Chat with Pat Forde
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com columnist Pat Forde stops by to chat some college basketball.
Among other things, Forde covers college football and basketball for ESPN and ESPN.com.
Send your questions now and join Forde Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Pat Forde (3:00 PM)
I'm here for the last chat before the best month of the year. Bring it!
Charlie (El Paso Tx)
Although UTEP finally cracked the top 25 this week, the Miners are being overlooked. Do you think they can do damage in the tourney?
Pat Forde (3:01 PM)
Charlie: I wrote a little bit in today's column about UTEP -- I like the team. Great balance, a good young coach, some inside heft with Caracter and some athleticism on the perimeter. Dangerous team, I'd say.
Chris (Stuck in class!)
Pat I was at the Vandy/UK this weekend and am still devastated after the lost. However, how good are the 'Dores? Legitimate Sweet 16 team?
Pat Forde (3:02 PM)
Chris: Pay attention to your professor, son. But yeah, I think Vandy MAY be able to make a Sweet Sixteen if the matchups are right. Still not a ton inside to go with AJ Ogilvy, but Kevin Stallings has upgraded the overall talent there.
should the cuse be ranked above purdue
Pat Forde (3:03 PM)
Vinnie: Don't know, don't care, neither should you. Rankings are worth belly-button lint at this stage; it's all about what seed you end up with. And that's very much within Syracuse's control -- win out and the Cuse is a No. 1 seed, no questions asked.
Hayden (Logan, Utah)
why isnt USU ranked?
Pat Forde (3:04 PM)
Hayden: Losses to Long Beach and New Mexico State, mostly. Nice win over BYU, but not enough in-conference competition. Utah State might be an at-large NCAA team, but probably not a TOp 25 team at this juncture.
Is Louisville NIT bound.
Pat Forde (3:06 PM)
Jim: Not as of today -- but the tourney isn't hashed out today. For now, Louisville is in, and if it beats Georgetown tonight that would help solidify the Cardinals' spot. But they need to win two of last four to feel secure.
Jim (NY, NY)
Is there any team that will likely be in the 13-16 seed range that we should try to see before the end of the year because they have a decent shot of pulling off a big 1st round upset?
Pat Forde (3:07 PM)
Jim: Yes, glad you asked. Murray State (26-3) is one to watch -- if the Racers win the Ohio Valley Conference. And though I'm pretty sure Cornell will be seeded better than that, keep an eye on the Big Red as a tough first-round matchup for someone.
POY is Wall or Turner?
Pat Forde (3:07 PM)
Brandon: Turner, by a slim margin. Fortunately, we don't have to vote today, because it's going to be down to the wire.
Jay Bilas thinks there are no great teams this year and last year's teams were much better. Do you agree with him?
Pat Forde (3:09 PM)
Brandon: I've found myself coming around to that line of thinking, yes. Last night Kansas played 20 very good minutes and then mailed in the program. Kentucky plays in spurts. Syracuse and Purdue are good but not unbeatable. Duke is flawed. I have rarely been dazzled by any of the teams; I do think the talent has temporarily dipped.
If Temple wins out, and wins A-10 tournament how high of a seed can they be come tourney time?
Pat Forde (3:11 PM)
Corey: That would put the Owls at 29-5, I believe, with a good non-conference schedule. I'd say that's a top-four seed in some region -- but the winning out part will be difficult.
Mike (Stamford, CT)
Is Uconn the best bubble team right now? What seed do you see them getting presuming they get in?
Pat Forde (3:12 PM)
Mike: After what I've seen of the Huskies the last three games, yeah. Definitely the most talented bubble team. What NCAA 5 seed would want to take on a 12 seed with Stanley Robinson and Kemba Walker?
Heather (New Jersey)
Do you think UNLV will make the NCAA tournament???
Pat Forde (3:13 PM)
Heather: Rebels are about as on-the-bubble as it gets right now, but I'd say temporarily in. Must win out rest of the regular season and avoid an early bad loss in MWC tourney, though.
Dave (Henderson, NV)
Just read the Minutes. You referred to UCLA and UNC this way: "We've never seen such simultaneous lousiness from what The Minutes believes are the top two programs in college basketball history."UNC and UCLA higher ranked than Kentucky? What gives?
Pat Forde (3:14 PM)
Dave: Yeah, I'd put Kentucky third, Kansas fourth, Indiana fifth. Close, but that's the way I'd parse it.
