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February 4, 1:05 PM ET
Chat with Dana O'Neil

Dana O'Neil
  (2:00 PM)

Hey everyone, another great week of games and upsets. Discuss!

Megan Lafayette Ca [via mobile]

What do you think about St. Marys chances now that Mills is injured?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:01 PM)

Megan: Tough road, I think. Completely different team in the first half against Gonzaga than the second. Hopefully they can hold the ship steady enough until he attempts to oome back. Really tough break. literally

Tony syracuse [via mobile]

Syracuse has lost 4-5 of there last games now they have wvu at the dome tonight how do u think there gonna bounce back from there 100-94 lost at providence? And how do u think there gonna do for the rest of the season

Dana O'Neil
  (2:03 PM)

Tony: Having Rautins healthy helps and playing at hte Dome helps even more. They really need this one, not just to get back on the winning track but to get out of the pack of teams in the middle of hte Big East.

Mike: (Storrs,CT)

What are the chances Uconn reaches the final 4?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:04 PM)

Mike: Based on what I saw Monday, pretty darn good. Talented, deep and plays with an attitude. I think they feel underappreciated a little which is a dangerous thing on a goood team.

Matt (Milwaukee)

Hey Dana - your #1 fan here! Marquette is sitting at 9-0 atop the BE, having won 12 in a row. I know the toughest stretch of their schedule awaits, but they have demonstated the ability to beat teams much bigger than them (i.e. G'town). Do you think they are capable of a Final Four run?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:05 PM)

Matt: The small team thing doesn't bother me at all. Think if guys play hard and tough, as these guys do, that's all that matters. Like everyone else, I'm anxious to see how Marquette fares heading into the meat of the Big East. I think they're very good and legit but it's hard to say exactly how good til they stack up against teh best.

Dave (Florida)

Hi Dana, which teams would give UConn the toughest games?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:06 PM)

Dave: I'm anxious to see how they do against Pitt. Equally tough big man, good depth, good defensive team, good guards.

Dino (Dayton)

Dana: Dayton is 20-2, and is getting no recognition. What is your take on the Dayton Flyers?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:07 PM)

dino: Actually working on something about the Flyers for tomorrow. I think they're very good. You don't win 20 games without being very good but there is the question of the strength of schedule. We'll know more next week when they play Xavier.

Ben (Tampa)

How far can the Sooners go in the tourney, and what do you think of their supporting cast?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:09 PM)

Ben: I've liked Oklahoma for a while and think the supporting cast is underrated. Willie Warren is terrific; Austin Johnson is getting better and better and what more can you say about Blake Griffin? They look like a Final Four team to me.

Chris (Abilene, TX)

What's wrong with Baylor? Is this just a tough stretch in the schedule or are they suffering from having NO DEFENSE?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:10 PM)

Chris: No defense. I mean zip, zero, nada. You can't beat good teams that way.

JP NY [via mobile]

How is it that Davidson isn't ranked when they destroy everyone in their conference and there only losses came to teams in the top 15 in the country? 2 of there losses came to teams that have been or are capable of being #1 right now, (Duke and Oklahoma)! And do you think teams like xavier and butler deserve to be ranked so high based on who they play?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:12 PM)

JP: Davidson was there early and then fell off after the losses. Hard to climb back in agains the quality of competition in conference. Both Xavier and Butler played decent non-conference competition so you can have a better gauge of their talent. don't have a problem w/ either team's ranking.

Matt (Milwaukee)

Jerel McNeal has to be the leader for Big East POY at this point - agree? He's a beast on both ends of the court!!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:14 PM)

Matt: He's very hard to argue against. I would toss in Thabeet. His numbers don't tell how he alters a game and Terrence Williams as a stat stuffer supreme. Harangody's numbers are outrageous but I have a hard time choosing a guy on a team that's tanking.

John (Chicago)

Dana, since you know way more about college hoops than I, please explain how the heck Wake beats UNC and Duke and loses to GT and VT??

Dana O'Neil
  (2:15 PM)

John: I think it's indicative of a young team - get way up for the big games and suffer the inevitable letdown. No other way to explain it, if you ask me.

