of a concept. I think it's just good old-fashioned basketball. … A lot of schools will bring their own. They're going to enjoy the sharing of the ball, the activity. It's not like they stand still.”
The game itself is hype enough, but when you throw in the venue of Madison Square Garden -- a place that hasn't hosted the Big Dance in quite some time -- it's just the icing on the cake.
"To have it as part of my experience. To be able to call the first NCAA Tournament game in 53 years here. If you love this sport, this is something on your bucket list,” Lundquist said.