Chat with Myron Medcalf
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, college basketball writer Myron Medcalf stops by to chat about the hardcourt.
Medcalf joined ESPN.com in 2011 after a four-year stint covering colllege basketball for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. His relationship with ESPN began in 2004, when he was an intern for ESPN the Magazine in New York City.
Send your questions now and join Medcalf Wednesday at noon ET!
ok with fab melo gone everbody is saying there done well as a die hard SU fan i have faith in RAK and KIETA and even more faith in dion cj and southerland we have there gaurds that can start at the 1 2 and 3 plus CARTER WILLIAMS riden the pine who is 6 5" mcdonalds all american waiting for a chance to play. I think SU will get more rebounds and turn up the tempo with fab gone running a small starting 5 . as far as our 1 loss to ND without fab we would of lost that game anyways nobody showed up that day. I say they are a final 4 team ,how far do u see them going without a center thats looked lost half the time anyway?
Myron Medcalf (12:02 PM)
I still have Syracuse losing to Vanderbilt. I think the Melo loss hurts a lot. It's horrible timing, although players may have anticipated his absence. They're just a different team defensively without him. That zone is not as potent. But, the Orange has never been a one-man team. Very talented. But I do believe the Melo loss will affect them.
Bill (Mrytle Beach, SC)
Myron, my man! What do you think about Baylor as a sleeper to make a deep run? I'm talking Final Four. I know they'd have to slay the giant in Kentucky, but Baylor has a ton of talent!
Myron Medcalf (12:04 PM)
I think they'll advance to face Kentucky. Mizzou and KU were bad matchups for Baylor. Mizzou had too much speed. Kansas was just too physical. But Baylor is like Kentucky. They're long and athletic. There's definitely a chance.
What's the biggest upset you have in your bracket?
Myron Medcalf (12:06 PM)
Montana over Wisconsin. And I have Vandy winning it all.
Myron Medcalf (12:06 PM)
I mean I have Vandy winning the entire region. In the Final Four.
Do you think by the time this tourney is over that a lot of people will have heard more about Will Barton? Is he a potential tourney star?
Myron Medcalf (12:08 PM)
Yep. One of the best players in the country. I have Memphis over Michigan State in the third round. Barton is a big part of that. Pound for pound, he might be the best player in the country if you consider his size and versatility. I think folks will know Barton by the end of the weekend if they don't already.
Avi (Los Angeles)
Myron, who do you have winning the play-in game between Cal and USF? Any insight on how you think that game will go?
Myron Medcalf (12:09 PM)
I'll have a full preview in about an hour. But I think Cal's backcourt will push the pace. Difficult against USF, but they can do it and win a close one.
Mike (San Diego)
Aren't you a little sad Iona didn't win last night? An Iona/Marquette game might've had 200 points...
Myron Medcalf (12:11 PM)
Not sad. Just shocked. Wow. I thought they were going to score 100. Then, the Gaels just couldn't score. Couldn't crack that zone.
Charlie K (Houston)
Your thoughts on the VCU WSU game?
Myron Medcalf (12:12 PM)
VCU has been a great story. They lost key members from the Final Four team and still managed to get back to the tourney. But Wichita State is experienced. Stutz extends the D with his range (although he's struggled lately). Joe Ragland is a gamer. I think Wichita State is a Sweet 16 team.
Yo Myron what up! Im bored to tears because I have a really substitute teacher. Can Louisville make a run to the final four if they keep this up?
Myron Medcalf (12:15 PM)
Sorry about the sub situation. Louisville has momentum from that Big East tourney run. But the West is a weird region that features a multitude of similar teams. Speedy, undersized, versatile defensively. Mizzou, Florida, Marquette .. that's a tough position for all of those teams because they'll matchup up well against one another. So yes, it's possible. But that's a tough draw.
Myron -- dont you think MSU is a terrible matchup for Mizzou? They are versatile, able to play different styles and are physical where they can impose their will on other teams. Should both teams get there, dont you think the edge on the boards favors the Spartans and that could be the difference in an Elite Eight matchup. Look at how Mizzou struggled against K State, also Izzo's coaching cannot be underestimated in the tourney. Thanks!
