Chat with Dick Vitale
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Dick Vitale stops by to chat some college basketball.
Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style.
Send your questions now and join Vitale Thursday at 11 a.m. ET!
Dick Vitale (11:05 AM)
I ma winding down from the game last night and now I am going to Madison to see #1 Ohio State on Saturday at 2 pm. What a great game down at Cameron Indoor Stadium last night. It was excitement galore as Duke came from behind to get to the winner's circle. Nolan Smith was the star of stars, while Seth Curry really stepped up and made big shots. The Tar Heels showed they can play with anyone and I was really impressed with Kendall Marshall. North Carolina is going to be a tough team come tournament time when they become more familiar with the creative passing skills of Marshall.
Andy (Washington, DC)
Other than UNC-Duke, what are the hottest rivalries in the country right now?
Dick Vitale (11:06 AM)
Louisville-Kentucky certainly is up there. Kansas-Missouri.
Dick Vitale (11:06 AM)
I think Purdue-Indiana will come back starting next year when the Hoosiers get Cody Zeller.
Who are your top four seeds right now?
Dick Vitale (11:07 AM)
Ohio State obviously. Texas, Kansas and then with Pittsburgh or Duke. Right this minute I give the slightest of edges to Duke.
Rick (Knights fan)
Can you believe Rutgers stunned Villanova? Why didn't Jay Wright foul at the end?
Dick Vitale (11:09 AM)
That has been a cry of mine for many years. Coaches believe in playing straight up defenses. I feel you send a kid to the line for two shots instead with five seconds left. There are two different schools of thought. If the ball by Mitchell did not go in, Wright would have been a hero. It turned into a nightmare for Villanova.
Matt V (Durham, NC)
Mr. Vitale can you please explain to the people the atmosphere at Cameron Indoor last night? Electric
Dick Vitale (11:11 AM)
CVery simple, intense. I am still unwinding from the incredible emotion. My wife, who is not a basketball afficiaando, said she was drained watching it. Cameron and Allen Field House are two old-school favorite venues like Wrigley Field and Fenway Park.
J. Sins (Washington, D.C.)
Do you think Georgetown has Final Four potential? Huge win last night at the Carrier Dome. Also, with Kemba Walker struggling in Big East play, does Austin Freeman have a legitimate shot at Big East P.O.Y.?
Dick Vitale (11:12 AM)
Still like Kemba Walker and give him the edge because nobody thought Connecticut would be this good. The Hoyas are coming on and are deeper than first thought. Freeman is having a super season for sure.
Dickie V! My Gators are on a good little run right now, but I still do not know what to expect from them on a nightly basis. How far do you think they can go in the Big Dance?
Dick Vitale (11:13 AM)
Florida had a good road win last night. Chandler Parsons is better than he knows he is, he is an outstanding college player. Florida has the potential to go to the Sweet 16. This team does not have a star but Billy Donovan has them playing well. Good wins over Vandy and Kentucky.
Kemba, what about Ben Hansborough for Big East player of the year, who has been getting it done in Big East play?
Dick Vitale (11:14 AM)
Hansborough has been very tough too. Notre Dame has been a big surprise as well.
Dicky V. baby!!! Love the attitude you bring to your telecasts! How far do you think vanderbilt can go in the ncaa's?
Dick Vitale (11:15 AM)
It depends on John Jenkins and Jeffery Taylor. I like Kevin Stallings' team. Jenkins can flat-out shoot. Taylor can defend and score with his athleticism. Vanderbilt will not be an easy team to beat. Give Tinsley and Ezeli some love too.
What are the Tigers' chances against UNC at Littlejohn this Saturday?
Dick Vitale (11:17 AM)
Clemson has been playing better and could be in the big dance. Give Brad Brownell some credit as he came in late. This is a resume building kind of game. With Carolina moving up in status, this is a big game for the Tigers.
