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)
I am heading down to Tallahassee for the Duke-Florida State game and that is a big one in the ACC. Florida State is trying to sweep on Tobacco Road. That is unheard of. I had a great time down at Murray Satte and the fans were so hospitable. I was very impressed with Steve Prohm's team. Tonight will be special environment as they try to sweep but Duke will try to pay back FSU for the first loss.
Nick (Ann Arbor)
How far do you think the wolverines can go in the NCAA tournament?
Dick Vitale (11:05 AM)
They are dangerous. Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway give them threats outside. It was a great win to come back against Northwestern. I thought they would have lost something at the point when Darius Morris left but Burke has been solid. John Beilein has this program in the right direction.
Morris Wecker (Missoula Montana)
Dick who do you think is the most underrated Mid Major Team
Dick Vitale (11:06 AM)
Drexel. We don't hear enough about them. Tough conference with VCU, George Mason, and the Dragons have won something like 16 in a row. Bruiser Flint has done a great job there. This could be a dangerous team in the tourney. The Colonial Athletic Association is underrated.
Zach (Henderson Ky)
Who wins Big Ten Freshmen of the year award.
Dick Vitale (11:07 AM)
Zeller and Burke are close, but slight edge to Zeller. What he has done getting the program back to respectability and he has performed to the level that is special. I love Burke too. They are amogn the top 20 impact diaper dandies in America.
Chris (Erlanger, KY)
Mr. Vitale, how impressed were you that UK took a knockout punch from Miss St. but then UK got up and gave them a knockout punch? That has to be a sign of something special for UK. Thoughts?
Dick Vitale (11:08 AM)
It was special down 13 at half. Terrific will to win and Big BlueNation has to be proud because this is a special team. Mississippi State has them on the rocks but could not put them away. Darius Miller hit some big threes and they got to the winner's circle.
Dusty (St. Louis)
With a win on Saturday against Mizzou, Kansas will clinch at least a share of the Big 12 title for the 8th straight year. For a conference that is year in and year out one of the toughest in the country, how do you put an accomplishment like this in perspective?
Dick Vitale (11:12 AM)
I would simply sat that what Bill Self has done is amazing. To go against that competition and succeed at the highest level is incredible. Watching players like Robinson and Withey develop is impressive. Missouri game is tough as the Tigers will try to bounce back from the loss to Kansas State. I have said all along that you have to go through Lawrence, Kansas to win the Big 12. I take nothing away from Missouri, which has had a phenomenal year. Winning another Big 12 title would be a great accomplishment. Losing the likes of the Morris Twins, and others, shows why Self is a legit Coach of the Year candidate.
Because of how down everyone is on the Pac12 is it possible their teams that make the tourney could fly under the radar and advance?
Dick Vitale (11:13 AM)
Washington and California have good teams but the Pac-12 has to admit it is a down year. Just look at the non-league results against good teams. I think they may get two teams in and once in, you never know. It goes in cycles and it comes down to recruiting, the bloodline for any program. It all is about players, players, players.
How hot is Ben Howlands seat at UCLA?
Dick Vitale (11:15 AM)
I don't think it is hot. Look at thre years in a row at the Final Four. They lost a lot with Love and Westbrook leaving early. They have a good class coming in with Kyle Anderson leading the way. He is a solid tactician and people are jumping the gun. Howland should be fine. Joshua Smith is talented but did not come in being in shape and players sometimes have to look in the mirror. Coulda doesn't always work out.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who do you think will be the 4 Number 1 Seeds in the NCAA College Basketball Tournament?
Dick Vitale (11:16 AM)
Kentucky, Syracuse, Kansas and Duke, subject to change. It is wacky and will change a lot. Kntucky and Syracuse are locks. Michigan State is right there as well. Carolina, Missouri, Ohio State could all move back up there.
Derek (Orange City, IA)
If Iowa wins their remaining 4 games (Wisconsin, @Illinois, @Nebraska, Northwestern), all manageable based on how they are playing. If Iowa wins those 4 games and 1 game in the Big Ten Tourney, then they would be 19-14. Can they make the tournament at 19-14 because of their rank in the conference, and being in the toughest conference?
Dick Vitale (11:18 AM)
I think that if they do that, they are looking NIT at best. They are getting ready for next season. Fran McCaffrey will get things done.
Andrew (Cascade, Iowa)
How would you rate The Mayors second year at Iowa State getting them to third in the Big 12 and their first 20 win season in 8 years?
Dick Vitale (11:20 AM)
He has done a heckuva job as Hilton Magic is special. He has players performing as a unit and Royce White is filling up the stat sheet. They will be in the big dance so the Mayor may be turning into the Governor. I would love to get to Ames one day.
Do you see any reason Marquette can't make the Final Four if they can avoid Kentucky?
Dick Vitale (11:23 AM)
Marquette has a very tough team. Buzz Williams' team will fight, scrap and claw and the duo of Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder will compete with any duo in America. This club has experience and could make a deep run in the big dance.
I'm looking for a sleeper Final Four pick for my NCAA Tourney bracket pool... have any thoughts?
Dick Vitale (11:25 AM)
This year, I do not think there are that many sleepers because there are so many good mid--majors. It is the deepest group that I have seen in my years at ESPN. I don't think you would say a Wichita State, a Murray State, a New Mexico would really be called sleepers. There is so much balance, parity in the sport.
Justin (Lexington, KY)
Why does Calipari never get any love for the National Coach of the Year award?