Tucson Sam (Kentucky)
What seed do you think Texas has dropped to in the NCAA Tournament?? Do you think they will be a threat?
Pat Forde (3:16 PM)
Sam: I'd guess Texas is roughly a 5 seed right now. Still talented, but a bit of a mess at this point. Poor cohesion and Rick Barnes has not done his best work with this bunch.
Pat, are the Boilers for real? And how deep do you think they can go in the tourney?
Pat Forde (3:17 PM)
Jared: I like everything about Purdue except its interior depth. Not much behind (or alongside) JaJuan Johnson. If/when it's time to go against a team with serious height and size (Kentucky with Cousins and Patterson or Kansas with Aldrich and the Morrises), that could be a problem. But that's a very good team otherwise.
jesse (houston texas)
Pat, I tried to write to your listed email (returned) about what I thought was some inappropriate media comments regarding Demarcus Cousins receiving bigoted phone calls. One was your use of the word allegedly and another was Brad Nessler or Jimmy Dykes saying Cousins should have kept that to himself. One, take a player at his word. Two, don't be afraid to out racism. I know Cousins can be a handful but the media harping on him is getting tasteless.
Pat Forde (3:19 PM)
Jesse: You're a bit all over the board here, but let me say this. I used the word allegedly because, hey, that's what DeMarcus Cousins alleged. I cannot say it was gospel truth because I didn't listen to his voice mail or see his texts. That's how it works in journalism; you don't take someone's word for everything that happened; you couch it in terms that put the responsibility on the source.
kent (st louis)
Pat what is your final four and who is your champion?
Pat Forde (3:20 PM)
Kent: Don't know, haven't seen the brackets!
Vinnie (Lawrence, KS)
Pat, the Jayhawks are playing extremely well right now yet Bill Self still keeps saying the team isn't playing at the level he would like. Do you think they have peaked or are we yet to see their true self?
Pat Forde (3:20 PM)
Vinnie: That team has not peaked. Not sure it will peak, but KU hasn't yet played 40 mights of lights-out basketball that I have seen.
Rob (Henderson, TN)
You talk about Miss. St. having the dirtiest fans in the SEC? Have you been there? Have you been to all the places in the SEC? Four, i repeat, only four bottles were thrown the other night by four idiots. Don't take it out on the whole university. How come you never mentioned how bad the calls were at the end of the game either?
Pat Forde (3:22 PM)
Rob: I have been to Mississippi State basketball games more than once. I have been to every school in the SEC, most of them multiple times. I have heard more foul things from Mississippi State fans than any other place I've ever been, period. And if you read the blog posts from the night of the Kentucky game, I did mention the calls that went Kentucky's way.
If Kentucky wins it all this year, do they surpass UNC - in your book - as the number two 'greatest program?'
Pat Forde (3:23 PM)
Will: Very possible. I'd have re-examine.
Brett Esterson (West Hartford, CT)
Realistically, what seed will the Terps end up and how far do you see them going this year (Sweet 16 maybe)? They have a much better team than expected but still haven't beaten anyone.
Pat Forde (3:25 PM)
Brett: Maryland hasn't beaten anyone but Florida State and Georgia Tech -- but hasn't lost to anyone really bad, either. A home win over Duke would really help seeding. Love Vasquez and some of the surrounding cast, but I think they need some breaks to make the Sweet 16.
Do you believe that Rick Pitino has lost his mojo as a coach? We all know he loathes kentucky.
Pat Forde (3:26 PM)
Travis: Not sure what one has to do with the other, but ... Has he lost his mojo? Well, it's been almost a year since he had Louisville ranked No. 1 in the country for the first time in school history, and earning the overall No. 1 seed, so I'm going to say he has not completely lost it in 11 months.
Leigh Anne (Lexington)
Cards or Hoyas tonite?
Pat Forde (3:27 PM)
Leigh Anne: Think it comes down to whether homecourt holds say and which star soph plays best -- Samuels or Monroe. I'd make Louisville the tepid favorite.
Marcos (New Mexico )
Do you think UNM is for real? Can they beat BYU on sat?
Pat Forde (3:28 PM)
Marcos: UNM is pretty good, but nearly losing at home to Air Force over the weekend was a bit of an eyebrow-raiser. And winning at BYU? Nobody's done that in more than a year. I'll take the Cougars in that one.