Myron Medcalf (12:18 PM)
Even though I have MSU losing against Memphis, I know Izzo's team is talented enough to reach New Orleans. Their physical style could be the deciding factor in that region. But Mizzou outlasted Kansas and Baylor, a pair of talented squads in the Big 12. Mizzou is fast and they have the 3-ball, a crucial weapon in the Big Dance. I don't have any questions about Draymond. I wonder about everyone else. Sure, they could beat the Tigers. But ... Green could score 30 and his teammates might register 20 in a loss.
You have KU in the NC Game...what does KU have in their favor to take down UNC?
Myron Medcalf (12:20 PM)
Thomas Robinson is a grown man inside. I don't think any team is going to beat North Carolina without a tough post presence. You can't finesse your way around Zeller and Henson (assuming he's healthy). You have to try and bully them. Robinson can do that. Plus Taylor is explosive. I like what Withey adds to the mix, too. And I just expect UNC to crack at some point.
I think Vermont's going to beat Lamar. I watched them in the America East championship and they were on fire. What do you think about this prediction?
Myron Medcalf (12:21 PM)
That offense struggles some times. I like Lamar's momentum. But after what I saw last night, anything can happen.
I really want to pick Ohio over Michigan... and then over Temple -- Am I crazy? Michigan was not impressive against the Gophers and I feel they can easily get knocked. What do you think?
Myron Medcalf (12:23 PM)
I think the world will get to know D.J. Cooper soon. But I still pick the Wolverines. They have an elite point guard in Trey Burke who can make things happen. Temple is a different story. But I'm not going to assume that Temple will move past the winner of tonight's Cal/USF game.
James J. Stumpf (Buffalo)
Could you comment on a Vanderbilt vs. Wisconsin game. I think Wisconsin's defense is surprisingly underrated
Myron Medcalf (12:24 PM)
Underrated? When people talk about Wisconsin, they talk about the Badgers' defense. Could be an interesting game with Wisconsin's ability to control the pace. But Vandy is on a mission and they can hit the 3-ball. I like Vandy in that matchup.
Whats a tougher matchup for KU...Detroit, Purdue, or St. Marys?
Myron Medcalf (12:26 PM)
Could be Detroit. Ray McCallum Jr. was a high school All-American who just wanted to play for his Dad. Eli Holman was a high major guy. His defense could be crucial. That could be KU's toughest game out of that group.
How many first round upsets did you wind up picking? And are there any double digit teams in the sweet 16 that you went with?
Myron Medcalf (12:27 PM)
I have LBSU in the Sweet 16. I have Montana over Wisconsin.
Is having 4 upsets in the first round too many?I have LBSU, Belmont, Ohio, and Davidson winning in the first round
Myron Medcalf (12:29 PM)
It's March. BYU was down by 25 and won. Upsets will happen. I only agree with LBSU though. I think Davidson is inconsistent. Belmont is facing a team that eats up 3-point shooters. Yes, Ohio is good but let's not forget the fact that the Wolverines have some dynamic players, they're Big Ten champs and they can hit 3s. Plus, that's a weird zone. Hard to adjust to.
Kyle (St Louis)
Is there a 2 or 3 seed out there that you can see getting upset in round 1?
Myron Medcalf (12:31 PM)
Marquette could be in trouble against a confident BYU team. Nate Wolters might score 30, but I don't see SDSU over Baylor.
Your bracket is severely underestimating the Big Ten's elite. The conference was near-unanimously considered the best after pre-conference play, but now its best team is going to lose to a team that lost to Southern Miss and UCF?
Myron Medcalf (12:32 PM)
I realize that I might be wrong. But I don't go by conference. Doesn't matter to me. I go by matchups. And I think Memphis is a bad matchup for Michigan State. Spartans are very talented. Final Four potential. I've been saying that for months. But I think Memphis can pull off the upset with its athleticism and motor. Same with Montana over Wisconsin. Has nothing to do with the Big Ten. It's about the individual teams and who they're playing.
Potential Florida State vs Ohio State matchup looms in the sweet 16. Who takes this one?
Myron Medcalf (12:34 PM)
Ohio State. Sullinger's toughness inside is the difference IMO.
If William Buford averages 20 a game in the tournament, can the Buckeyes win it all? They've been awesome when he plays well.
Myron Medcalf (12:35 PM)
I agree. There's a direct correlation between his single-digit efforts and some of Ohio State's BT losses.
Myron Medcalf (12:36 PM)
But he won't average 20.
Do you think Marquette has enough to outlast Missouri, if the matchup presents itself?
