Chat with Dana O'Neil
Send your questions now and join Dana Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Dana O'Neil (2:01 PM)
Anyone want to be No. 1? Anyone? Bueller?
Will J (Portland, OR)
Dana, how many teams do you think can realistically win the national title? 10? It's great knowing there isn't an odds on favorite.
Dana O'Neil (2:03 PM)
Will: More and more everyday it seems like. But if I'm thinking really legit chance... I'm thinking maybe 7. Pitt, Conn, OU, North Carolina, Memphis, Louisville and maybe Clemson or Michigan State. Not in that order and probably not a complete list
DPO, great job on tanner smith. worthy of a beverage at downey's. gimme two or three davidson-like sleepers that could make some serious noise in the tourney. your Nits maybe?
Dana O'Neil (2:05 PM)
Eddie B: I will take the beverage at Downey's. Sleepers... If the Nits get in (big if) they could be tough. Mid-major wise, Id say a team like VMI because of their style is tough. VCU is another one .and Creighton, too. No one is talking about the Valley this year and that's dangerous.
ok Dana, the Heels DONT play 40 minutes of hell defense. Hardly 4 minutes of hell, but they still are your pick to cut the nets right?
Dana O'Neil (2:06 PM)
Steve: I'd take four minutes of Roy's gosh darn at this point. Lordie these boys don't defend. I didn't pick them at the beginning of the season. Went w/ Louisville. Not sure that's the right pick but not sure UNC is either. Definitely best team but they just don't play that way all the time.
I was at Comcast on Saturday, and to say that was a stunning game would be an understatement. But what would be even more stunning to me would be if the Terps could beat a team that pounded them by 41 a month ago. Do the Terps have a shot tonight?
Dana O'Neil (2:08 PM)
Jake: Wow. Lucky you. Must have been fun. I'd say the Terps have a bit of motivation to avenge that epic disaster. I'll be curious to see if there's a hangover effect for Maryland. If there's not there's absolutely not reason the Terps can't beat Duke. It's not like the Blue Devils have been the picture of consistency either.
Steve Nc [via mobile]
Hey Dana, no disrepect to the Big 12 or Blake Griffin. Its been a down year for the Big 12. Do you think he would be as dominant in the Acc as he is in the Big 12 ? Your thoughts
Dana O'Neil (2:08 PM)
Steve: Agree that the Big 12 isn't great but I think Blake Griffin is regardless of what uniform you put him in. He has great skills, moves his feet well, is a decent passer for someone his size and rebounds like a pit bull
Russ O (Chicago, IL)
Why is Bruce Weber not getting hardly any mention(except from Doug Gottlieb) for coach of the yeay. The team went 5-13 last year and lost Shaun Pruitt and Brian Randle to graduation. They also did not get Jamar Smith back. Why no love for the Illini, Dana?
Dana O'Neil (2:10 PM)
Russ: Had this argument w/ a colleague recently. Or a friendly discussion at least. I completely agree w/ you. A lot of guys are doing good jobs w/ teams that won last year or were expected to be good this year. Bruce is doing a phenomenal job a year after everyone thought he was going to LOSE his job.
No love for Butler as a mid-major threat? Easily handled Davidson in a hostile environment. Hayward's for real.
Dana O'Neil (2:11 PM)
Brent: Of course. Was talking more about unexpected teams. Butler has been ranked.
What has to happen for Mizzou to be placed in the Kansas City bracket and is Mike Anderson a few wins away from being coach of the year and is he going back to Alabama?
Dana O'Neil (2:14 PM)
DJ: don't tknow about the last part but Anderson certainly has to be high on anyone's coach of the year ballot. great job. Tricky part about site preference for Mizzou is Kansas. If memory serves me both could end up there so long as they aren't set up to play one another in the first weekend
Bill Boston, MA
Hi Dana, can you show the A-10 some love...If URI beats Dayton tonight do they have a chance at the NCAAs?
Dana O'Neil (2:15 PM)
Bill: Definitely would be under consideration. The A10 tourney is going to be very interesting. Temple also is in the conversation now.
Bill (Gaithersburg, MD)
Hey Dana, what in the world is wrong with Georgetown? They are young, but so are a lot of other teams. Is it chemistry, confidence, lack of D? Thanks for the insight.
Dana O'Neil (2:16 PM)
Bill: I think they really overachieved early and expectations shot through the roof and then they tumbled hard and like a lot of young teams, are struggling to find a way out. I will say this. I wouldn't want to be the team to face that 12th team in the Big East. Yikes.
