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 (11:03 AM)
What an exciting week with games Duke-UNC, Ohio State-Wisconsin and Ohio State-Michigan State. I am looking forward to doing my first Bracket Busters game with Missouri State and Valpo. It should be a lot of fun. I hope that people enter the contest sponsored by Sunkist, where they can win $10,000 each week for great catchphrases. I did a media tour yesterday and it was fun. Just spoke to Homer Drew and Cuonzo Martin. I will lay out my all-mid major and bracket buster teams, so watch, baby!
Ohio State number one? How about some love for my Panthers, baby!
Dick Vitale (11:05 AM)
Pittsburgh is certainly a contender. Jamie Dixon's team is right there with Texas and Ohio State. Kansas has to bounce back after its poor showing against Kansas State. Duke is in the hunt too. There is quite a battle for the four number one seeds.
David Lighty and William Buford are a dynamic duo in Columbus Baby! Neither of them are getting much hype, whats up with that?
Dick Vitale (11:06 AM)
Both are exciting veteran wing players and I sang their praises during the entire game the other night. They will be vital players for Thad Matta's team as they make a run for the Final Four.
Did you catch UConn's win yesterday?
Dick Vitale (11:07 AM)
That was a solid win because Georgetown ahs been as hot as anyone and now the Huskies go to Louisville and Pitino's team will be angry; the Cardinals don't lose two in a row very often. Kemba Walker had a big game and a guy coming on is Jamaal Coombs-McDaniel.
Any chance the youre going to come call the game between George Mason and UNI?
Dick Vitale (11:08 AM)
I will be at Missouri State-Valpo.
My man, first of all I am a huge fan. I would like to know what your thoughts are on where the Tar Heels will be next year if Barnes and co. come back for another season? Final 4?
Dick Vitale (11:09 AM)
I think Roy Williams is concerned about this season, not next season.
Collyn Wall (Kansas State University)
What did you think of Kansas States upset win over Kansas? And about Jacob Pullens performance?
Dick Vitale (11:10 AM)
It was surprising and Kansas State needed that performance. They have talent and they finally showed why they were #3 in the preseason. Pullen showed why he was preseason All-America with 38. Kansas won so easily the first time they met, so give Frank Martin's team a lot of credit but now they must be consistent.
Alex (Los Angeles)
Ben Howland deserves a lot of credit...nationally people have not talked enough about UCLA...thoughts?
Dick Vitale (11:12 AM)
The Bruins are coming on strong with five straight wins into tonight. They are making a run at Arizona for the Pac-10 championship. Reeves Nelson has had a great season and Tyler Honeycutt was a big factor rceently blocking shots. This team will not be easy in the big dance.
Wesley (New York City)
Hey Dickie V, other than Sullinger there's a lack of dominant big men this year. Any chance you could see Sullinger joined on the All-American 1st Team by 4 guards: Fredette (BYU), Smith (Duke), Taylor (Wisconsin), and Walker (Connecticut)? Aren't those the 5 most deserving players (so far)? If there needs to be another "big" represented, who would it be and which guard would get the bump?
Dick Vitale (11:13 AM)
Very interesting point and there will be scrutiny over the All-America team. Taylor is making a legit run and maybe you can go with three guards. JaJuan Johnson of Purdue and Kyle Singler of Duke could be in the running as well, also Jordan Williams of Maryland.
How crazy is the Big East and will these teams be hurt in the big dance because they beat each other up in the regular season?
Dick Vitale (11:15 AM)
I think that is overrated. It toughens you and gives you a competitive edge going against that schedule. I think it is a cop out when people criticize them when they lose in the tourney...teams are going to lose. You are not going to have 10 teams in the field and all of them advance...
Right now if you could pick the most interesting title game matchup who would you want in it?
Dick Vitale (11:15 AM)
Texas and Ohio State. Thompson and Sullinger. Hamilton and Buford.
How about the job Sean Miller is doing at Arizona? And how about Derrick Williams as a 1st-team All-American big man?
Dick Vitale (11:17 AM)
Derrick Williams has a shot and should be in the running too. Miller is a little bit ahead of schedule is getting it back to big-time status and Williams is certainly a catalyst for the Wildcats.
Do my noles get in the NCAA tourney with a 10-6 conf record?
Dick Vitale (11:18 AM)
Yes. The loss of Singleton is a blow but I think when you look at the overall body of work, yes. As long as they don't totally collapse and they have some games they should win. You cannot penalize the whole team with Singleton's injury.
Chris (Lexington, KY)
If the Big East is so good, why don't they win a lot more NCAA titles?
Dick Vitale (11:19 AM)
You also have to credit the fact that Duke and North Carolina have had some dominant teams. In a one game shot, it doesn't do anything with the conference. Connecticut and Syracuse have won in recent years. Are you trying tio tell me the league is not tough from top to bottom? Come on, try playing in it.
I realize you will take heat for agreeing, but how do people overlook the job Coach K has done this season? All summer long he prepped his team to play a certain style with Irving and has had to remake this squad (like last year) to play in an entirely different way. The guy is the best...period.
Dick Vitale (11:21 AM)
I don't think anyone overlooks the job he has done. I think some take it forgranted because they expect so much. He is the foremost coach in America, has a winner's mentality and he gets the most of his players. The play with a special sense of pride over the jersey they wear. He has done a special job when you look at the loss of Kyrie Irving.
Chris (Richmond, VA)
Is there a Midmajor conference that sends 2 or more teams this year? I think the CAA has 2 legit teams to send to the expanded field.
Dick Vitale (11:22 AM)
Yes, George Mason belongs and the league has had quality wins. Even if Jim Larranaga's team loses int he conference tournament it belongs, That was an impressive win over VCU the other night.