Myron Medcalf (12:37 PM)
That's a great matchup. Michigan State, Memphis Florida, Mizzou, Marquette, Louisville and Murray St .. I've picked Mizzou .. but I won't be shocked if any of those teams comes out of that region. The West region has the most parity.
Which teams can win it all?
Myron Medcalf (12:40 PM)
Hard question to answer. I have KU, Mizzou, Kentucky and Vandy in my Final Four. But a multitude of squads could end up with the crown. I just don't see anyone beating Kentucky, though.
If BYU plays as good as they did in the second half against Iona against Marquette, will they win?
Myron Medcalf (12:41 PM)
The Cougars would have more than a shot in that scenario. Here's the thing. That 25-point comeback was amazing. But I think it actually puts more pressure on BYU entering that game. The "Can they do it again?" factor could haunt them. That was a once-in-a-lifetime deal.
Which team in the East benefits the most with the Melo suspension?
Dusty (St. Louis)
How shocked were you to see Vandy come from behind and beat Kentucky in the SEC championship?
Myron Medcalf (12:45 PM)
Vince: It has to be Kansas State. Syracuse wasn't very tough inside with Melo. And K-State's only chance to win that game, IMO, is to attack the glass and capitalize on second-chance opportunities. Attacking gets easier without Melo in there.
Myron Medcalf (12:46 PM)
Dusty: I wasn't shocked. I thought Vandy gave the Wildcats trouble in their first two meetings. And they finally got one against the Wildcats. But they'd played them tough in the past.
Does Brooklyn have a chance of making a run?
Myron Medcalf (12:47 PM)
I like the Blackbirds. And I don't think they'll get blown out by MSU. But I can't see them advancing.
Is Temple this year's Cinderella team?
Myron Medcalf (12:48 PM)
They're a 5-seed. Nothing Cinderella about that.
You just don't see anyone beating Kentucky? can't envision them losing, huh? They lost their last game to Vanderbilt. They may have the most potential NBA talent, hardly invincible, though.
Myron Medcalf (12:49 PM)
I don't see them losing in the NCAA tournament. That was their second loss of the entire year. Remember that. Full season. Two losses.
How could you say: I just don't see anyone beating Kentucky. they've lost to IU and Vandy. I want to beleive you, but I'm a worrier
Myron Medcalf (12:52 PM)
Again, not in the tournament. IU beat the Wildcats on a buzzer-beater. Vandy beat the Wildcats on its third try. Kentucky has one of the greatest defenders in college basketball history. It's that simple. Now, AD could encounter foul trouble. M. Teague could turn the ball over. But Kentucky is not just talented. I think the Wildcats are cutthroat when they want to be. That's the team that I expect to show up. That team won't lose.
Myron, Which number 8 teams have a good matchup and what number 7 teams have a good matchup?
Myron Medcalf (12:54 PM)
Usually a good matchup when you're an 8. I'm picking Iowa State over UConn. I think Purdue beats Saint Mary's and WV tops Gonzaga.
Mizzou has never made a Final Four... EVER! What makes you think this is finally the year?
Myron Medcalf (12:57 PM)
They can shoot, they're quick, they're tough. But I base my pick on what I saw when I watched them live in January. I saw a toughness and togetherness that few teams have in this field. That whole "run through a wall for my teammate" cliche .. it's true about these Tigers. And when you have guys playing for collective goals, Butler happens. And VCU in the FF happens. The numbers are impressive. But this team has a chemistry that will lead it to New Orleans. For the first time.
Which region do you think is setup for the most chaos?
Myron Medcalf (12:58 PM)
Is Cal winning tonight?
Myron Medcalf (12:58 PM)
How can you say that UK's going to win it all? I have Missouri beating them because they're weakness is guarding the 3 point line.
Myron Medcalf (1:00 PM)
Here's the thing. The "How can you say .." questions don't make sense. I can say it because I believe it. 68 teams, folks. Thousands of scenarios. I'm making educated guesses. But let's not act like Kentucky winning it all is preposterous. C'mon, man. Have you watched them at all this year?
How do you think that Ohio State will do for this tourney?
Myron Medcalf (1:01 PM)
The Buckeyes will be the last Big Ten team standing. New Orleans is possible even though I have Vandy coming out of that region.
Myron Medcalf (1:01 PM)
It's been real. Best way to reach me right now thru the chaos of March Madness is by Twitter. ... @MedcalfByESPN. Thanks again. Thanks for joining me.