Dick Vitale (11:26 AM)
If you saw a column I did on ESPN.com this week, you would know that I agree with you. I had him among my top 10 candidates. Every year, he rebuilds and reloads with talent, but getting them to mesh together as a unit is not easy. I think he has done a super job and big blue nation is proud.
what do you think is the best evaluation of a team, the rpi or jay bilas's bpi?
Dick Vitale (11:28 AM)
The VBDI (Vitale Bald Dome Index). You know what, it is hard to say because a lot of different things to into an evaluation. Then look at what VCU did last year when a lot of people felt they did not belong in the field of 68. Oh really, Shaka Smart's kids proved they could flat-out play.
Dick, you mentioned Cal and Washington. Where's the love for Arizona baby!! They SHOULD win their last 3 and their 1st in the conference tournament which would put them at 23-10 assuming they lose in the pac12 semis. That's enough to get in right?
Dick Vitale (11:29 AM)
I think the Pac-12 tourney could be wide open. Arizona certainly has the talent to be right there as well. Overall, it has been a bit down for the Pac-12, especially compared to some other seasons.
Officals seem to overly concerned about call fouls for "agressive play" to keep control, think that will dissrupt the hard fought NCAA tourney game we seen in the past?
Dick Vitale (11:30 AM)
Officials are out there doign a difficult job and I think you will see the emotion and passion during the tournament that leads to some physical play at times. I don't think that will be different than any other year.
Dicky V - show us some love for the Bulls - we haven't had this much excitement for USF BBall since the days of Altron Jackson and BB Waldon. If we win our final home games, I see no reason for us not to get an NCAA bid.
Dick Vitale (11:31 AM)
I also said that South Florida deserves some credit. When you are 10-5 in the Big East, I have a hard time believing that you are not one of the best 68 teams in America. Or one of the best 37 at-large teams.
What are the Detroit Titans' chances of going to the Big Dance
Dick Vitale (11:32 AM)
The Horizon tournament is going to be interesting. The Titans do have a chance. I would not write off Butler come tournament time. Valparaiso, Cleveland State, several others...wide open, baby!
DICKIE V! Thoughts on Iona and Scott Machado?
Dick Vitale (11:34 AM)
This could be a tough team in the big dance. Machado is one of the best passers in America. Lamont Jones has already shown something in the tournament -- go ask Duke. Iona has to get through the MAAC and that won't be lock city.
Can you name 1 reason why Notre Dame has been so good the last month or so? I don't think anyone saw this coming.
Dick Vitale (11:36 AM)
Mike Brey is a Coach of the Year candidate and I have been amazed, especially after seeing them struggle in Kansas City earlier in the season. The Irish do a great job controlling tempo and they have had different players step up, be it Grant, Cooley, Connaughton, Atkins. It has been an incredible story considering the injury loss of Tim Abromaitis.
How about the outstanding game Jordan Theodore had in leading Seton Hall over Georgetown Tues. night. Is he on your 1st team all Big East this year.
Dick Vitale (11:37 AM)
Seton Hall has been a hard team to figure out at times. That was a big win against Georgetown and Theodore was a key. The Pirates need to keep playing well to build momentum going into the Big East tournament.
How about some love for Leonard Hamilton national coach of the year!
Dick Vitale (11:38 AM)
Tonight would raise the level of the candidacy, baby!
SMG (NYC, NY)
The unexpected emergence of an big man, a la Jeff Withey at Kansas, reminds me a lot of the unexpected emeregence of an big man at DUKE in 2010, a la Brian Zoubek. Combine that with Taylor and TRob and I believe you have what it takes to win a National Championship... a killer 3-man line-up. (Can't win National Championships with just two- it takes at least three.) Do you agree?
Dick Vitale (11:39 AM)
It is hard to believe that Withey is the same guy who was shut out against Missouri in Columbia. He contibutes a lot, scoring, rebounding and shot blocking.
Andrew G (Wichita Falls Texas)
Dicky V it seems like everyone keeps on counting out duke as an elite team. Remember they beat good teams in the Maui beat Michigan st., North Carolina. So why are they not in the "elite" group. Also how do you see the game tonight going?
Dick Vitale (11:43 AM)
When you beat North Carolina, Kansas and Michigan State, you have a pretty good resume. I don't see how anyone can say this is not one of the "elite" teams. They are ranked among the best. Tonight will be a good one.
Will you be calling the UVA/UNC game Saturday? And do you think Mike Scott has a shot at ACC POY if he leads the hoos to a win?
Dick Vitale (11:45 AM)
I will be at Syracuse-Connecticut. I have North Carolina next week against Maryland and Duke. Scott deserves consideration for that honor.
Dick Vitale (11:48 AM)
I've got to take a TO baby! I hope that you can help us out. We are raising money for the V foundation through a raffle for a beautiful new 2012 red Mercedes convertible. you can find out more by going to jimmyv/org/vitaleraffle2012. You can help us beat cancer and have a shot at a great car. I am excited about tonight's game at Florida State. I also am looking forward to the Dickie V gala on May 18th down in Sarasota at the Ritz-Carlton. John Calipari, Billy Donovan, Nancy Lieberman, Gary Sheffield have all confirmed as we honor Lou Holtz, Gary Williams and Jay Wright. It should be another special evening as we try to raise $1 million for pediatric cancer. It has really been my passion to be this dreaded disease. See you next week.