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 2 p.m. ET!
Pat Forde (2:00 PM)
Happy mid-Madness, everyone. Down to 16 teams remaining, and it was a big mess of fun getting to this point. Let's get to the questions...
Napa know how is the greatest commercial ever?
Pat Forde (2:01 PM)
Yagel: Certainly the most bizarrely mesmerizing. I think it has taken over my life.
What comes to mind first when reviewing the opening games in Tulsa?
Pat Forde (2:02 PM)
Jorge: A couple things. First, great venue and they host committee did an excellent job. Second, Arizona had two crazily dramatic games. Third, Jim Burr has had contact with too many controversial endings for my taste. Fourth, Kansas came away from Tulsa the biggest winner in the tourney -- not for what it did there, but for what its regional competition failed to do. Namely, advance.
Alex (South Carolina)
Your revised Elite 8, Final Four, and NC predictions, please.
Pat Forde (2:04 PM)
Alex: Well, they sure need revision after the ND swan dive. Elite eight: Ohio State, Carolina, Duke, SDSU, KU, VCU, Butler, Florida. For the Final Four, I'll stay with Ohio State and Duke, then add Kansas and, what the heck, Butler. Title game is Ohio State-Kansas, and the Buckeyes win.
Nick (Henderson, KY)
Wildcats need to _____________________ to win against the Ohio State University.
Pat Forde (2:05 PM)
Nick: Be able to cover Jared Sullinger one-on-one in the post without Josh Harrellson fouling out. Too dangerous to double him because he's a very good passer surrounded by great shooters. So Harrellson has to play the best game of his career defensively. He's had a monster tourney; see if he can step up.
This really seems to be the year of the underdog. Which double-digit seed will make it the farthest in the tournament?
Pat Forde (2:07 PM)
Jenn: Some great underdog stories this year, no doubt. I'll take VCU to the eight. But if you want another underdog, how about the Bulldogs again? Butler could make the Final Four for a second straight season. Or not.
Brett (Newport Beach)
Derrick Williams will need how many points and rebs for the Wildcats to defeat Duke?
Pat Forde (2:08 PM)
Brett: I'm guessing 25 and 10. Mostly what he needs is the supporting cast to play like it did against Texas and for MoMo Jones to return after an MIA performance in that game. Gonna be tough to put up 25 and 10 on Duke.
Tim (Charlotte, NC)
Irving didn't have much impact for Duke the first weekend, well he provide a much bigger boost this weekend?
Pat Forde (2:10 PM)
Tim: Well, he DID score 25 points in 41 minutes of play, including the winning basket against Michigan, so I'd say he had some impact. Actually, had more impact than I expected after three months off. With him back, Duke looks like a very viable challenger to repeat.
How does Kansas continue to sustain it's great success year in and year out? Even when they lose players to the NBA they come back the next year even stronger than ever.
Pat Forde (2:10 PM)
Trevor: Great recruiting, great coaching.
Andrew (Provo, UT)
Is the rematch of BYU-Florida the best game of the Sweet Sixteen? Why or why not?
Pat Forde (2:11 PM)
Andrew: I'd say Kentucky-Ohio State is the best game, but if BYU-Florida go double OT again that will be tough to top.
Pat, who do you see TN targeting for Pearl's old job? Will it be tough to bring in a big name considering the NCAA issues and the way the AD handled the last few weeks?
Pat Forde (2:13 PM)
Paul: I don't know for sure, but Shaka Smart has to be a very hot name right now. Question is, will he have better offers? As you mention, NCAA sanctions and an AD who either is going to be fired or should be fired does not help the program's marketability. Tricky time to be shopping for a good head coach. Donnie Tyndall at Morehead State might end up being worth a look if it gets to a second tier.
Max (San Diego/ Chico)
Besides containing Kemba, what is the key for the Aztecs to win Thursday night? And, who do you think will win?
Pat Forde (2:15 PM)
Max: Don't let Kemba's supporting cast go off. I tentatively like SDSU to win -- plenty of athletes, very good defensive team. If they can score enough aand think their way through the pressure situations well enough, think the Aztecs pull it off.
Pat- I think you picked the badgers to lose each of their past few games....thanks for picking them to lose again, its worked out pretty well for us so far! Other than that, what will the badgers need to do to beat Butler? Jordan should hopefully have a better offensive game this time around...
Pat Forde (2:19 PM)
Rose: You are correct, I am 0-2 when it comes to the Badgers in this tournament -- but I did pick them to beat Ohio State back in February. That has to count for something. 'Sconsin needs to keep Shelvin Mack from going ballistic and monitor Matt Howard inside as well. Butler will not mind playing a grinder, so style of play is not an inherent Wisconsin advantage in this one.
