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January 2, 11:55 AM ET
Chat with Andy Katz

Andy Katz
  (11:02 AM)

here to chat until the bottom of the hour.


Andy, Illinois appears to be getting shafted in the latest coaches poll. I understand polls are not necessarily to be believed, but do you think this may reflect a bit of bias against the team, the coach, and/or the Big Ten conference?

Andy Katz
  (11:03 AM)

I've given up trying to figure out the polls. Illinois certainly deserves to be ranked after what the Illini have done.

Karl (Carbondale,IL)

Who do you think has been the most disapointing team so far this season?

Andy Katz
  (11:04 AM)

Do you want me to answer Southern Illinois since you're in Carbondale? It's hard to say who wins this honor so far. There have been plenty of underachieveing teams but there is still plenty of time to recover within the major conferences.

Joe, Berkeley

Does Cal look like a tourney team to you?

Andy Katz
  (11:04 AM)

Yes. But we'll know a lot more about the Bears after this three-game road swing to the Washington schools and Stanford. The Bears are shooting 50 percent on 3s. Mike Montgomery is doing a phenomenal job with this group.

Colin (Boston)

Marquette has 2 quality big east victories where do you see them finishing in the Big East?

Andy Katz
  (11:05 AM)

Still too early to tell. The road will be the deciding factor for all these teams. But Marquette has as much if not more experience on the perimeter than any other team in the league so that bodes well for the Eagles.

Bryan (Lexington, SC)

Andy, How good do you think Clemson is?

Andy Katz
  (11:06 AM)

Very good. The Miami win was a clinic in the second half. I think Clemson could easily challenge for the top three in the ACC and get a decent seed in the NCAAs.

Mike (Pittsburgh)

If Pitt wins the Big East regular season title. Should they exit early in the Big East tourny to regroup and rest, since the winnner of the Big East is usually worn down enough.

Andy Katz
  (11:07 AM)

No. They should try to win that too and ensure a No. 1 seed. I don't buy that these guys get worn down. The final is on Saturday. They wouldn't play until Thursday or Friday at the earliest the following week.

Greg (Boston)

Watching the BC game, they look a lot more athletic then i thought they were, do you think going into the ACC schedule they can pull out a tourney birth?

Andy Katz
  (11:10 AM)

Yes. But the Eagles have to protect the home court. BC is talented enough to beat every team left on its schedule and that includes Duke at home on Feb. 15. But the Eagles also have a thin margin for error behind Josh Southern in the post so they can't afford to drop home games like to Miami and even Wake if they want to finish in the top five in the ACC. Every game will be a grind.

Jim (Parkersburg, WV)

Andy, With WVUs young guys really starting to get into the flow, will this start opening up Ruoff and Butler? If it does they could be deadly come tournament time.

Andy Katz
  (11:11 AM)

Yes. This WVA team is really growing on me. They've got Huggs' moxie. Ruoff is having a phenomenal Big East so far.

SprungOnSports (Long Island)

How do you like Florida's SEC chances with Nick Calathes getting better and better?

Andy Katz
  (11:11 AM)

The East is shaping up to be deep with South Carolina playing better with the win over Baylor. It won't be an easy task. I expect the SEC East champ to have at least three losses.



Andy Katz
  (11:12 AM)

I would rather say I think Louisville hasn't reached its potential yet.

Andy Katz
  (11:12 AM)

Jim from Parkersburg, WVA. I answered your question. You're flooding the system.

Eldon (Eielson Air Force Base North Pole, Alaska)

Andy, I need your help...the Tar Heels loose to an unranked team at home (not even in the top 41 teams as of last week). However, when the Polls were released Monday, they were ranked No#3 in both Polls??? Yes, they have beaten all opponents by 15+ points per game...but who have they really played? They beat Michigan State and Notre Dame and all the rest were cannon fodder:) When is the love fest ever going to end with the media and voters over the Tar Heels. They always have one of the Top recruiting classes and talent in the country, so when they loose to an unranked team, why don't they get treated and dropped in the polls like all other teams?? I am truly amazed by the so called sports reporters and experts who recieve votes that watch follow sports as close as some fans?? Honestly sports talk shows are showing less expertise and a lot of chatter boxes as so called experts. Why is this so?? Why do we have to deal with Tar Heel Mania every year?? V/R Eldon

Andy Katz
  (11:14 AM)

Well, I can't answer for every poll voter. But polls are usually based on recent performance and projection. Carolina is still the most talented team in the country. I fully expect the Tar Heels to still be in Detroit. By the way, stay warm up there. Thanks for your service.

Austin (Gravette, Arkansas)

Andy, I was incredulous to find the Razorbacks still unranked after the win over Oklahoma and North Texas to give them a 11-1 record. You, however, ranked them 16 in the latest power rankings. What are you seeing that others aren't?

