Chat with Seth Greenberg
Greenberg won the 2005 and 2008 ACC coach of the year awards.
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, we'll be looking forward to the Sweet 16 when Virginia Tech head coach Seth Greenberg stops by to chat.
Greenberg just finished his ninth season with the Hokies and has a record of 167-117 at Virginia Tech. He's made it to the postseason in all but three seasons, including Virginia Tech's first appearance in the NCAA tournament in 11 years in 2007.
Send your questions now and join Greenberg Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (2:31 PM)
Coach is here! Get those questions in!
Coach, any question that the Big Ten was the best conference this year? They have four teams left and they have a 1, a 2 and two 4 seeds left.
Seth Greenberg (2:33 PM)
They were the best conference top to bottom this past season, with depth and quality. The best performance in the NCAA Tournament has been by the Big East, the reason being the Big Ten teams that remain were all projected to have special teams, as opposed to the Big East teams that remain. Syracuse was a top team. Louisville was decimated with injuries. Cincinnati survived their early season controversy. And Marquette is an overachieving team.
Coach, would you rather just make a decision on a guy like Marshall so you can prepare for him not being there or would you want to wait until the last possible minute to make that decision to see if he can play?
Seth Greenberg (2:34 PM)
I don't think the decision has to be made. You're practicing your gameplan. Any adjustments you'd be making. Your team knows how to play with him. If I'm Roy Williams, there is very little discrepancy in my preparation. If he's not available, this is our gameplan, this is what we've been practicing with. If he is available, let's play UNC basketball.
What is your favorite matchup in the sweet sixteen?
Seth Greenberg (2:37 PM)
The matchup that intrigues me as a coach, there is two. But Michigan State-Louisville. Two tournament tested coaches. Two uniquely different playing styles. One team that relies on full court pressure and a matchup zone and a dynamic PG. The other team that relies on a hybrid point forward, physical defense and rebounding. For Louisville to be successful, they'll have to create offense out of their defense, score early in transition, keep Gordy out of foul trouble. For MSU to be successful, they'll have to use Green to handle the pressure. Find ways to distort and attack the matchup zone, attack Gordy and crush the offensive glass.
What will UNC's plan have to be if Marshall isn't there? They still have three all-ACC starters.
Seth Greenberg (2:39 PM)
They still have all three being potential lottery picks. The problem you have is someone has to get them the ball. My gut feeling is Roy Williams will start with Justin Watts, but don't be shocked if he puts the five best players on the floor and trades transition for halfcourt efficiency. Barnes, to me, is the key. I watched him in the ACC tournament semifinals a year ago carry the Tar Heels with 40 points, and if I'm not mistaken 13 of 19 in OT in one of the best individual performances I've seen in person. He can take over the game. He can not defer if they are to have a chance.
Coach, if I were going to look at the box score of a tournament game and just look at one stat, which one should I look at that you think would most help me figure out which team won?
Seth Greenberg (2:40 PM)
It all depends on the game. It depends on which team was able to impose their style on the other. If I'm watching Syracuse-Wisconsin, I'm looking at points off of turnover. Syracuse relies on easy offense off of their defense. If it was MSU-Louisville, I would be looking at rebound margin and defensive field goal percentage. MSU is a dominant rebounding team and both teams have held their opponents under 40 percent. You can do anything you want with stats, it's about figuring out what the opponent wants and taking that away.
Which non 1 or 2 seed has the best chance to win it all?
Seth Greenberg (2:42 PM)
I would say Baylor. They are as long and athletic a team that's left in the tournament, including Kentucky. Their PG has improved. Heslip gives them a knockdown jump shooter. Perry Jones III, when engaged, is tough to keep off the glass and Quincy Acy is a beast. They have the size, athleticism and length to disrupt on the defensive end. Shot selection, consistency on both ends of the floor and having players play to their best strengths will be the challenge for the Bears.
How big of a home court will Syracuse have in Boston?
Seth Greenberg (2:44 PM)
Being a No. 1 seed, the committee put them in their region. But once the ball goes up, they're going to have to find a way to force Wisconsin into turnovers, keep the physical front court of the Badgers off the glass and score on the second side. Playing in Boston is more convenient for the Orange Nation, but in the end, they're going to have to make plays, be efficient in the half court and finish plays on the defensive end.
Zachary (Pittsburgh, PA)
Do you believe that Marquette is a final four team?
Seth Greenberg (2:46 PM)
Any team that's still playing has a chance to be a Final Four team. That's just the game of college basketball. It's a make and miss game. Marquette plays as hard as any team left. Jae Crowder is as talented as any. Buzz Williams is as prepared. But I'm not sure their guard play is as consistent as it needs to be. You can't count out the Golden Eagles because of their passion, energy and Crowder's ability to impose his will and skill on the game.
What's the biggest intangible that you need to have at this point of a big tournament like this one?
Seth Greenberg (2:47 PM)
Confidence, because at some point in the game, it's going to be shaky. At some point in the game, there will be some self doubt. Confident teams play through their mistakes. Confident teams play through the next play. Confident teams are tough mentally and physicall. Confident teams see themselves advancing.
1 seed with the toughest road...
Seth Greenberg (2:49 PM)
In my opinion, Syracuse has the toughest road in to the Final Four. 1) No Fab Melo. 2) Style of play. 3) In Cincinnati, they have an opponent who just defeated them and thinks they can win and has familiarity in attacking the 2-3 zone. 4) In OSU you have a team that many predicted to win the championship, and whose starting five is as tough as any in the country.
Tim (Memphis, TN)
Coach it seems that FL is hitting its stride at the right time, how do they match up with Marquette? Thanks
Seth Greenberg (2:50 PM)
It's a great matchup. Both are defending as well as any left. Florida is playing well offensively, as displayed in the first half against Kentucky in the SEC tournament. Their defense has grown as the season has progressed. I really like how coach Donovan is balancing his perimeter game.
What do you think of Christmas filling in for Fab Melo so far for Syracuse?
Seth Greenberg (2:52 PM)
Christmas came in with a tremendous amount of expectation. A lot built on his tremendous, raw athletic ability. You don't replace Melo with one player, you replace him by committee. I was impressed with how active he was in the second half, keeping balls alive against KSU. I've seen tremendous growth in him understanding playing hard. He's in a unique situation. As highly touted a player and freshman as gifted as he is, he's surrounded by a lot of talents and not a lot is asked or expected of him. I think he's been solid in his new role.
Seth Greenberg (2:54 PM)
I really think Tim Tebow's a mistake in New York in a lockerroom that's already divided. It could be even more dysfunctional....but getting back to basketball. I think the Sweet 16 matchups are more than just Marshall's wrist. I think many of them are about teams persevering. If you look at Cincy, losing to Prysbeterian and being two games from the Final Four. I wonder if Kenyon Martin and Nick Van Exel want a part of this game. MSU and Louisville will be a battle of coaching titans. When you talk lineage, think about how proud Rick Pitino feels about two of his proteges advancing to the Sweet 16. Just another example of how good a teacher he is.