Chat with Pat Forde
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com columnist Pat Forde stops by to chat some college basketball. He writes his weekly "Forde Minutes" during the season.
Among other things, Forde covers college football and basketball for ESPN and ESPN.com.
Send your questions now and join Forde Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Pat Forde (2:07 PM)
Hey folks, I'm here. Some travel issues -- but nothing compared to a lot of the country -- getting to Texas. Let's chat!
Brad (San Jose)
Forde - what school has the best combination of football and basketball programs?
Pat Forde (2:08 PM)
Brad: Good question -- it tends to change year by year. But over the past decade it's tough to beat Florida (national titles, multiple, in both). Texas has been very good as well.
Andy (Washington, DC)
What do K-state and Baylor need to do to make the tournament?
Pat Forde (2:10 PM)
Andy: A lot. K-State has at least played a tough schedule -- but hasn't won enough games. At 2-5 in the Big 12, they're in trouble. Baylor lacks both the wins and the schedule strength. Both teams have plenty of games left against marquee opponents, though, so they could pick up some quality wins down the stretch.
Who has been the most consistant SEC team this season?
Pat Forde (2:11 PM)
Vince: Kentucky. Wildcats haven't been great away from home, but they have no truly bad losses like virtually everyone else in the league.
What bracketbuster game are you most excited to see?
Pat Forde (2:12 PM)
Dave: Utah State-Saint Mary's. I love watching the Gaels, especially guard Mickey McConnell. And I want to see if Utah State is for real -- nice record, but no big-time wins right now.
P-40, just was browsing through the standings looking for a question to ask... what happened to Cornell?? Did they lose everyone?
Pat Forde (2:12 PM)
Steve: Yes. Coach included.
What game with Ohio St lose?
Pat Forde (2:13 PM)
Donny: I think Ohio State will lose two of the five in the stretch coming up between Feb. 6 and Feb. 22. That's at Minnesota, at Wisconsin, Michigan State, at Purdue and Illinois.
Penn State has a big chance to get another big win tonight at Illinois do you see them pulling off another upset?
Pat Forde (2:14 PM)
Trent: It'll be tough on the road. Penn State has really stepped it up this year, but I hear the team's travel to Illinois has been a debacle -- landed in Evansville, busing to Champaign, and at least half of that will not be interstate driving. So we'll see what kind of shape they're in come tipoff.
Steve (Rochester, NY)
Hi Pat: Does Maryland have to win against Duke tomorrow to be seriously considered for an at-large bid? If they lose, does 10-6 in the ACC cut it? Do their strong tempo-free stats help?
Pat Forde (2:16 PM)
Steve: I don't think tempo-free stats will get a lot of play with the selection committee. I'd say once again, the game with Duke will be huge for the Terps in terms of getting in the tournament. Maryland has a lot of work to do, but that's a good place to start.
Pat: Is Syracuse looking at a Texas-sized collapse here? They've looked pretty bad as of late.
Pat Forde (2:17 PM)
JB: Yes it has. Cuse is one loss away from the longest losing streak of Jim Boeheim's tenure, so I'd say that's a legitimate warning sign. Striking thing to me has been how vulnerable the zone has been.
Any games cancelled yet due to weather that you are aware of?
Pat Forde (2:18 PM)
Nate: I think Baylor-Oklahoma has been postponed. That's all I know for sure, but I just got off a plane and busted it to my hotel. Not very plugged in just yet.
The St Johns blowout of Duke..Fluke or cause for alarm in Durham?
Pat Forde (2:19 PM)
Dave: Some of both. St. John's is pretty good, and that was a classic Lavin win -- he's made a career out of poaching just enough big skins to keep everyone excited. Duke will certainly play harder from here on out -- I listened to K's postgame, and he was livid with the effort -- but that team has probably overachieved since Irving got hurt. Might be coming back to earth. However, the ACC is notably uninspiring at this point.
Seth Greenberg (Blacksburg)
How many more Ws do I need to rest easy on Selection Sunday?
Pat Forde (2:22 PM)
Seth: It just wouldn't be a bubble watch without you, my man. Losing to Georgia Tech and UVA (the latter in Blacksburg) does not help. Like Maryland, put a circle around the Duke game (Feb. 26), then be prepared to fight it out in the ACC tourney to secure a bid.
Ohio State doesn't have the best combination of football/basketball programs? #1 this year in basketball, annually top 5 in football. Agree?
Pat Forde (2:22 PM)
Bill: This year, I'd say Ohio State is the winner.
When it all shakes out ... who are the #1 seeds ?
Pat Forde (2:23 PM)
Rico: Total guesswork here, with six weeks to go, but I'll go with this: Texas, Kansas, Big East champion, Ohio State. But watch out for Kentucky if it makes a run and one of those four stumbles.
Let's say (without naming the program) that a team currently 12-8 with some wins over ranked opponents goes 6-3 over its final nine regular season games then goes 2-1 in its conference tournament. Would you say said team has earned a right to play in the NCAA Tournament?
Pat Forde (2:24 PM)
JB: I'd probably put Penn State in under those circumstances.
Texas seems to have a great team this year and is firing on all cylinders, with a lot of very talented players but is Dogus Balbay the key to to this team?
Pat Forde (2:25 PM)
Ryan: He might be. Really sets the tone in terms of sharing the basketball and his effort never wavers. Those are good examples for J'Covan Brown and Jordan Hamilton to follow -- and they do seem to be following.
John: (Long Island, NY) [via mobile]
With the recent struggles a top the big east, who do you see as the strongest team, as well as who will win the conference?