Andy Katz
  (11:15 AM)

That this team is playing really well. I tend to vote in these polls based on performance, with a projection tossed in there. It's hard to argue against Arkansas' results so far.

Chris (Chicago)

Andy, I saw you at Ford Field for UNC/MSU earlier this season and at the time, my Spartans did not look so good. But with Suton back, Izzo's crew has won 7 in a row and might be the hottest team in country. Should the rest of the Big Ten be worried?

Andy Katz
  (11:16 AM)

Yes. Very worried. MSU is the team to beat now in the Big Ten.

Brad (Gadsden.Alabama)

Andy, What did you think of Alabama's big win againest Georgia Tech can they get another big win @ Clemson tonight?

Andy Katz
  (11:19 AM)

I would be surprsied. But Alabama does have the talent to beat Clemson home or road. Alabama is playing better and a lot of that has to do with Ronald Steele. If he plays up to his potential then the Tide have a real shot to win a slew of games in the SEC.

Brian (Sacramento, CA)

USC seems to be all over the place (beating Oregon on the road by 21, losing to Oreg St. 2 days later). What do you think is wrong with the Trojans and can they get it together in time for UCLA on Sunday? (ps - is ESPN broadcasting that game? thx)

Andy Katz
  (11:20 AM)

Yes they can get it together by Sunday (and no the game is on FSN). The Trojans still just need to find their consistent streak. USC's defense wasn't as strong as it was Friday. If the Trojans lock down they should be fine.

Greg, NYC

I heard you recently said/wrote Al Skinner is one of the most underrated coaches in the country. Have you ever seen a practice? Have you seen their pressbreaker? Have you seen their recruiting pipeline for next year? (0 early signees) Have you seen the cupcake schedule? If he's extended beyond 2012, it'll be another disaster for DeFilippo who isn't exactly batting 1.000 right now.

Andy Katz
  (11:22 AM)

I couldn't disagree with you more. Yes I've been to multiple practices. Recruiting pipeline? UCLA would have loved to have had California kids Craig Smith and Jared Dudley. Gonzaga would have loved to have had Reggie Jackson (he played on the same AAU team as Matt Bouldin). Pitt just told me they wanted Josh Southern. The Eagles lose one senior, Tyrese Rice, so it's not like there are a slew of openings on the roster right now. You couldn't be more wrong in your assessment of Skinner and the BC program. Check the facts, save last season, the Eagles have been one of the most consistent ACC teams not named Carolina or Duke since joining the conference. And even last season, the Eagles knocked off Maryland in the ACC tournament to essentially crush the Terps NCAA hopes.

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Steiny (NYC)

Do you think Oregon State is playing very good basketball right now?

Andy Katz
  (11:27 AM)

Well, all I know is Oregon State is 1-1 in the Pac-10, Oregon and Arizona are 0-2 and Washington State is 0-1. That's quite an accomplishment for the Beavers. The turnaround from the UCLA game to the USC game was remarkable. I watched them both and the Oregon State players get what Craig Robinson wants to do. They played with poise and never quit.

Justin (Ohio)

Andy, I have to admit I'm a little surprised David Lighty's absence has been this noticeable.

Andy Katz
  (11:27 AM)

You're right. His absence is clearly having a major impact on the Buckeyes.

John (Dallas)

Andy, if UCLA wins the Pac-10 and beats ND in Feb will that be enough for them to get the 1 seed out west again? And what are your thoughts on the Bruins growth so far?

Andy Katz
  (11:28 AM)

Hard to say. I'm still convinced at least one Big East team (Pitt) gets a No. 1 seed, Carolina, maybe Duke and then possible Texas or OU if either has a gaudy Big 12 record. I think this is the year the West's best team is no higher than a No. 2.

Colin (Philadelphia)

Andy, I was able to see Niagara play for the first time last night, and I really think this team in flying under the radar due to the hype of Siena. They have two Big East transfers, Rob Garrison (UCONN) and Bilal Benn (Villanova) who can flat out play. What do you see happening come March in a very underrated mid-major conference of the MAAC.

Andy Katz
  (11:29 AM)

I think you're right. A few of the MAAC coaches told me that Niagara is the sleeper team to win the league.

SprungOnSports (Long Island)

Not many people have been talking about Texas A&M. How good are they, and can they get a tourney spot out of the Big 12?

Andy Katz
  (11:29 AM)

We'll know more next week when A&M hosts Baylor and OU.

Jason: Lehi, UT

What a great game Sat. between BYU and Wake. Great game, great teams and a great atmosphere. What are your overall impressions of the MWC this year? BYU and UNLV are both very solid.

Andy Katz
  (11:30 AM)

It should be a great race between those two teams with Utah, San Diego State and New Mexico all causing fits for teams. Wyoming is no slouch and neither it turns out is Colorado State. I won't be surprised to see two, maybe three teams, make the field from the MWC.

Andy Katz
  (11:33 AM)

Thanks for the questions. We'll chat again next week.