Jeff (The Ville)
Do you think Louisville can play consistently enough to make a tourney run? Also, do you think Pitino would ever leave for Arizona?
Dana O'Neil (2:17 PM)
jeff: I absolutely think they can make a tourney run. Remember, I've been the brain/dolt (depending on the month and how the Cards are playing) that picked Ville to win it all. can't see Pitino jetting to Arizona, no.
Dana, does UConn's game tonight at Marquette define the type of team they will be without Dyson? If they lay an egg tonight my gut tells me they won't recover from losing him.
Dana O'Neil (2:19 PM)
Chris: I'm not sure losing onthe home floor of the third best team in the league can be considered laying an egg. I do think losing Dyson hurts. I don't think it's a killer a la AJ Price last year. More players and more time to get things going again.
Dana,How much of a shot does John Calipari have at coach of the year?And do you think the tourney committee will try to rematch Memphis and Kansas in the tournament?
Dana O'Neil (2:20 PM)
Robert: He deserves a hard look. Team lost so much and is right back. And having done the mock bracket session twice I can honestly say teh committee doesn't try to put together dream matchups. The computers spit it out randomly.
Hey Dana, Nova is starting to get it together. After UCONN and Pitt, the 'Cats are best team in big east right?
Dana O'Neil (2:21 PM)
Stan: I might have to jump Louisville in front of them but they're a very strong fourth. Team is much better than they were early and going to be a very tough out come tourney time.
Did you just use "gosh darn" and "lordie" in the same response? I'm looking forward to the St. Joes/Xavier game at the palestra tomorrow. Do you think Xavier will get back on track in the road win category (0-3)?
Dana O'Neil (2:22 PM)
John: yep. spared you the jeepers so be grateful. Game at the Palestra ought to be a good one. Packed house, I'm guessing which won't make it easy. Saint Joe's is reeling a little bit here so I'd expect Xavier to win but like I said, tough game in a tough place.
Is it possible for Pitt to stay at #1 next week since oklahoma lost again and we beat uconn? Or is there an unwritten rule that if you lose you drop.
Dana O'Neil (2:23 PM)
Vince: No unwritten rule but I don't see it happening. That was a pretty bad loss and if UConn wins at Marquette, tough to keep em out. If they lose and Memphis wins at UAB they're up. If both lose I'd say anarchy rules and throw out the rankings.
Michael (Evansville, IN)
I'm wondering if anyone has noticed that Christopher Hill, Utah's AD, who has been pretty negative about the BCS system is on the NCAA selection committe. Including him, there are 6/10 of the selection committee that come from mid-major leagues. I'm just making this point because the ESPN mock selection last Saturday left out Utah St., Davidson , and Siena. And, there has been a lot of talk about this being a down year for mid-major teams (some even say that there might not be one at-large bid given to a mid-major. Given the composition of the selection committee, I wouldn't be really comfortable if I were a midling BCS school. Your thoughts?
Dana O'Neil (2:25 PM)
Michael: Certainly everyone has their own inherent biases but I truly believe the selection committee members vote for the best teams, not to prove a point and knock BCS schools out or vice versa. I also know from experience that the process is so tediously overwrought it's almost impossible to jimmyrig the thing in your favor.
Chris (Abilene, TX)
Did you see the end of the A&M-Nebraska game last night? That was crazy!! A&M is still alive, right?
Dana O'Neil (2:27 PM)
Chris: Go Josh Carter. Did a story on him earlier this year. Great kid. A&M is alive but two of their last 3 games aren't going to do much to raise their profile. They could use a nice run in the Big 12 tourney to secure their spot.
Adam (Washington, DC)
Dana, Did Providence punch their ticket last night, assuming no let down at Rutgers sunday?
Dana O'Neil (2:28 PM)
Adam: Not 100 percent sold. I'd say probably would be in today, but the RPI is still 71 and Rutgers won't raise that. Would be extremely wise for them to fare well in the Big East tourney.
Dan (Los Angeles)
Does USC make the tournament?
Dana O'Neil (2:30 PM)
Dan: You mean As the hoop turns? the soap opera? Oy. I don't see it, no.
Beth (Hartland, WI)
Dana, woman to woman here, has any team that has been ranked in the Top 25 all season and in the Top 10 for multiple weeks been given such a lack of national respect based on their schedule than Marquette has? If they lose to UConn and Lousiville, does that somehow make them a shell of a team? Thanks!