Pat Forde (2:26 PM)
John: I wrote a bit about that in the Minutes today (which should be posted by now, I hope). Just spitballing, but I could see Notre Dame and Villanova a half-game ahead of Pitt and Louisville going into March. With Georgetown right behind. Quite a taffy pull at the top of that league. And the middle.
When all is said and done will the Tigers make the dance seeing there record will be around 500 in the Big 12?
Pat Forde (2:27 PM)
Mike: Mizzou will be in the dance, I have very little doubt.
Coach of the year? Barnes? Matta losing NPOY? Calhoun?
Pat Forde (2:28 PM)
Julio: I did video on that with my column for today and had 10 candidates: Painter, K, Barnes, Self, Pitino, Calhoun, Brey, Randy Bennett, Steve Fisher, Ron Everhart of Duquesne. If I had it to re-tape right now, I'd probably sub in Matta for K.
Thad (St. Louis)
Who are some PAC-10 teams other than Washington who could make a deep tournament run?
Pat Forde (2:29 PM)
Thad: None. Arizona is the only other team that has caught my eye from the Pac-10, and I still don't see a lot of quality wins from the Wildcats. But they do have the league's best player in Derrick Williams.
NPOY is the Jimmers to lose right ?
Pat Forde (2:30 PM)
Julio: For the moment, yes. But Sullinger and Kemba still in the mix, and someone else may jump into the picture over the next month.
Matt (Bethlehem, pa)
Pat, Every year a team from the MVC seems to make a Sweet 16 run. Who do you think has the best chance this season?
Pat Forde (2:31 PM)
Matt: Maybe the team that made the run last year, Northern Iowa. Panthers started 1-3 in MVC play but have won seven straight, including a win at Missouri State over the weekend. Love Ben Jacobson, and he still has a core of solid veterans from last year's team.
Pat Forde (2:31 PM)
Matt: But also, keep an eye on Wichita State.
Is it fair to be skeptical of Texas' chances in the NCAAs because of Rick Barnes? Has he ever made even a Final Four?
Pat Forde (2:32 PM)
Mike: Made the 2003 Final Four with T.J. Ford. I've not been a Barnes believer when it comes to coaching, but I've been impressed by his work this year.
Matt (Denton, TX)
Who is the better team right now Texas or Kansas?
Pat Forde (2:33 PM)
Matt: I'll take Texas.
Brad (Columbus, OH)
Forde - besides Jimmer...who would you take to shoot a last second three pointer to win it all?
Pat Forde (2:34 PM)
Brad: Kemba. He's done some clutch shooting this year.
My Boilers got SMACKED by tOSU. What happened? It was embarrasing. Just the perfect storm?
Pat Forde (2:34 PM)
Harvey: Some perfect storm elements to it, no doubt, but I also think Purdue had been playing well over its head without Hummel. That was exposed by the talent of the Buckeyes.
Daniel (Clemson SC)
Pat, Clemson is 10-2 in our last 12 and coming off a big win over FSU. We have similar computer profiles to VT and Maryland, yet we still get no love. Whats it gonna take to get us into the tournament?
Pat Forde (2:36 PM)
Daniel: Said in today's Minutes that Clemson could be the team to watch down the stretch in the ACC. Could be favored in all seven February games.
Is there a team out there in one of the mid-majors that you can see having a mediocre regular-season record but winning an automatic bid by taking its conference's tournament?
Pat Forde (2:37 PM)
JB: We usually have a couple of those. I could see Butler in that role, for one.
Do you still consider Nova a final 4 contender?
Pat Forde (2:39 PM)
Tom: Yes. I think there are probably at least four Final Four contenders from the Big East. By far the best league in the country.
Todd (Flint, MI)
who needs a win more Florida or Vandy?
Pat Forde (2:40 PM)
Todd: Since it's at home, I'll say Florida. Can't drop home games when you're fighting for an NCAA bid.
Tyler (Southern Arkansas)
Hey Pat. Looking at where the Arkansas Razorbacks are at this season i think Pelphrey will keep his job. Lets say they win out the Home games or maybe pick up a road win or two. Finish with around 22 wins going into the SEC tourny. Will they still need to win the conference tournament just to make "The Dance"?
Pat Forde (2:42 PM)
Tyler: At this point Arkansas definitely needs to win the conference tourney to make the Dance. And I think Pelphrey will get another year, largely because he's got a huge recruiting class coming in.
Who does Sullinger remind you of ... Kevin Love or Sean May?
Pat Forde (2:43 PM)
Walter: Both are good comparisons. Not sure he has the incredible outlet passing ability of Love, though.
Really, UCONN isn't one of the 5 best teams in the BE and Calhoun isn't the COY?? Did he yell at you once or something? They were expected to be 10th in the BE and out of the NCAA. They are playing almost all freshman except Kemba and Oriahki... if he's not he COY, I'm not sure what the award is for.
Pat Forde (2:44 PM)
Mark: It's Feb. 1, nobody's coach of the year yet. He's on my list of 10. But I'm waiting to see whether that team can keep playing at this level -- part of me suspects it will not. He's got plenty of COY competition, some in his own league, one of whom beat him in Storrs Saturday.
Phillip (Iowa City)
Who are some freshman that have impressed you most not named sullinger?
Pat Forde (2:45 PM)
Phillip: Craft. Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight and Doron Lamb at Kentucky. Barnes is starting to come on. Was in love with Irving before he got hurt. Joe Jackson at Memphis is crazy fast with the ball. Tobias Harris. Etc.
Pat Forde (2:45 PM)
OK folks, I've got to cut it short. Meeting up with Mack Brown in a bit at Texas and don't want to be late. Thanks for the questions, talk to you again next week.