Chat with Pat Forde
Send your questions now and join Forde in The Show Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Pat Forde (2:15 PM)
Hey folks, I'm onboard now. Fire away!
Mark (Lex, KY)
Pat. What is your opinion on how KENTUCKY will pan out when it comes to the end of the season...will they keep their NCAA tournament streak alive?
Pat Forde (2:16 PM)
Mark: I see tonight's game as a big one. No, make that a BIG one. Not only would a loss mark the first three-game home SEC losing streak EVER, it would take away one more quality win opportunity from a team that needs all the quality wins it can get. I think we'll know a lot more about where the Wildcats stand after tonight. FWIW, I think they'll win (not sold on Florida on the road).
Daniel (st. louis mo)
Always a good day following a Tiger win over the Jayhawks.
Pat Forde (2:18 PM)
Most Missouri alums would agree with that sentiment. But I'd add that Missouri showed the toughness and conditioning that makes this team difficult to beat and makes Mike Anderson's system so hard to play against. Missouri has just been burying teams in the second half lately because they wear them out with the constant pressure.
Daniel (Topeka, Kansas)
Did you watch the Kansas vs. Missouri game last night?If so, what were your thoughts on the officiating and how the game went?
Pat Forde (2:19 PM)
Daniel: Veteran crew. Physical game. No real problems that I saw.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
Do you think PSU can still get invited to the Big Dance or should I start mass producing my, "You can't spell Nittany without the NIT," t-shirts?
Pat Forde (2:21 PM)
JB: That home loss to Wisconsin hurt, especially in combination with being trucked by Michigan. I'd say the NITs are NITtin' right now, pending a strong finish (against a fairly tough schedule).
Greg (Champaign, IL)
What should I do this semester without a Physics lecture on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2pm ET
Pat Forde (2:22 PM)
Greg: Get a job? No, kidding. Other than rigorously monitoring chats here at ESPN.com, I can't think of anything else you should be doing. In class or out.
daniel ny [via mobile]
are unc the best team in the country,if so will they cut down the nets this year?
Pat Forde (2:23 PM)
Daniel: UNC and UConn look like the two best teams to me right now, pending health. I'm really anxious to see UNC play at Cameron tomorrow night, though.
If State beats LSU wed night, and go 6 and 2 the rest of the way, can they make the dance? 22 and 9 and 12 and 4 in the sec.
Pat Forde (2:26 PM)
John: 12-4 in the SEC ain't what it used to be. Don't get me wrong, it's good. But this is a fairly rotten SEC this season, and that 77 RPI Mississippi State is packing doesn't help. If that RPI number doesn't get down into the 60s it will be tough to get an invitation.
Christopher (Villanova, PA)
Pat, love the work you do. Will 'Nova protect the Pavilion win streak tonight vs. Marquette?
Pat Forde (2:27 PM)
Christopher: I think so, yes. In fact, I'm predicting that Nova winds up edging out Marquette for a top 4 seed in the Big East tourney.
Andy (RC, MI)
Hey Pat, why do you get 3 elbows if you're a Hoosier but only 1 if you're a Wolverine? Also, if UMich wins tonight, do they make the tourney?
Pat Forde (2:29 PM)
Andy: Michigan's elbows were kinda hard to miss. Devan Dumes' groin shot on Goran Suton, while deplorable, was not as obvious at game speed and left nobody in a puddle of blood. (Just singing soprano.) As for winning tonight: one win in early February puts no bubble team in the tournament. It helps, but guarantees nothing.
What's better than the first 2 days of the tourney? Why doesn't ESPN have a countdown timer for the first tip-off?
Pat Forde (2:30 PM)
Topes: Nothing is better. Period. In all of human experience -- and I'm only being slightly hyperbolic there. I will suggest the timer. Heck, I'd like a timer to the first conference tournament game. Love those, too.
Phil (Warsaw, Indiana)
Ok, who ya got in the duke unc game?
Pat Forde (2:31 PM)
Phil: My head says Carolina. But somehow I just can't see Duke losing four straight in Cameron to the Heels. So give me Duke in an upset, then come back to mock me next week when I'm wrong.
