Chat with Pat Forde
Send your questions now and join Forde in The Show Monday at 3 p.m. ET!
Pat Forde (3:02 PM)
Hello from blustery Detroit and welcome to the last game of the season. Can't believe it's gone by this fast.
Pat who on the MSU bench do think is more crucial to MSUs success? Allen, Summers, Lucius, or Green?
Pat Forde (3:03 PM)
EDB: I'd say Summers, just because his talent level is so high. He can shoot it, drive it and dunk it -- as Stanley Robinson found out the hard way. If he plays well it gives Michigan State a big lift.
The Big East proved to be the fraud that everyone living outside that area knew all season long. Three #1 seeds, plus two more #3 seeds and they still cant put a team in the title game! Not only that but their teams got blown out. Maybe the committee should pay more attention to the RPI, as the top 2 RPI conferences are playing for the title.
Pat Forde (3:05 PM)
Chris: Ummmm, just because Michigan State is in the championship game it doesn't mean the Big Ten was a better league or that the Big East is a "fraud." Having half the Final Four and half the elite eight isn't bad. It's true that the two best teams were beaten by Michigan State, but nobody else in the Big Ten could finish in the top four or five in the Big East.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
Which team benefits more from a tightly-officiated game?
Pat Forde (3:06 PM)
JB: I'd say that would benefit North Carolina. Michigan State is the more physical team and tends to foul more. And I expect Carolina to take it right inside early and challenge Michigan State's big guys.
Debbie, Memphis [via mobile]
Hi Pat, Being a big big fan of Memphis. Is there any couch out there that could be a fit for Memphis?
Pat Forde (3:08 PM)
Debbie: I don't know. That's still a good job -- best in Conference USA -- but I don't know whether anyone can keep Memphis still on the high plane it has achieved under Calipari. There still is a lot of talent in the city and they have a great arena and practice facility to sell -- but so far RC Johnson isn't wowing me with his list of candidates.
I know it wouldn't be popular for you to say, but admit that you wouldn't really be that surprised if UNC wins by 30 or so.
Pat Forde (3:09 PM)
Andy: Yes I would be surprised. I'd say if Carolina is just blazing hot and State plays badly it could be a 20-point game. But I expect this to be decided by single digits.
Since 98% of the people out there don't have their team in this game, who are you looking to stand out next season?
Pat Forde (3:10 PM)
Clay: I really haven't thought ahead at all, especially since we don't know who all is going pro and who is staying in school. But I will say the Big Ten should be very good next year, since I believe the entire first-team all-conference team was comprised of sophomores.
kyle: San Francisco
How excited should AZ fans be right now? What was looking really bad ended up being the best thing that could have happened. Way better hire than Floyd, right?
Pat Forde (3:11 PM)
Kyle: Agreed, I'd rather have Sean Miller than Tim Floyd. I think this worked out well in the end for Arizona after appearing to really bungle the thing several times.
Tony S. (KY.)
Now that the Cats pulled "Little Rick" from Memphis the main questions is will Cousins follow him to Lexington and will John Wall run John's system here?
Pat Forde (3:12 PM)
Tony: I don't know the answers to those questions. But I wouldn't be surprised to see either or both at Kentucky.
Do you think Xavier Henry will end up at Kentucky or Kansas next year?
Pat Forde (3:13 PM)
John: My best guess is Kansas, but it's only a guess. When Calipari said at his introductory press conference that he thinks everyone who signed with Memphis should attend Memphis, I took that as a signal he knew Henry wasn't coming to Kentucky but would rather have him at Memphis than Kansas. But that's just conjecture.
I'd say the matchup that decides the game is the Ty Lawson vs Travis Walton matchup. Travis hasn't gotten much respect all season, but now that he's proven himself by shutting down the Big East's best, who do you think wins the matchup? Does Walton's defense trump Lawson's offense?
Pat Forde (3:15 PM)
Jeff: I agree that's the marquee matchup of the night. Walton is a tremendous defender and is a virtual coach on the floor -- I can see him becoming a very good coach someday. But I don't think anyone can shut down Lawson. He won't go wild, but he won't be fully contained, either.
Richard from Hickory, NC
Can Duke contend for a national championship next year if Henderson stays?
Pat Forde (3:16 PM)
Richard: I don't know. I've seen the Blue Devils go down early so many years in a row now that I'm beginning to doubt their ability to win another title -- at least until they get some big guys who can really play.
Who is on Memphis list of coaches? Is Barbee going to get the job?
Pat Forde (3:17 PM)
Andrew: They don't seem overly excited to hire Barbee, having talked to several other people first (including Scott Drew, which made little sense). I honestly don't know which direction that search turns right now.
Tom (River North)
Isn't more likely they stick Walton on Wayne Ellington and go with the Lucas/Lucious combo against Lawson?
