Head Coach Kermit Davis announced Wednesday that the annual Men’s Basketball Tip-Off Luncheon, presented by Auto Art, will be held on Thursday, Oct. 27 with premier college basketball analyst Dick Vitale serving as the event’s guest speaker.

“We truly are excited to celebrate the start of basketball season with who I think has been the face of college basketball for many years in Dick Vitale,” Davis said.

“I know our fan base is extremely excited coming off of the year we had and has great anticipation for this event and the upcoming year of Blue Raider basketball. The Tip-Off Celebration will be a great event for our fans to come together and celebrate the beginning of another college basketball season.”

Vitale began his journey as an ESPN analyst during the 1979-80 college basketball season just as the network was launching. Prior to joining ESPN, Vitale served as the head coach at the University of Detroit for four seasons before being offered the head job for the NBA’s Detroit Pistons.

During his tenure at the University of Detroit, Vitale went head-to-head with Middle Tennessee and legendary Blue Raider Head Coach Jimmy Earle in the 1977 NCAA Tournament Mideast Regional, downing the Raiders in Baton Rouge by a score of 93-76.

In 2008, Vitale reached the pinnacle of basketball recognition as an inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, marking his 17th different Hall of Fame induction.

“I’m really looking forward to being with the Middle Tennessee family for a festive day,” Vitale said. “I can’t wait to share the day with Coach Davis, his team and the Blue Raider faithful. It will be awesome, baby!”

Middle Tennessee will be led into the 2016-17 campaign by Conference USA Tournament MVP and Preseason Conference USA Player of the Year candidate Reggie Upshaw as well as the 2015-16 statistical national champion for 3-point percentage, Giddy Potts.

Upshaw and Potts will be supported by seniors Aldonis Foote, Xavier Habersham and Arkansas transfer JaCorey Williams in addition to fellow returners Edward Simpson, Quavius Copeland and Karl Gamble.

The luncheon will be hosted at the Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro and begins at 11:30 a.m.

Fans can purchase tickets for $60 at goblueraiders.com/tickets with a catered lunch included in the cost of admission.

Full tables of 10 with priority seating can also be purchased for $500 by calling the Blue Raider ticket office at 615-898-5261.

For More on this story, and other news about your Blue Raiders, click here.

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