Pat. What would you do if Indiana somehow miraculously won their conference tournament and made it to the NCAAs?
Pat Forde (2:32 PM)
Mike: I will cover the entire NCAA Tournament in a pair of candy-striped warmup pants.
Pat, please fill in the blanks. Xavier plays at Dayton this Wednesday and I think _________ will win this game by ________ points. And do you think Dayton will get into the Dance?
Pat Forde (2:33 PM)
Cody: Dayton will win by three points. If it's close, the Flyers win. That's been their M.O. all season. Should be a really good one -- too bad it's overshadowed by that Tobacco Road game same night.
James (Durham, NC)
Do you think UCLA is a final four capable squad?
Pat Forde (2:34 PM)
James: I am slowly changing my opinion on the Bruins. I thought no until recently -- but they've picked up the offense and starting scoring more, getting more interior production, and still playing very good defense. They're killing teams right now. So, yeah, they've got a shot. But if they're going to get there, how about not getting embarrassed this time?
In class right now. what do you think of the hokies. were 13 points away from being 21-1 right now. miserable luck.
Pat Forde (2:36 PM)
Chris: That's one way of looking at it. Or you can say that the Hokies also have won five games by five points or less, all of which were losable. So the luck thing cuts both ways. Nevertheless, VT is a dangerous team with a legit chance of making the field. Now pay attention to your professor.
Gardner (Salt Lake City, UT)
what are your thoughts on the Mountain West this year? Will it be a three bid league? Go it get four? How about those Utes is Luke Neville a legit first rounder?
Pat Forde (2:38 PM)
Gardner: It's the best league nobody watches, since all the games are played in the vaccuum that is The Mountain TV deal. Utah seems really good. BYU and San Diego State and UNLV all are right there, with New Mexico on the outside. I think this league could get four in with a little luck.
Chris (Abilene, TX)
Do you know all these stats off the top of your head, or is someone feeding you this info?
Pat Forde (2:39 PM)
Chris: I've got ESPN's standings and the RPI bookmarked. I flip to them every now and again while I'm answeirng questions to make sure I have my facts reasonably straight. Nobody's feeding me anything.
Speaking of UCLA, how about that beat down they gave Notre Dame? What's happened to the Irish?
Pat Forde (2:40 PM)
Mike: Looks like a confidence crisis coupled with some really lousy defense to me. It's pretty easy to become beaten down in the Big East this year, and it looks like Notre Dame let some of those early losses get to it. Now the season is getting away, slipping toward NIT Land.
sean (Elko, Nevada)
Are u mad at A Rod for lieng about his steriods use or glad he finally admitted he did them
Pat Forde (2:40 PM)
Sean: This is an A-Rod-free chat, thanks.
Dustin (Logan, UT)
I posted a similar question earlier, but what do you think about the Conference Tournaments that aren't on neutral courts? Doesn't that give an unfair advantage to the hometeam, especially if they aren't the 1 seed? It seems UNLV and Nevada are constantly cashing in on it...
Pat Forde (2:42 PM)
Dustin: I've seen it happen that way, yes. But every tournament has to be somewhere, and most conferences want to place it where seats will be filled and the entire event can be handled best. If that happens to be the hometown of some teams? Well, that's the breaks.
Steve (Aston, PA)
Do you see Cincy or Providence making the Dance from the Big East? Are Georgetown and Notre Dame done?
Pat Forde (2:45 PM)
Steve: I'd have to really study it, but I think Cincy has moved ahead of Georgetown and ND in the pecking order by virtue of a 3-0 record against those two. Then again, Providence can say, Hey, we swept Cincinnati. Put it this way: all four of those teams have the chance to play their way in or out the rest of the way.
David (Houston, TX)
Why is the C-USA championship game always in Memphis...as if the best team in conference by far needs home field advantage every year too...will anyone other than Memphis in C-USA make the tourney?
Pat Forde (2:46 PM)
David: I suspect that C-USA does what John Calipari tells it to do. And no, I don't see a second team from that league getting in at this point.
Will J (Portland, OR)
Pat, it's great to see the tourney finally coming back to Portland after so many years. Do you know which location you'll be headed to?
