Chat with Pat Forde
Send your questions now and join Forde in The Show Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Pat Forde (2:02 PM)
OK folks, who is here to escape A-Rod Torture? Raise your hands. Let's get to the hoops!
Doug (Pittsburgh, PA)
Is there any chance for DeJuan Blair to get into the POY race or is it too late for that this year?
Pat Forde (2:04 PM)
Doug: After last night it's tough to completely close the door on him. And if you did, he'd probably just break it down anyway. That was a man's performance in a man's game. When you play like that against the No. 1 team in the country, it forces POY voters to keep an open mind a bit longer.
Big 3 (Arizona)
Pat, was there any ever doubt we wouldn't get #25 straight?
Pat Forde (2:05 PM)
3: Um, yeah. Plenty of doubt when Arizona is 11-8 and losing to Houston. The turnaround has been incredible. Nothing is a lock yet for Zona, but it's hard to see this team doing a u-turn for the worse at this point.
Tom (Kansas City)
JT Tiller should be in the running for defensive player of the year. Care to agree or disagree?
Pat Forde (2:06 PM)
Tom: I care to agree. For the uninitiated, Tiller is the pest of a guard who helps make Missouri's pressure defense so disruptive. There is a lot of stout competition for that award nationally, but I'd have to put Tiller at the top of the list for the Big 12. Love the all-out effort he plays with every game.
Justin ( Arizona)
Hi Mr. Forde, who do you like in the big battle tonight Michigan St at Purdue? Thanks
Pat Forde (2:08 PM)
Justin: It's a bigger game for Purdue and the Boilers are playing at home, so I'd probably lean that way -- even though I think Michigan State is the better team. If Hummel gives the Boilers something I think they win a game that means more to them.
Allan (San Diego)
Pat, How would you rank these MWC teams (BYU, San Diego State, Utah, UNLV, New Mexico) in order of most likely to make the dance to least?
Pat Forde (2:10 PM)
Allan: Tough to say with much authority, since watching a Mountain West game is about as rare as a Yeti sighting. But I'd have to go 1. Utah, 2. UNLV, 3. BYU, 4. New Mexico, 5. SDSU. I'm pretty sure the tournament is in Vegas so I give the Rebels the second spot over BYU.
Bethel Park, PA
How many games does Duke have to lose before all the Duke grads who are now sportswriters take them out of the Top 10? They're not a top 10 team. They couldn't take Niagara or Siena on a neutral court. Or Buffalo. Or Butler. Or Utah State.. Duke could lose to Goober State in Cameron and the sportswriters of the country would still find a way to rank Duke 6th or 7th. Thanks.
Pat Forde (2:12 PM)
PA: I can think of two Duke grads who are sports writers, Seth Davis and John Feinstein. That's not quite enough to sway the Top 10 voting. Besides, Duke is also in the Top 10 in the coaches' poll. How many of them are Duke grads? Find another argument.
Hello Forde, do you thing Devan Downey and S. Carolina can do damage in the tournament?
Pat Forde (2:13 PM)
Jason: I LOVE Downey -- a tremendously confident little guy who loves to take the big shots and will drive on anyone. And I love Darrin Horn, the first-year coach who has done a great job there. But let's not go putting Cocky into the tournament field just yet. There are several big games to come. If South Carolina does get in, I'd say a lot will be predicated on matchups.
Pat, In the case of Louisville getting routed by 33 points to ND, then forwarding the favor to Depaul (winning by 45). Is it more meaningful when you win by a huge margin, or when you lose by a huge margin?
Pat Forde (2:15 PM)
Parker: This DePaul team is so bad that I'm not sure how much can be taken from that -- but if you're a Louisville fan you have to be heartened by that scorching shooting display. Both games might be toss-outs. ND was desperate and on fire, and it reminded me of 2005 when Memphis came into Freedom Hall and dominated Louisville in February -- looked like a major warning sign, but then Louisville went to the Final Four.
William (Chapel Hill, NC)
Do you not consider Jay Bilas a sports writer?
Pat Forde (2:15 PM)
William: I consider Jay a television analyst who writes occasionally. And writes well, I might add.
Yo 40D, SDSU is in 2nd place right now with 3 out of their last 5 at home. Highly doubt they finish 5th in the conference!
Pat Forde (2:16 PM)
Majeed: That wasn't the question. The question was ranking them in order of NCAA Tournament selection viability.
Boellke: Dayton, OH
How many bids do you project the A-10 receiving? If a team other than UD or X wins the A-10 tournament will 3 teams make the field?
Pat Forde (2:18 PM)
Boellke: I'd say Dayton and X are solid right now, and yeah, the only way a third team makes it is by winning the league tourney. And just to make sure, Dayton should try real hard to avoid a late-season swoon.