Brock (Chatham, NC)
What a great rivalry game between UNC and Duke last night...my question is, did Harrison barnes hurt Kyle Singler's NBA draft stock last night? He basically shut him down and Barnes is the type of player who would be guarding Singler in the NBA.
Dick Vitale (11:18 AM)
No. People have seen him many times. Barnes did okay him tough defensively. Everyone looks at offense but Singler did a fantastic job defensively, denying Barnes the ball and remember Barnes had been very hot coming in.
marcus (madison wi)
please explain this to me, why is sullinger getting more hype than jj from purdue. is it because the buckeyes are undefeated? I feel jj is so much better all around.
Dick Vitale (11:20 AM)
Absolutely you give respect to a team unblemished and he is the anchor giving offensive and defensive efficiency. That does not take away from Johnson, who has been terrific and was among my elite eight players at midseason. I am looking forward to seeing Sullinger in person at Madison at 2 pm on ESPN Saturday...should be a good one.
Ryan (San Diego)
Is Steve Fisher the coach of the year?
Dick Vitale (11:21 AM)
He has to be considered as one of the candidates. There are a number of legit candidates. Guys like Thad Matta, Jim Calhoun, Mike Brey...i don't want to leave anyone out.
First of all Dickie V, I want to tell you how much I enjoy the enthusiasm you bring to the games, I love listening to you call a game. Now here is my question: If you could name one team outside of the top-15 who has a really good shot to get to the final four, who is it?
Dick Vitale (11:22 AM)
Georgetown is close to the top 15 right now...I would pick them. Keep a clear eye on them.
Tim Berg (lakewood ranch)
Did UCONN peak at the beginning of the season?
Dick Vitale (11:23 AM)
I just think they exceeded expectations. Good luck to my man Timmy, his young son. UConn has exceeded expectations and had some magical moments. The win over Kentucky was the largest margin of defeat in the Calipari era.
Have you gotten to watch much MVC play this year, and if so what is your take on Missouri State and the job Cuonzo Martin has done? Could they upset some people in the NCAA?
Dick Vitale (11:25 AM)
I am looking forward to calling their game next week. Can't wait to see Cuonzo Martin, a cancer survivor who was a very good player at Purdue. I think Missouri State has been in some close games lately but there is the potential to win a game or two in the tourney. The MVC tourney is not going to be easy. Valpo will be an interesting test.
John David (Lexington, KY)
Georgetown??? What about Kentucky? Sure they have trouble on the road, but let's be honest....any tournament game is pretty much a home game for any Kentucky team...we travel BABY!!!
Dick Vitale (11:27 AM)
Kentucky will be dangerous. Look at the Tennessee game and they should bottle that one. Liggins had 19, Harrallson had 16 and if those kids contribute with the three freshmen -- Jones, Knight and Lamb -- the 'Cats will be very dangerous.
How many Pac-10 teams will get into the tourney?
Dick Vitale (11:28 AM)
Three, Washington, Arizona and probably UCLA. Washington State could make a run too. It also depends on who wins the conference tournament. That Bruins win over St. John's helps a lot after SJU beat Duke.
How do you think the Panthers will fare this weekend at Nova? Without Gibbs we struggled Monday in the first half at WVU. With Nova coming off the shocking last second loss last night at the RAC, I think they will be very motivated.
Dick Vitale (11:29 AM)
The game is at the Pavilion and with Gameday there it will be bedlam. The chip on the shoulder will be obvious for Nova. Pittsburgh's loss of Gibbs is a blow and it will be tough, but they won against West Virginia on the road and this team can flat-out rebound. They should never be underestimated. It should be a great game.
Teddy Bear (Utah)
Jimmer Fredette as POY?
Dick Vitale (11:31 AM)
Right now yes, but the gap is being closed by Sullinger and Nolan Smith. With the exposure and keen competition in big moments, they can make it interesting. Nolan Smith scoredf 34 vs. UNC and that helps. Sullinger, if he has a big game, can see his stock go up and up. It looked like Kemba Walker was a lock earlier and now Fredette is the favorite.