Pat Forde (3:18 PM)
Tom: That's what we were thinking yesterday. I don't think Walton is quick enough to stay with Lawson.
Jon (OK City)
Do you think we'll ever see a Men's College BB player guarantee a national championship and put his scholarship money on the line?
Pat Forde (3:19 PM)
Jon: No. Nor do I think we'll see another women's player do it, either, since this one didn't turn out so good.
Pat: who are the officials for tonight's game? Are we looking at a repeat of the Ohio State-Georgetown fiasco a few years back?
Pat Forde (3:20 PM)
Dave: I don't have the officials for the game yet -- still at the hotel, haven't gone over to the arena. But it had better not be a repeat of that game. I think this has, on the whole, been a very well-officiated tournament. Very few red-faced moments for the stripes. Hopefully they get one more game right.
Elliot (Athens GA)
Rick Fox at Georgia...good fit?
Pat Forde (3:22 PM)
Elliot: Mark Fox, not Rick. And no, I'd say it's a really odd fit. I like Fox a lot and think he's a good coach, so maybe it'll work -- if it worked for Trent Johnson at LSU, why not? But he's going to need at least one assistant with recruiting ties to the South, especially Georgia. And that division is looking tough with Calipari, Stallings and Pearl to the north, Donovan to the south and Darrin Horn to the east.
Jack (Charlotte, NC)
The teams that have beaten UNC this year have featured a lot of 3 pointers, which isn't MSU's strength. If MSU wins will it be by going inside, or will they change their colors and hit a lot of trifectas?
Pat Forde (3:24 PM)
Jack: Michigan State shot a fair # of threes against UConn, so I wouldn't be surprised to see the Spartans pull the trigger from there -- especially if they're left as open as Carolina left Villanova much of the game Saturday.
Tony S. (KY.)
The day after Calipari was introduced as U.K.'s new coach I saw on Sportscenter that you said that you were not too high of that hire because 2 years ago he was interested, but U.K. told him thanks but no thanks because of "Off Court" things. While I agree with you that U.K. is desperate now, but do you think John will succeed in Lexington or will the boosters, fans, and pressure get to him? Let's not forget he has never really coached in a high pressure school.
Pat Forde (3:25 PM)
Tony: I don't know what will happen, we'll have to wait and see. But for now I remain skeptical of UK's decision-making process. I think Calipari can handle the pressure, but we'll see how he handles the scrutiny.
How cool was it when Durrell Summers dunked on Stanley Robinson? It seemed like the arena was shaking and caused the tv camera's to wobble for a bit.
Pat Forde (3:27 PM)
Steve: It was extremely loud in the building when he threw that down. Didn't feel so much like a giant, cavernous arena at that moment. In fact, it sounded kind of like a football game. The Michigan State crowd should be massive tonight.
How crazy is it that Izzo is 14-2 on the second game of tourney weekends?
Pat Forde (3:28 PM)
James: Pretty crazy. I wrote about that today, trying to get inside how they do this two-day preparation machine. It's pretty impressive. He's got to have the best video breakdown guys in the country.
Jeff (Ship, PA)
now that miller has jumped ship, who should X look at for a coach. A lot of people should be jumping at the opportunity to coach a potential final four team next year, right?
Pat Forde (3:29 PM)
Jeff: Yes, I'd think it would be a very attractive job. I don't know whether he'd be a popular candidate, but I think Brad Brownell of Wright State would do very well there.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
While it wasn't winning the NCAA Tournament, do you think Penn State's win of the NIT will help them with recruiting?
Pat Forde (3:30 PM)
JB: Sure. Penn State had a nice season -- if the Nittany Lions had one more decent win, they're probably in the Dance. Ed DeChellis did a nice job this season and this gives him some momentum to recruit with.
Aside from the basketball games,How have you enjoyed your time in Detroit so far?
Pat Forde (3:32 PM)
Ivan: Well, the weather is lovely today -- snow whipping past my window as we speak. But other than that, it's been fine. I've eaten a couple pretty good meals and visited a couple pretty good bars. And I enjoyed walking to the stadium every day - but not today, given the near-blizzard conditions.
Brian (Pueblo, CO)
Do you think MSU can really control the pace of play tonight like they have in their previous victories over number 1s?
Pat Forde (3:34 PM)
Brian: I know that the sole focus of their defense tonight will be stopping transition. Or at least attempting to stop it. If MSU can do that, and then picks its own spots to run offensively, it will be a huge achievement. But the Spartans would hardly be the only team to try it. Easier said than done. I don't see this being a very slow-paced game.
Adam (Charleston, SC)
Is "team of destiny" the most overused insignificant term used in sports?
Pat Forde (3:35 PM)
Adam: Guess I'll strike that phrase from my notebook before the game starts. Just kidding. Yes, it's a pretty hollow and trite phrase.