Mark (utica, ny)
in your professional opinion....where do you think is the 3 toughest places for an opponent to play?
Pat Forde (3:30 PM)
Mark: Good question. I'd say it varies from year to year, but in general I would not want to play in the Phog, in Rupp or in Cameron Indoor.
John Student of Xavier (Brockman)
Pat Xavier has one of the better players in the country in Jordan Crawford, the type that could carry you in March. Any chance you see Xavier going to sweet 16 this year they have been playing well of late.
Pat Forde (3:32 PM)
John: Xavier is on yet another late-season roll (road debacle at Dayton notwithstanding). Chris Mack has done a very nice job as a rookie head coach. As for Crawford: I would like to see a little more discipline from him sometimes. Not sure hitching the wagon to him is best for the team as a whole.
In your opinion, does Kentucky have the nerves and the experience to make it to the Final Four?
Pat Forde (3:33 PM)
Bill: Kentucky's nerve has been exceptional this season -- won a lot of close games in the late going. I know that defies the Cats' experience level, but the proof is in the record. March is a different deal, but I see a team that has played very well when the chips are down. So, yeah, I can see Kentucky in the Final Four.
Terry (the 'Burgh)
Good column in today's Post-Gazette that Pitt is one of the top-3 most reliable programs over the past decade (behind only Kansas and Duke). Do you think Pitt is now an uber-elite program? If not, what's missing from their resume? (i.e, maybe no Final Fours since WW2)?
Pat Forde (3:34 PM)
Terry: That's exactly what's missing. Get to a Final Four and you can start talking about elite status. Until then, Pitt is just an admirably consistent program. Nothing at all wrong with that, but it's short of elite.
How far do you think Duke gets this year, considering they only really get production by 3 guys.
Pat Forde (3:36 PM)
Amy: I'd have to see the bracket, but I remain at least a mild Duke doubter based on past performance. Duke has been bounced much earlier than its seeding several years in a row now. I know this team is more experienced and deeper inside, but I'm in show-me mode.
Realistic to think this is the best year for Zags to reach final 4 due to watered NCAA's this year?
Pat Forde (3:38 PM)
Nate: Well, that's one way of looking at it. But this isn't the most talented/experienced Gonzaga team in recent years and the Zags have not made it yet. I'd say that's doubtful, but who knows?
Pat, what do you think of the Buckeyes, with only playing 6 people do you think they can make a deep run in March?
Pat Forde (3:39 PM)
Nick: I'd say lack of bench is an issue with Ohio State, and that won't be getting any better as the season wears one. Don't like playing four guys essentially all game, every game. Even if they're four pretty darned good players.
Logan (Kansas City)
How far does Kansas State get in the tourney this year? Is there any chance that the Wildcats from Kansas win it all?
Pat Forde (3:40 PM)
Logan: Gary Parrish put it pretty well when we were walking out of Bramlage after the KU-Kansas State game. He said we may well look up on the Sunday of the regional round and see K State playing someone for the chance to go to the Final Four. Some breaks will be needed, but K State is legitimately good. Dynamic backcourt, athletic frontcourt, disruptive defensively.
Can the minutes dunk a basketball?
Pat Forde (3:41 PM)
Lex: Once upon a time, but that was 20 pounds ago.
it seems at this point that my under-achieving flyers have to win out at home and beat either temple or richmond on the road to get a bid. do you see it happening?
Pat Forde (3:43 PM)
Luke: I don't know. I thought the loss at Duquesne was pretty damaging, but there are potential quality wins ahead. Get one of those road wins and the Flyers are probably in pending A-10 tournament.
Best program never to win a title? I have to go with the Illini unfortunately... 5 Final Fours, loads of Big Ten titles, no NC.
Pat Forde (3:44 PM)
Tom: I'd agree with you.
Shawn (GAEL NATION)
St Mary's in or out.
Pat Forde (3:45 PM)
Shawn: Probably out -- but ahead of Utah State on the standby list, given the head-to-head win in Logan.
Matt (Bethlehem, PA)
Pat, It doesn't seem to this point in the season there have been a ton of memorable games. What is your game of the year so far?
Pat Forde (3:46 PM)
Matt: Good question. Probably KU-Kansas State or Xavier-Cincinnati (double OT). I'm sure I'm forgetting some.
How many games does Kansas have to lose for UK to get to the St. Louis region?