Pat Forde (2:47 PM)
Will: That should be finalized this week, but not yet. However, Portland is a long shot for me. Someone will have to drink the great beer there without me. Are you up for the job?
Do you agree with making the Big East Tournament available to all teams? Just seems like too many to me
Pat Forde (2:48 PM)
John: I totally agree with it. I love it. I hated the fact that every team didn't at least get a puncher's chance, on a semi-neutral court, to go on a run and earn an NCAA Tournament invite. If you're going to have a 16-team league, invite all 16 to the league tourney. And I like the bracket, which gives a two-round bye to the top four teams. They should get a heavily weighted advantage. Should be an awesome tournament.
Pat, outside of Butler and (possibly) Davidson, do you see ANY mid-major schools getting a bid without winning their conference tourney (let's call the MWC a major for this one)
Pat Forde (2:49 PM)
Jim: Yep, Utah State. At 23-1 they are all but in, barring complete collapse.
Does the Big East tourney start this week so they can finish before selection Sunday?
Pat Forde (2:49 PM)
It started yesterday. Did you miss it?
Thoughts on Arizona? Will they be dancing?
Pat Forde (2:51 PM)
Justin: I give U of A major props for turning things around -- really, starting with the moment Chase Budinger got his face stepped on by Aubrey Coleman. The Cats haven't lost since. But they're outside for now, with a chance to play their way in. This obviously is a huge weekend with the LA teams coming to Tucson. No easy weekends left, but Arizona has a chance.
Riley Grant (Denver)
Any commnets on Air Force? They used to be in the top 15 easily. Now their program is dreadful.
Pat Forde (2:52 PM)
Riley: Air Force is one of the toughest places to win in America. It's an absolute miracle the program was as good as it was for a few years. This, unfortunately, is more like it.
Pat, other than Michgan State, which two Big 10 teams in your opinion have the best chance to advance in the NCAAs?
Pat Forde (2:54 PM)
Dave: Purdue if healthy -- and right now that's a huge if. Robby Hummell might not recover this season. After that I kind of like Ohio State, which is playing well and has a lot of talent and athleticism. Illinois and Minnesota have had some horrifying offensive games, so I have my doubts there.
Are you doing the mock brackets this year? I think a lot of writers did it last year.
Pat Forde (2:55 PM)
Mark: I did it two years ago. Great, fascinating experience. I'm not doing it this year.
With UL's lack of outside shooting do you see them making a deep run in the tournament?
Pat Forde (2:56 PM)
Mark: Louisville still can make a Final Four run because they play D and board like very, very few teams in America. But yeah, the shooting would help. Pitino teams tend to crank up the offense and the tempo in the postseason. If this team does that, it will be a major force.
David (Houston, TX)
What teams have been biggest surprise to you this season? biggest disappointments?
Pat Forde (2:58 PM)
David: Wake Forest, Missouri, Clemson, Butler and Marquette have been surprises. Notre Dame, Georgetown, Texas and Tennessee have been disappointments. But there's plenty of time for both sets of teams to have a course correction.
Pat the reason the CUSA tourney is in Memphis most years is because that is where the money to be made is.MY question is do you think Calapari has a sht at coach of the year. Given what he's lost and the recent turnaround?
Pat Forde (2:59 PM)
Robert: Calipari is on my short list of candidates for Coach of the Year, yes.
chase (out on the range, montana
pat, do u see any possible lower seeds that could make a george mason like run this year?
Pat Forde (3:01 PM)
Chase: That kind of stuff usually becomes more clear after seeing teams in their conference tournaments and once the bracket comes out. But I will say that Siena, Northeastern and Western Kentucky are intriguing underdog types -- if they get in.
Jared (Shoreline, WA)
Do the Zags make it out of the first weekend this March?
Pat Forde (3:02 PM)
Jared: I'm not sure. That was a very disappointing performance against Memphis Saturday. I see a talented team that too often doesn't measure up to the sum of its parts. I sometimes wonder who the vocal leader is there -- it sure doesn't seem to be Heytvelt, Daye or Downs. I'll maintain a healthy suspicion about these Zags until proven otherwise.