Andy Katz, too?
Pat Forde (2:19 PM)
Pat, what can UCONN do to overcome the loss of Jerome Dyson? It was clear their defense suffered last night.
Pat Forde (2:20 PM)
Chris: That was a significant loss at both ends of the floor. Defense, yes, but also getting things done off the dribble on offense. UConn needs Kemba Walker to grow up quickly, and then will need some reserves to step up their game as well.
Greg (Champaign, IL)
Who is the most intriguing bubble team right now?
Pat Forde (2:22 PM)
Greg: You in class, boy? For me the most intriguing bubble team is Arizona. That season turned around in such dramatic fashion, and with an interim coach it's been remarkable to watch. Now we have to see whether the Wildcats can keep the roll going; they have some time off between games and sometimes that can be more of a momentum killer than a needed rest. We'll see.
Brett (Heath, Ohio)
Pat - any chance Jay Bilas, Rece Davis, Andy Katz, Doug Gottlieb, Digger Phelps, and Hubert Davis are sitting with you as a show of "support" for today's chat?
Pat Forde (2:24 PM)
Brett: I'm going this one alone, pal. Sitting in my office. But I can feel their supportive vibes from afar. And for the record, I did NOT use steroids.
Me Again (NYC)
Pat - If you don't answer a Bonaventure question I will cry. I'm at work and this is what I do all day...wait for you to chat.
Pat Forde (2:25 PM)
Me: Your job must be exciting. Unfortunately, I didn't see a question in there, but if it makes your day: Go Bonnies.
Stephen (College Station)
What do you think the Aggies chances are at getting into the tourny?
Pat Forde (2:27 PM)
Stephen: Beating Texas last night keeps hope alive, but a losing record in a mediocre conference is a killer. Aggies have a lot of work to do.
When is P.Paterson (Kentucky) going to come back from is ankle injury?
Pat Forde (2:28 PM)
Justin: We'll see if he plays tonight at Vanderbilt. Just guessing here, but I think he'll be out this game and we'll see after that.
Chris (Abilene, TX)
What's wrong with texas? They may be a bubble team after losses to A&M, OU, and KU.
Pat Forde (2:31 PM)
Chris: Texas has backslid to an alarming degree. I thought the Horns' defense was pretty shoddy last night, and they haven't shot it very well. That team needs to get well very quickly.
pat, what bracket buster game are u most anxious to watch?
Pat Forde (2:32 PM)
Chase: Good question. Since I'm guessing Curry will be back by Saturday, I'll take Butler-Davidson in the noon tipoff. But Butler threw in a real stinker Sunday losing at home to a really bad Loyola team.
... that being said. Is Duke a top 10 team? I know three of their losses have come to top10 teams, but 5 losses is 5 losses.
Pat Forde (2:33 PM)
Tom: I don't know, and the beauty of it all is that it doesn't matter. I know Duke is still very well positioned in all the power rankings because of a strong OOC schedule. Thankfully, though, the rankings are just something to argue about and nothing that actually affects the outcome of the season.
John (Cincinnati, OH)
RARE OVC QUESTION HERE: I don't know if you've noticed (because seemingly nobody has) but UT-Martin has the second leading scorer in the nation in Lester Hudson. If they make it out of the OVC tournament (they're in second now), can he lead a shocker in the tournament?
Pat Forde (2:35 PM)
John: Rarer than a Jim Boeheim smile, big boy. But I am aware of Lester. If they can win the OVC tourney -- uh, no, I don't see Martin winning a game, unless it lands in the Tuesday play-in game. OVC hasn't won an NCAA game since 1988.
Dillon, Las Vegas
Chances Michigan State finishes strong and takes a No. 1 seed from a 2nd big east team?
Pat Forde (2:37 PM)
Dillon: Doubtful. Not out of the question given Michigan State's strong resume, but I think the Big East is well-positioned to grab two No. 1s at this point.
Greg (Champaign, IL)
Who is the most underrated coach today?
Pat Forde (2:39 PM)
Greg: Let me throw out a few names -- Randy Bennett at St. Mary's; Mike Anderson at Missouri; Trent Johnson at LSU; Bob McKillop at Davidson.
mike (beverly, ma)
Pat - It seems like OU will be the only #1 team this year that no one talks about. Outside of Blake Griffin there is little to no talk about this team. Can you talk a little about the rest of their team and what makes them tick? Does this team have what it takes to play against the UNCs,Pitts, UCONNs of college basketball?
Pat Forde (2:41 PM)
Mike: There's a lot to like about these guys outside of Blake Griffin. Freshman guard Willie Warren has given them added firepower. Senior guard Austin Johnson has stepped up his game. Taylor Griffin is playing well. And the JUCO guy, Patillo, has really given them another interior lift. I really like this team -- but I also remember OU losing by 30 last year in the second round. It's hard to square that with potentially winning a national title.