Dana O'Neil (2:31 PM)
Beth: See your point but the counter argument is that until the last few weeks the Golden Eagles hadn't walked into the teeth of the Big East. Hardly a shell of a team regardless of the next two games. Very good guards and Hayward is underappreciated.
RJ - Dallas
Does Tennessee make the tournament?
Dana O'Neil (2:33 PM)
RJ: I know most people say yes but I have a hard time. The RPI is good but they're a middling team in a middling league and not playing particularly well late in the season. To me, that doesn't add up.
zach (indiana) [via mobile]
hey dana what are purdues chances at grabbing a 2 seed for the dance
Dana O'Neil (2:34 PM)
Zach: IF they win the Big Ten tourney could very easily happen.
Mike (San Francisco)
Do you see anyone from the Pac 10 stepping up in the NCAA tournament?
Dana O'Neil (2:35 PM)
Mike: Arizona State maybe. Think they've flown under the radar a little bit. James Harden is a great player, the kind that could have a breakout performance in the tourney.
Mike (Altoona, Pa)
As a die-hard Carolina fan, it would be nice to travel 4 hrs to Philly and catch a regional that includes the Tar Heels. Is there anyway for them to get the 1 seed in the East region? If so, what needs to happen? Thanks Dana!
Dana O'Neil (2:36 PM)
Mike: I'd be surprised, only because I would think Connecticut and Pittsburgh get dibs. Besides, if the Heels earn site preference they'll be going to Greensboro for the first round.
Phil Morgantown, WV
So what do you think about West Virginias chances to make their 4th sweet sixteen in 5 years??? I know they are young, but they play great defense and are getting better as the season progresses1
Dana O'Neil (2:37 PM)
Phil: Actually think WVU is a VERY dangerous team. Playing much better, peaking at the right time, kind of like they did last year. Wish they had Mazzulla.
Cosmo (Anytown, USA)
22 days!! I'm giddy. Wanna come out with my friends and me and watch us lose money during the tourney?
Dana O'Neil (2:38 PM)
Cosmo: As long as it isn't my money, sure. Sign me up. Though I'm usually a touch busy in march.
Broad Street Brian (Headed to the P.O.P.E)
Next year, will we be talking about LaSalle in the big dance?
Dana O'Neil (2:38 PM)
Brian: Not sure about next year but I do think good things are happening at La Salle. Team is getting better
Ruben V, Lexington KY
Hi Dana, What do you think UK's chances are of winning the SEC and making the tourney for the 19 straight year?
Dana O'Neil (2:40 PM)
Ruben: Honestly, the SEC is wide open. I could see Kentucky winning it, LSU, Florida or even South Carolina and a suddenly organized Tennessee. I think tonight is a very big game for the Wildcats. Need a good win on a road. The LSU game isn't easy but at home UK has a huge edge.
BC's in with the big win last night, correct?
Dana O'Neil (2:41 PM)
Nick: I'd say yes.
Dan (New Jersey)
I know VMI already proved themselves against Kentucky, early in the season, but how do you think their high powered offense might fair against a tough Big East or Big Ten team in the tourney?
Dana O'Neil (2:43 PM)
Dan: My God I would love to see them against a Big Ten team just for the sheer comedy of the two different styles. They'd have to get the right team. Matchups are key but Travis and Chavis are good players so I think they could make a lot of gmes interesting.
Randy (Evanston, IL)
Chester Frazier is one of the best defenders in college basketball that I have seen this year. I think he would be a virtual lock for Big Ten defensive player of the year. What do you think, Dana?
Dana O'Neil (2:44 PM)
Randy: Agree that he's very good but there are a lot of good defensive players. Top on my list might be Thabeet. Not for the blocks but simply for the way he alters games.
Scott Fowler Charlotte nc
Dana do you agree that memphis is overrated?
Dana O'Neil (2:44 PM)
Scott: Actually no, I don't. I know conference USA isn't great but this team is winning by more than 20 points per game. That tells me they're WAY better than the competition.
Hi Dana. Can you give me the 5 guards you would most want leading your team through the tournament? Mine would probably be: Curry McNeal Lawson Mills Teague With an Honorable Mention going to Reynolds, Flynn, Collison, and Price.