You do realize you have possibly the greatest job in the world. Hoops & Football what more can you ask for
Pat Forde (3:03 PM)
Bret: How about the Kentucky Derby and an occasional golf major, too? And the Olympics? No, I'm not complaining.
WHile on the topic of the WCC..does St. Mary's make it, taking into consideration the Mills injury
Pat Forde (3:04 PM)
Gary: If Mills doesn't come back, I'd be concerned. The NCAA has to select teams based on who they are in the tournament, not who they were in January. And without Mills, St. Mary's has been sub-mediocre.
Jared (San Fran)
Will Jrue Holiday stay another year in school or is he still a lottery pick?
Pat Forde (3:05 PM)
Jared: He absolutely should stay another year, play full-time point guard in Darren Collison's absence and show what he can do there. Going pro would be foolish in my opinion -- but I'm not an NBA GM or a talented 19-year-old.
Pat, if you were on the selection committee, what would carry more weight: 1) a win against a Top 10 team; or 2) or a loss against an unranked opponent?
Pat Forde (3:07 PM)
Prams: Beating a Top 10 team would count more, because there are about 30 pretty good unranked teams out there. What the committee gets is a snapshot of how each team did against RPI 1-25, 1-50, 51-100, 101--200 and so forth. That really helps highlight the good wins and bad losses. If you're losing to teams below 100 it can definitely hurt.
Chris (Pitman, NJ)
Based on what you've seen this year, which conference is playing at the highest level right now?
Pat Forde (3:09 PM)
Chris: It's a hair-splitting contest between the ACC and Big East. The top four in both are really good -- maybe a little better in the ACC. But 5-8 might tilt back a little to the Big East. And 9-12 definitely goes to the Big East. I don't know or especially care to rank them. We'll settle it in March and April.
Which freshman have you been most impressed with and most disappointed with
Pat Forde (3:11 PM)
Connor: Impressed with Isaiah Thomas of Washington; Tyreke Evans of Memphis; Samard Samuels of Louisville (most of the time). Disappointed by Scotty Hopson of Tennessee; DeAndre Liggins of Kentucky; and BJ Mullens of Ohio State (most of the time).
Brian: East Lansing, MI
Hi Pat! UM fans are all over the local papers and sports pages saying the gap has been CLOSED between UM and Michigan State basketball. Can you straighten these delusional fans who haven't seen a NCAA tourney appearance in a decade out?
Pat Forde (3:11 PM)
Brian: Let tonight be the judge.
John (Columbia Missouri)
Where do you think Mizzou will fall in the tourny and how much of a run will they Make?
Pat Forde (3:13 PM)
John: I'd say Missouri is playing its way up to a top 4 seed right now. But the Tigers have to keep it going. As for a run: let's see how they finish and what the bracket looks like -- but I know this, nobody will want to face that style of play, particularly in a second-round game with little rest.
Could that UK Wildcat squad really go down hill pretty quickly if Patterson and Meeks bolt for the greener pastures of the NBA?
Pat Forde (3:14 PM)
Mike: Yes, I'd say so. No matter how the rest of this year plays out, April and May will be tense times for Kentucky fans waiting to see who comes back.
Scott (Jersey City, NJ)
Who is the best player you have seen from a mid-major team that not many people know about?
Pat Forde (3:15 PM)
Scott: This kid named Curry, from Davidson ... OK, everyone's heard of him. I know John Bryant of Santa Clara is putting up huge numbers (23 and 20 against St. Mary's). AJ Slaughter of Western Kentucky is sneaky good. I'll think on it a bit more.
Rick (Cherry Hill, NJ)
My wife's birthday always falls on March Madness weekend. What do you recommend I do about this terrible coincidence? Is this grounds for divorce?
Pat Forde (3:16 PM)
Rick: I cannot believe you didn't work this into a prenup. It's absolutely grounds for divorce unless she has the good sense to rearrange her birthday dinner/celebration to a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday during March. There is no other option. It's either that or get a lawyer.
Pat Forde (3:17 PM)
On that happy matrimonial note, it's time for me to flee. On my way to Lexington for Kentucky-Florida tonight. Talk to you all next week!