Florida can't seem to close out games on the road, as evidenced by Saturday's ugly loss at UGA. Is it their youth?
Pat Forde (2:42 PM)
Ken: Youth and the inability to go inside for high-percentage shots at crunch time. That team is so dependent on Nick Calathes it's scary.
Pat, The committee would never admit as much but do you think "star power" does play a part in the selection process? For instance,is a program like Kentucky w/ Meeks given the benefit of the doubt over say a MWC team with a similar profile?
Pat Forde (2:44 PM)
Ryan: Good question. Only the guys in the room know for sure -- but having sat in on the mock selection process a couple of years ago I think they honestly try to filter out that stuff. However, within each committee member's mind you have to wonder: Kentucky or San Diego State? Gut reaction would tilt toward Kentucky in most minds.
How do you think Marquette will fair in there final 5 games at GT, at Pitt, vs UCONN, at Louisville, vs. Syracuse? I think if they go 2-3 in that stretch it shouldn't hurt them too much as far as NCAA seeding. What say you?
Pat Forde (2:46 PM)
Bill: Very, very tough closing stretch. I'd say 2-3 sounds probable. That wouldn't drop Marquette's power ratings much, but it would hurt their last 12 games mark and might cost it a line or two in the seeding process.
And the beer I should order tonight at Pazzo's is:
Pat Forde (2:46 PM)
Sierra Nevada. Put it on my tab.
Pat, what's with Dayton not breaking into the coaches poll this week? 23-3 with a 26 RPI not good enough for y'all?
Pat Forde (2:46 PM)
Prior: I'm not a coach, I don't vote. And here's the good news: the polls don't matter. Don't sweat it.
Cosmo (Anytown, USA)
4 weeks until the tourney starts!! Although the Tuesday game hardly counts as a tourney game. Do you think that the 65th team thing is here for good?
Pat Forde (2:48 PM)
Cosmo: NO doubt the 65th team is here for good. Hopefully it doesn't expand to 68 or 72 or 96 or anything else. DaVinci didn't draw a hat on the Mona Lisa, and the committee had better not mess with perfection -- no matter how many spurned coaches whine about being left out a month from now.
Bennett (Reading PA)
Is the big east now the best confereence with all the losess Duke is having?
Pat Forde (2:49 PM)
Bennett: Don't forget Clemson losing to Virginia and Wake Forest slumping as well. Given all that, yeah, I'd take the Big East as the best league -- but not by much.
Come on, throw me some Friar talk, does 10-8 get it done?
Pat Forde (2:52 PM)
Matt: How bout that Marvin Barnes, huh? And Pop Lewis! Oh, CURRENT Friar talk ... I guess it would be tough to keep a Big East team with 10-8 on the outside, but Providence has had a very user-friendly schedule and not many wins against upper echelon Big East teams. Beating Louisville, Pitt or Villanova down the stretch would really help.
Pat, is there any chance that a team like Davidson could possibly miss out on an NCAA bid if they lose this BracketBusters game and subsequently drop one in their conference tourney? I remember the days pre-Stephen Curry when a team like this could go 26-4 and still not make it.
Pat Forde (2:55 PM)
Mat: I think most of the country -- and by extension, most of the committee -- would love to see Davidson and Curry in the field. However, I'd be a little nervous if the Wildcats don't win the SoCon tournament. Davidson scheduled well, as usual, but beating NC State hasn't carried the weight the Wildcats hoped it would and the only other take-notice victory was over an injured West Virginia. I think Davidson gets in at-large, but the best way to avoid any Selection Sunday anxiety is by winning the SoCon tourney.
Jeff (Champaign, IL)
Looking back at what you were expecting before the season, what team has been the biggest surprise? The biggest disappointment?
Pat Forde (2:58 PM)
Jeff: Biggest surprise might be Missouri, and not just because I'm an alum. No way I thought the Tigers would be 21-4 at this point. Biggest disappointment: close battle between Georgetown, Notre Dame, Texas and Tennessee right now.
Leo (BIG APPLE)
Pat, lets just say youre filling in your bracket your final four is.............
Pat Forde (3:00 PM)
Leo: There is no bracket to fill in yet, which is why I usually avoid these kinds of questions until we get to that point. But it's time to sign off so I'd say that my Final Four of the moment is ... UNC, UConn, Memphis and a BIg East team to be named later (Pitt or Louisville most likely). I reserve the right to change my mind by 3:05.
Pat Forde (3:01 PM)
OK folks, I'm going back to work. Thanks for the great questions, see you again next week. Pat Forde