Dana O'Neil (2:46 PM)
Andrew: Hmm... good question. For sure I'd have Lawson and Curry. Might jump Flynn to my top 5 along with Teague and McNeal
The Nits - in or out?
Dana O'Neil (2:47 PM)
Topes: Right now I'd say out. Bad loss last night.
What about me? Do I have to score 60 to get on anyone's top guard list?
Dana O'Neil (2:48 PM)
Ack sorry. See? This is why I shouldn't make lists. Addled brain syndrome.
Hey Dana, Do you think KU will win the Big 12?
Dana O'Neil (2:48 PM)
Joe: We talking regular-season or tourney? Tourney i still say OU is the best team.
Mike (Altoona, Pa)
Hypothetically, what happens if Marquette beats UConn and Pitt, UConn then beats Pitt and Louisville beats Marquette....with Louisville winning the Big East tourney. Assuming UNC wins the ACC, now who gets the 1 seed in the East?
Dana O'Neil (2:49 PM)
Mike: Why do I feel like I'm taking an SAT test? If a farmer plants three rows, one w/ corn one w/ lima beans...
Chad (Las Vegas)
Do you truely believe the SEC is wide open? LSU only has to win 1 of its last 3 games or UK lose 1 of its last 3 for LSU to claim the SEC crown.
Dana O'Neil (2:50 PM)
Chad: The SEC Tourney is wide open, I'd say.
Brad Stevens (Butler) [via mobile]
What are the odds I win coach of the year and stay at Butler long-term?
Dana O'Neil (2:51 PM)
Brad: You're certainly under consideration for coach of the year. As for the otherr, I don't know. Tough to keep you, I'd imagine.
Can I get some love too?
Dana O'Neil (2:52 PM)
Sherron: Yes, you do. Phenomenal game against OU.
Natalya, Astoria [via mobile]
Dana... does Georgetown have any chance of making the big dance besides winning the Big East?
Dana O'Neil (2:53 PM)
Natalya: I don't think they do at this point. That was a killer loss as well as a really ugly loss on Monday
Dana, Is AJ Abrams on the list?
Dana O'Neil (2:54 PM)
Sometimes. He's been great at times and less than others.
POY? FOY? DPOY? COY? and your 1st Team AA?
Dana O'Neil (2:55 PM)
Jeremy: POY: Blake Griffin FOY: Tyreke Evans; DPOY: Hasheem Thabeet; COY: there are about 50... I'd lean Calipari.
Did you know that the Friars beat Pitt last night? What are thoughts?
Dana O'Neil (2:56 PM)
MIke: Um, yup I heard that. Was really surprised to be honest. Thought Providence's lack of defense coupled w/ Pitt's defense would be too much. I was dead wrong. Big win for Friars at a critcial time.
using the bcs system who are the two best teams and wouldnt that make for the best title game
Dana O'Neil (2:57 PM)
Jason: I prefer this system, the one that doesn't leave it up to people like me.
Dana, Just for not including me I am going to drop 30 on Clemson on Sat. and secure a NCAA tourney bid.
Dana O'Neil (2:57 PM)
Toney: You heard it hear folks.
Dana, Can I get any love for ACC POY?
Dana O'Neil (2:58 PM)
Gerald: You absolutely can in my book. would help if your team didn't tank down the stretch so make sure that doesn't happen.
Chris (Potomac, MD)
Dana-- First off I must say, you are by far my favorite blonde female writer on ESPN.com. Secondly, its a huge longshot for Al Skinner to be considered for National Coach of the year, but what about ACC coach of the year?? They were picked to finish 11th and have beaten Duke and UNC in the same season and might finish in the top four of the conference. I have not heard any talk about this. What gives??
Dana O'Neil (2:59 PM)
Chris: Since I'm probably teh only blonde female writer on ESPN.com, thanks.As for Coach Skinner, certainly deserves a look. Oliver Purnell will be a tough one to overcome, probably but I agree. BC has way overachieved this year.
Ok, the season is almost over. Give me a straight answer, which is the better overall conference: Big East or ACC?
Dana O'Neil (3:00 PM)
John: I'm sticking Big East. If Providence didn't prove that last night, not sure what could. Maybe the fact that Georgetownis 12th????
Tiger Woods [via mobile]
I only root for winners, whose bandwagon should I jump on?
Dana O'Neil (3:01 PM)
Tiger: Your own.
Dana O'Neil (3:01 PM)
OK, folks. Got a story I have to finish. Thanks for the questions. Catch up w/ you next week.
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