Who is the best defensive team still in the tournament?
Pat Forde (2:20 PM)
Dylan: If you go by Ken Pomeroy's figures, it's Florida State. So far kind of hard to disagree with that. San Diego State is second, followed by Duke.
Patrick (North Carolina)
Pat, Isn't it time for a circle under the basket to help the referees with the charge calls?
Pat Forde (2:21 PM)
Patrick: Absolutely. Been saying that for years.
Jon P (LA)
Who is this weekend's biggest underdog?
Pat Forde (2:21 PM)
Jon: Gotta be Richmond. Lowest remaining seed, facing a No. 1 in Kansas.
Who is the best offensive team in the tournament?
Pat Forde (2:22 PM)
Scott: Ohio State, by a solid margin. Pretty much a complete offensive team.
Ben (Santa Barbara)
Which team do you least trust in a one-point game with 30 seconds on the clock? Most trust?
Pat Forde (2:25 PM)
Ben: Very good question. Trust least: Kentucky really struggled in close games early but has done much better in that category late. Duke has been a little shaky in close games. Trust most: Recent history says to trust Butler, although it nearly yakked away the Pitt game. Florida has been great in close games this year. Kemba's clutchness makes UConn a factor.
Who are your top-5 historic basketball schools? This sweet 16 could very well contain them all... if you overlook UCLA of course
Pat Forde (2:26 PM)
Travis: Cannot overlook UCLA. Bruins, Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas, Duke. Probably in that order, but it's liquid.
Who is the MVP of the tourney so far?
Pat Forde (2:28 PM)
Davin: Jimmer or Kemba most likely, though Nolan Smith and Brandon Knight and the Morris twins have been great as well.
Has Roy Williams lost his edge? He's looked a little shakey in some of these games and almost never uses his timeouts in the first half to stop runs by the other team.
Pat Forde (2:29 PM)
Mark: Part of the Dean Smith Bible is hoarding your timeouts like canned food in a nuclear winter. He's done that ever since he got into coaching.
Do you think Wesley Witherspoon was fouled on the last play of the Memphis-Arizona gam?
Pat Forde (2:29 PM)
Josh: Yes. But I also think that doesn't get called by a lot of refs in that situation.
You said earlier in best case worst case, Mizzou losing in the first round and KU winning the whole thing, would be the Tigers worst case, what about losing Mike Anderson as well?
Pat Forde (2:30 PM)
Ben: Mizzou isn't losing Mike Anderson. He just got his 53rd contract extension and raise -- which means it's time to produce on a high level next year.
Which of the remaining coaches is doing the best coaching right now?
Pat Forde (2:33 PM)
Ryan: Very impressed by Shaka Smart. Impressed by Leonard Hamilton and Dave Rose getting their teams here without key players/players not at full strength. Impressed by Brad Stevens, as usual. Thought Sean Miller was great against Texas.
Speaking of Mike Anderson, do you think Buzz Williams will go to Arkansas now?
Pat Forde (2:35 PM)
Scott: Kinda think Oklahoma might be the more likely destination for Buzz. If he leaves Marquette.
I can feel that another #1 seed is going to go down Thursday or Friday. Which do you think is most likely to lose. Also how much of a chance does Butler have to make the national championship.
Pat Forde (2:36 PM)
Brian: I think both Ohio State and Duke will be challenged by UK and Arizona, respectively. I'd say better chance Ohio State loses, but I don't think it will.
Corey (Manhattan, KS)
As a journalist, was the postgame question asked of Jacob Pullen out of line given his emotinal state? Also, was Frank Martin's response to the reporter justified?
Pat Forde (2:38 PM)
Corey: I did not hear the question itself, just the responses. Not knowing that I can't say for sure, but unless it was an egregiously insensitive question I thought Martin was out of line.
Do you think Brad Stevens will leave Butler after this season? And if so, for what job?
Pat Forde (2:39 PM)
James: No, I don't think he'll leave after this year. If he's going to go, it's going to be for a Cadillac job, and there isn't one of those open right now.
What are the top 3 can't miss games in the sweet 16?
Pat Forde (2:40 PM)
Travis: 1. Kentucky-Ohio State 2. Arizona-Duke 3. (tie) BYU-Florida and Butler-Wisconsin.
Geoff (Chapel Hill)
Is Kendall Marshall, Cota version 2.0?
Pat Forde (2:41 PM)
Geoff: My initial impression is that Kendall Marshall is MUCH better than Ed Cota.