The crowd on Saturday night was obviously pro-MSU, but shouldn't they have an even larger percentage of the crowd for this game since UCONN and Villanova fans likely sold their tickets to local MSU fans? How big of a factor will the crowd be tonight?
Pat Forde (3:37 PM)
John: Yes, I expect an even bigger Michigan State mob tonight, given the expected ticket grab by Spartans fans. But I don't think it's a huge factor unless Michigan State gets ahead early and Carolina loses a little composure. But the Heels are such a veteran group, I think they'll be hard to rattle.
Cosmo (Anytown, USA)
Do you agree this this year's tourney has been relatively boring - aside from the Nova/Pitt game?
Pat Forde (3:38 PM)
Cosmo: I'm not sure I'd say boring, but I have been a little disappointed that so few games went down to the final possessions. Those games are almost always the most memorable, and we haven't had many this time around. Maybe we finish with a classic tonight.
Adam (Charleston, SC)
Will tonight's environment be any tougher than playing at Cameron Indoord Stadium?
Pat Forde (3:40 PM)
Adam: Probably not, simply because Cameron traps the sounds so much more thanks to its size. But there might be more fans of a single team in the building tonight than any other game in college basketball history. Even the Michigan State-Kentucky game of 2003, which I attended, had about 25,000 Kentucky fans that I recall.
What about Fran McCaffery for the Xavier job?
Pat Forde (3:41 PM)
Matt: Not a bad call. If I were Xavier, I'd put him on my list.
David Fairborn, OH
How bout them Louisville girls Pat?
Pat Forde (3:41 PM)
David: Louisville played a tremendous game last night, great victory. It's not so bad being the second-best team in the nation.
Why did Mullens go pro? i say if Mullens can go pro that that 12 year old rossiter sure could.
Pat Forde (3:42 PM)
Griffin: I couldn't believe it either. I know the pros love his skill level and would have taken him right out of college, but after watching him play I'd say he's miles away from being ready defensively, from a rebounding standpoint and in terms of upper-body strength. Crazy.
Some sources close to Blake Griffin say he is 50/50 on making the jump to the pros and making a Tim Duncan-like decision to come back for his junior campaign. If he comes back does that put the Sooners in the top 5 preseason and a final four favorite next season?
Pat Forde (3:43 PM)
Steve: If Mullens was crazy to go, Griffin would be crazier to stay.
Xavier University had a team many predicted to be in the top ten next year. With Miller gone and players likely transfering, is this team going to be any good and who might be up for the job?
Pat Forde (3:44 PM)
Daniel: Let's wait and see on players transferring. There's always a lot of that kind of talk, but guys reallly don't want to sit out a year. And I'd be surprised to see them break up a good team. We'll see.
Regarding the Xavier Henry situation -- I would hope schools like Kansas, Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky don't really want the one-and-doners. They have too much tradition and class. Any thoughts?
Pat Forde (3:46 PM)
Dave: Kentucky would take him in a heartbeat. I'd imagine Kansas would as well. Not as sure about Duke and Carolina, but I don't think they'd be averse to having super talents for whatever period of time they'd stay on campus. Duke is recruiting John Wall, and a lot of people think he's a one-year collegian.
Pat Forde (3:52 PM)
Sorry folks, got knocked offline. I'm back now for just a few more minutes.
Cubby (Daggett, MI)
Can Michigan State beat Carolina on the inside? Or will Hansbrough, Green and the crew be too much?
Pat Forde (3:54 PM)
Cubby: I think Michigan State can and will score inside. And outside. I don't think scoring will be the problem. The problem will be limiting Carolina's offense. I think the winner scores in the low 80s tonight.
Nick (Chicago, IL)
If MSU wins tonight, do you think Izzo will be the coach of the Spartans next season or will an NBA team finally get him to make the switch?
Pat Forde (3:55 PM)
Nick: I think he'll be the coach of the Spartans, yes.
Pat, how has ESPN failed to mention the DUI of Ty Lawson that essentially made this championship run for UNC possible?
Pat Forde (3:56 PM)
Gray: Dana O'Neil mentioned it in a story on Carolina not too long ago. So it's not like we've avoided the topic. If Carolina wins it all they can give the arresting officer a championship ring.
Pat, I didn't realize Michigan was the only state with economic difficulties. Can we quit with the "destiny" theme already. It's as bad as the "This is Sparta" stuff.
Pat Forde (3:58 PM)
Marc: Tom Izzo Sunday acknowledged that the tough times are not limited to Michigan. But it is pretty bad here, so it's a natural angle. No disrespect to everyone else who is struggling.
any chance state wins tonight
Pat Forde (4:00 PM)
Frank: Sure. I'd say even a 40 percent chance. I'm hoping for a great game. Enjoy it tonight, and then enjoy the off-season everyone.