Pat Forde (3:47 PM)
Kacey: Good question, because both the Jayhawks and Wildcats would like to end up there for fan purposes. The overall No. 1 seed is likely to be one of those two and get that spot. If Kentucky wins out and KU loses even once, that might be enough to put the Wildcats in St. Louie. It'll be a close and interesting call for the committee.
Carter (Dallas, TX)
If you had to pick a team from the Big 12, ACC, and Big East who will be a mid range seed and make a surprising run in the tournament, who would they be?
Pat Forde (3:48 PM)
Carter: I'd say watch out for Baylor from the Big 12; maybe Va Tech from ACC; and UConn if it gets in from the Big East.
How many SEC teams do you think will make the tournament?
Pat Forde (3:50 PM)
BBDK: Right now I'd say four: Kentucky, Tennessee, Vandy and Florida. With the Gators on the right side of the bubble by just a little bit. Mississippi State needed that win over Kentucky last week.
Marquette has certainly overachieved all year. What are their chances of overachieving in the tourney and getting to the second weekend?
Pat Forde (3:50 PM)
Steve: All I'd count on for sure with Marquette are close games. Seems to be about all the Golden Eagles play.
Pat, me thinks Memphis must win the CUSA to make it. What say ye?
Pat Forde (3:51 PM)
Chris: Me thinks you think correctly.
Pat- you mentioned that the winner of BYU-NM will get the 4th seed in a weakened west this year. Do you really think they would give BYU a 4th seed when the regionals are in SLC? That would be giving a good advantage to a 4th seed if they make it to the second weekend.
Pat Forde (3:52 PM)
Steve: I know, that would certainly be a point of discussion for the committee. They do try to give regional preference to the top 16 seeds, though.
Do you feel that the tournament field should be expanded in order to accomodate all of the talented mid-major teams that don't have a shot at making the field of 65 unless they win their conference tournament?
Pat Forde (3:53 PM)
Dan: I don't think the tournament field should be expanded for any reason, no matter what.
Pat: What's your thought on ALL of the conference tournaments being done on by Saturday night so the Committee has ALL the info they need to put together the bracket on Sunday. Seems those confereneces playing their championship on Selection Sunday aren't getting any benefit/love from the NCAA Committee. Thoughts?
Pat Forde (3:54 PM)
Steve: I would be in favor of that. The TV networks that really want college basketball programming that day would not.
Pat,As a fellow Coloradoan, I have to ask what compelled you to become a Tiger and not a Buff?
Pat Forde (3:54 PM)
Sam: The Mizzou journalism school. Best in the country.
Neil (Houston, TX)
CAN YOU PLEASE JUST ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE PAC-10 IS STILL IN BUSINESS?
Pat Forde (3:55 PM)
Neil: AND BUSINESS IS TERRIBLE.
michigan state has some issues right now. what seed do you see them at come march?
Pat Forde (3:56 PM)
Michael: I have been a bit perplexed by Sparty. Expected more, surprised by the homecourt losses -- even though they have come against good teams. I still have to believe Izzo gets them ready for a run in March, but we'll see.
Jim (South Bend)
What's a tough but fair expectation for the ND hoops program. Is Brey achieving them?
Pat Forde (3:58 PM)
Jim: I like Mike Brey and think he's done a very good job bringing Notre Dame back to respectability while doing his job within the rules. But I do expect a little more out of ND than I've seen in recent years. Program seems to have plateaued a bit short of its potential.
Fred (Springfield, IL)
Why does the Final Four have to be in Indianapolis every 5 years? Is Indy that great of a place? If your going to have it at a particular site every 5 years why not Detroit, they greatest city in the world?
Pat Forde (3:59 PM)
Fred: Yeah, Detroit. As for Indy: it's not a great city, but it's a great big-event sports city. The downtown is well-suited for hosting a lot of people who can walk to venues and restaurants and hotels, etc. The facilities are tremendous. And the geographic location makes it attractive to people from all corners of the country.
How deep do you think Mizzou can go in the tourney
Pat Forde (4:01 PM)
Matt: Mizzou is a matchup nightmare for just about anyone, especially on a quick turnaround ... But the Tigers lost a lot inside from last year and have a tendency to keep both teams in the game. Little shaky with the late-game execution.
Pat Forde (4:01 PM)
That's it for this week, folks. More than 1,000 questions in, got to as many as I could. Thanks for dropping by, see you next week.