Geoff (Chapel Hill)
Hi Pat, please answer this question, the Tarheel faitful have to know if Harrison Barnes will return next year? What are your thoughs?
Pat Forde (2:42 PM)
Geoff: I have no insight into that, but given past precedent of who stays and goes, I'd be very surprised to see him return.
Pat, is there ANY chance Richmond will slay yet another giant? What needs to happen?
Pat Forde (2:43 PM)
Nick: I'd say odds are slim. Richmond has only slain Vanderbilt, and that isn't the hardest thing to do in the postseason. Beating Morehead State? No giants there. Richmond has to avoid being mauled in the middle by the Morris twins and control tempo to have a chance.
Who's the most underrated player left in the tournament that could make a difference in the sweet 16 and elite 8 to get his team to the final four?
Pat Forde (2:44 PM)
Dan: I think Aaron Craft and Josh Harrellson of Kentucky must play big for either team to win. So go with one of those two.
What is the key factor of BYU beating Florida?
Pat Forde (2:45 PM)
Brady: Don't get thumped inside by Macklin-Tyus-Parsons.
Derrick Williams has expressed interest in returning next year (via Facebook). Any chance you see that happening?
Pat Forde (2:45 PM)
Travis: Not likely.
Mark (Kansas City )
Pat would the sport be better if every team had a player that cared as much as Jacob Pullen?
Pat Forde (2:47 PM)
Mark: I think most teams do have a guy who cares that much. Maybe several guys. Some just show it in different ways. And look, although I loved what I saw from Jacob Pullen in the last two months, I know he was also suspended three games for NCAA violations earlier in the year and didn't do a great job leading that team early. It wasn't all seashells and balloons with Pullen this year.
Pat, how important is Tyshawn Taylor to Kansas success later on in the tournament? I think him being on his game is the key to beating really good teams.
Pat Forde (2:49 PM)
James: He's very important, no doubt about it. Mostly, it seems Kansas needs its guards to take advantage of the opportunities presented when teams tilt their D toward the Morrisi. Make shots. Don't turn it over. Don't try to drive the ball when you've got nothing. And play solid defensively, which all those guys do.
Complete this statement: For BYU to beat the Gators on Thursday, Jimmer must _____________________
Pat Forde (2:51 PM)
Paul: Tear the top off the Superdome. No, I don't know. If he scores 30-plus and his supporting cast shows up as it did in spots the first two rounds, BYU will have a chance. It would help if Jimmer could get 12 rebounds, but that's not his game.
Peter (Arlington, VA)
Pat,Based on what Kyrie Irving has done in his return. If you were giving him advice, would you tell him to stay or go after this year?
Pat Forde (2:51 PM)
Peter: Please. He's outtie.
Pat, do you think N.C. State has a chance to snag X-tenn. head coach, Bruce Pearl?
Pat Forde (2:53 PM)
Brock: Only if NC State wants to hire a guy who is going to get a show-cause penalty that could prohibit him from coaching for the next year or two. I don't see how NC State could make that move.
Chris (Colchester, CT)
Any idea why UConn has had so much success in tournaments (Maui, Big East, NCAA) but fell to no. 9 in the Big East regular season? Are they just a good tournament team?
Pat Forde (2:54 PM)
Chris: That's a good question. All I know is that Kemba Walker has been special in all three tournaments. He was very good in the regular season, but not the way he's been in those three events. And now his young supporting cast has grown up enough to help him. Wonder if he just got worn down and beaten down in the Big East grind.
Pat you do know the games in New Orleans are not in the Superdome right?!?! What must Butler do to beat Wisconsin?
Pat Forde (2:56 PM)
Tim: Whoops, right. My bad. Butler has to hang on the glass. It has to deal with all the screens and keep tabs on Jordan Taylor -- but I don't think that will be overly difficult, because Butler is a smart defensive team that understands assignments and concepts extremely well. It's just a question of having the bodies -- especially the big bodies.
How worried should Arizona fans be with Sean Miller leaving Arizona for another coaching job?
Pat Forde (2:57 PM)
Alex: I don't see anything open right now that should dazzle Sean Miller. I wouldn't leave at this point if I were him.
Geoff (Chapel Hill)
Do you think Ole' Roy came down on Henson after the two mental errors following the Washington game?
Pat Forde (2:58 PM)
Geoff: Dadgum should have.
Pat Forde (2:59 PM)
OK, every question in the chat just disappeared. Since it's almost 3, I'm taking that as a divine sign to shut it down. Sorry for any late questions I missed -- good turnout as always. Enjoy the games this week and I will talk to you next week about the Final Four!