Lon Kruger (Colorado State)
Does UNLV make the Dance? Can they make some noise?
Dick Vitale (11:23 AM)
The Rebels will be in unless there is a disaster. Wins over Wisconsin, Virginia Tech and Kansas State helps the resume. The Mountain West is very tough and that team deserves to be in. If there are 67 teams better than them, we should have one incredible tournament.
will(miami) [via mobile]
how about the florida gators?
Dick Vitale (11:25 AM)
Billy Donovan's team has balance. The Gators have won a lot of tough games because of experience and versatility and that should help them in the tourney. Wins over Kentucky and Tennessee should help them. Parsons, when healthy, gives the Gators help in a lot of areas.
What happened to Georgia Tech? Shouldn't this team be a lot better?
Dick Vitale (11:26 AM)
Look at some of their scores and you wonder. With Rice and Shumpert there is talent though the loss of Oliver has hurt. This is a team that beat Carolina by 20 and played Syracuse tough but it has been an up-and-down team. I have been surprised by some of their results.
Rob (Springfield, MO)
Dick -- you are going to call the MO St @ Valpo game on Bracketbuster Saturday. What "dandy" things are you looking forward to in this match-up?
Dick Vitale (11:27 AM)
Kyle Weems and Brandon Wood are two players thta don't get exposure but should get some ink. Both teams use thre 3 effectively and it should be a great environment. Homer Drew told me there are all sorts of surprises for me so I am on pins and needles wondering. It should be exciting, 5 pm ET, baby!
Hey Dickie V, how about some love for Fairfield? Clinched first outright regular season title in 25 years.
Dick Vitale (11:28 AM)
Fairfield has been a good story and coach Cooley has done a nice job. We will see how things go in the conference tournament.
What are your thoughts on Belmont? Potential sleeper?
Dick Vitale (11:29 AM)
Yes, and Rick Byrd's team can be a dangerous first-round opponent. This is a team that has already played some good teams tough.
Eric (Chicago, IL)
Dicky V!! Nobody ever speaks about Xavier! All this team has done is make it to three sweet 16(s) each of the last three years and two elite 8(s) since 2004, along with dominating the A-10. After exceeding expectations this year with the losses of Jordan Crawford and Jason Love, where do you see this year's X-cellent Xavier Team heading?
Dick Vitale (11:33 AM)
Xavier is in a tough league but has done a nice job, especially last week against Duquesne. Tu Holloway has been outstanding and he was my player of the week one week. I give Chris Mack a lot of credit and this is another team that could win a couple of games in the big dance and make it to the Sweet 16. There is a lot of balance all over America and it will come down to which team gets hot at the right time.
What is more important-our 4 good wins our our 4 bad losses? I would think a team that has that many bad losses should get jumped by a team that does not have the opportunity to pick up big wins b/c noone will play them?
Dick Vitale (11:34 AM)
I think the good wins are a little more important when judging a resume. I think the Vols still have a little work to do but the talent is there and I feel they will be in the dance and again, Pearl has had success in the tourney; just look at last year, oh so close to the Final Four. Point guard play will be important for Tennessee to advance.
can Purdue make it to the final four this year? Do you think they will be able to "fly under the radar"?
Dick Vitale (11:36 AM)
If Robbue Hummel was there I would say no brainer. That was a great win over a tough Wisconsin squad at Purdue last night. The duo of JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore have been solid, but to go far in the tourney I feel Matt Painter needs a more consistent third option, whether it is Jackson, Byrd or someone else, they cannot have too much pressure on Johnson and Moore, a real dynamic duo.
We all know the ACC is down compared to years past, but how many teams do you believe are going to make it in?
Dick Vitale (11:37 AM)
I still feel the ACC could have as many as five teams in the field. Duke and Carolina are locks, then between Virginia Tech, Clemson, Florida State...and if someone else gets hot, we will see. Maryland has a pretty favorable down the stretch and could get into the picture too. Gary Williams' club has faced a number of tough teams non-league.
Mr. Vitale, who do you think are the front runners/favorites to cut the down the nets this year in Houston, Texas? Who are some darkhorses? Do you see any team outside the top five in the polls getting a potential one seed? Thank you from a diehard Tarheel Fan!!!
Dick Vitale (11:39 AM)
Right now I would go with Ohio State, Texas, Pittsburgh and Duke as my Final Four but Kansas is certainly right there. A team like San Diego State can be dangerous. The way this season has done, don't be shocked if someone comes up as a lower seed and makes a serious run.
How far do you see Kentucky going this year?
Dick Vitale (11:40 AM)
John Calipari's team will not be an easy out. It comes down to the veterans like Liggins, Miller and Harrallson coming through to help out Jones, Knight and Lamb in the productivity on offense.
Did Cincy just get in the tournament last night?
Dick Vitale (11:41 AM)
The win over Louisville certainly helped. It will be interesting to see how many Big East teams get in. My guess is nine or 10 right now. I know some people say 11.
Dick Vitale (11:45 AM)
It has been a great week for college basketball. There has been so much excitement and a lot of great games. Now I am going to see the heart and soul of college hoops, going to Valparaiso, Indiana for the Bracket Busters and these kids can play, baby! These are quality teams and their leagues have proven they can compete in the NCAA tournament. I am excited to be going there. I just want to also dedicate this chat to little Johnny, my eight-year old buddy from Arkansas who is battling brain cancer. God Bless you Johnny, I am thinking about you every day. If you want to help out in the fight against cancer, you can go to dickvitaleonline.com and learn how to make a donation as I try to raise a million for cancer reearch. You can also buy my new book for youngsters on-line as my proceeds go to the fight against cancer. I hope you will be watching my game Saturday at 5 pm in Bracket Busters. Talk to you again next Thursday.