Jon (Phila, PA)
Hello Mr. VitaleOne of your ESPN colleagues Pat Forde says that Louisville-Kentucky is the best rivalry in College Basketball, comparing their hatred for each other to Alabama-Auburn of College Football. Your Thoughts?
Dick Vitale (11:32 AM)
I still go with Duke-UNC. Louisville-Kentucky is great, especially with the new Pitino Palace...when will we see Calipari's castle.
Kemba Walker (Storrs, CT)
St. John's has beaten some really great teams at home this year. What are the chances that my Huskies go into MSG and come out with a W tonight?
Dick Vitale (11:36 AM)
I think that will be a great game. The Red Storm needs to bounce back after the loss to UCLA. Kemba Walker is back in NYC (from Rice HS) so he will be pumped up. Every night in the Big East is a war and Connecticut also remembers ehat happened against SJU in the Big East tourney last year.
What do you think of Utah State? Over or Under rated?
Dick Vitale (11:37 AM)
Road loss against Idaho last night but I have a lot of respect for Stew Morrill and his program. Wesley can flat out play up front and he doesn't get enough exposure. This team can win a game in the NCAA tournament.
Steve (Fairfax, VA)
How many ACC teams do you see dancing this year?
Dick Vitale (11:38 AM)
Five. Duke, UNC, Florida State and then two others between Maryland, Clemson, maybe even BC if the Eagles can make a run...there are a couple of others than can get hot too and make some noise. The committee is going to have an interesting time getting to those last few teams to make 37 at-large bids this season.
Whats the reason for Texas A&M sudden fall? How far do you see them going in the tourny?
Dick Vitale (11:39 AM)
The Aggies did win last night at Colorado, not an easy place to play. I don't know if the team has worn down physically but the Texas games were eye-openers compared to earlier in the season. I like the job Coach Turgeon has done and he is still a rising star.
james joyce (fairfax,va)
I can't believe no mention is made of ESPN blacking out one of the best games of the year. I'm 700 miles away They should be ashamed. The NCAA should black out ESPN
Dick Vitale (11:40 AM)
My friend, that is not ESPN's decision. The game is on local TV in the ACC markets because of a contract...don't just put the blame on us, baby! You saw Timmy B, iron unkind Tim Brando doing that game locally. They get to sit lower than we did, I think.
What has to happen for the Mizzou tigers to make the dance? Has a team ever lost every road game and gotten a bid?
Dick Vitale (11:41 AM)
I think Missouri will still make it. There have been a handful of losses but the Tigers are still one of the best 37 at-large teams if they don't win the Big 12 tournament.
What has happened to KSU and Frank Martin? He might have set program back 10 years
Dick Vitale (11:44 AM)
I don't think that is a fair statement. I think the kids have to take some of the responsibility. There has been a lack of leadership from the players and certainly there have been mistakes made. The whole Curtis Kelly situation is disappointing. I am sure Martin is not thrilled with the way the season has gone, and he is one part of the blame. By the way, the season is not over and Jacob Pullen and company have a few wins left in them. You did not ask that question last year, did you?
Dick Vitale (11:49 AM)
I really appreciate the time I have talking to all of the fans. I appreciate all of the questions. By the way, I know some people have talked about my comment about the winning programs and I know I made a mistake saying Kentucky and Carolina have the most wins. I know Kansas passed Carolina, so I want to make sure Rock, Chalk, Jayhawks knows I am aware. I would also like to dedicate this chat to eight-year old Jonathan Teis from Arkansas. he is battling brain cancer and in the fight of his life. He is on our thoughts and prayers and he is one reason wny I am so obsessed with pediatric cancer. You can help me raise one million dollars by going to dickvitale.online or you can purchase my new children's book there as my proceeds to to that million dollar goal. God bless Jonathan. See you next week.