Chris (Atlanta)

Duke Clemson tonight: Who ya got?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:15 PM)

Chris: going w/ Duke. Still really really like that team. Played horribly against Wake and right there in it at the end.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Ms. O'Neil: What kind of finish do you think Penn State needs to make the final regular season Top 25?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:16 PM)

JB: Rankings aren't important. This team is playing for an at-large bid. Let that sink in. Stunning. I'd say they are firmly on the bubble and w/ the rest of the Big 10 falling apart should be able to play their way in, not out.

Blake Lemay - Memphis TN

hey dana! how far do you think tyreke and the tigers will go this year and do you think xavier henry and tyreke can work together for another national title next year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:17 PM)

Blake: Memphis is the team no one is talking about. Still have unbelievable talent and w/ Tyreke at the point, seem much more stable. Xavier and Tyreke would be a heckuva combo... if Tyreke stays.

Michael Kernersville NC

Dana don't look now but that lose early in the season to BC does not look that bad right now for unc

Dana O'Neil
  (2:18 PM)

Michael: No it' s not awful and honestly, I'm amused at how much UNC has fallen off the radar. Who'da thunk that in October? Losing Ginyard and possibly Zeller hurts that crazy depth they have but this is still a very very good team.

Tim (Pa)

Which Big 5 teams do you see making the postseason

Dana O'Neil
  (2:19 PM)

Tim: Right now? Villanova.


Any comments on The General to Georgia talk?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:20 PM)

Matt; I have no insider information, so this is only an opinion. I would be very surprised if the Bulldogs went that route. Bob Knight is a great coach but it's been a while since his heyday. He will bring a curiosity factor for PR but ask Texas Tech how long that lasts.

Victor monroe,la

Hi dana i,m sorry i will not be availablr to chat with you this week .but one qustion does the sec still have a chance of getting five teams in the ncaa tournament?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:21 PM)

Victor: In the NCAA Tournament???? I don't see it. The NIT? Sure.

Andrew (Providence)

Half way through Big East play the Friars are 6-3. Do you see Providence winning a few more big ones and making it to the big dance?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:22 PM)

Andrew: Dangerous team. Veteran players playing well at the end of the season with a homecourt that's impossible to play on. I would say the Friars are playing their way in, possibly at the expense of someone else in the Big East.

Come On

No one ever, ever answers my questions about the A-10. Why? How many teams will dance from the A-10, give reasons! Pleasssse, Dana!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:23 PM)

Wah. Rright now, I'd say Xavier and Dayton.

Mike (OH)

Should there be concern in Kentucky? I was never that high on the Cats to begin with, felt like it was too much of a Meeks show offensively and not enough team. 3 straight losses in a unusually weak league.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:24 PM)

Mike: Oh I'm sure there's lots of concern in Kentucky right now. You hit it on the head, three losses in a bad league. Meeks is a great player but teams learn how to defend great players and the Wildcats haven't had anyone else fill the void.

joe, NY [via mobile]

What do you think of talor battle's chances of winning big ten POY, And even being and all-american?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:25 PM)

Joe: He's going to have to contend w/ Lucas, top player on top team but the show he put on against Michigan State was absolutely insane. Sat on my sofa and laughed out loud at some of the 3s he was draining. Great great player.

Matt (St. Paul)

Gophers/Spartans tonight....1st place in the Big Ten on the line! Whouda thunk it?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:25 PM)

Matt: Um not me that's for sure. Maybe Tubby?

James -- Philadelphia

"I would say the Friars are playing their way in, possibly at the expense of someone else in the Big East." Who?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:26 PM)

James: one of the other pack teams. West Virginia being example #1, faltering Notre Dame, nosediving Syracuse.

Mike (NY)

Does Arizona have a chance to make the NCAA's. They are playing better now and your thoughts on a possible coach.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:27 PM)

Mike: They are playing better and considering the soap opera, ought to be commended for it. Problem is, the league is a bit of a mess right now. I'd say they're on the bubble.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Which basketball conference is most viewed the way the Big Ten is during football season?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:27 PM)

You mean slow and plodding? The Big Ten.

Ben (Tempe, AZ)

What is going on with Wisconsin? Are they even going to make the tournament this year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:28 PM)

Ben: Surprisingly down year for Bo Ryan. I'd say right now no, they're out.

chase, montana

hey dana, any thoughts on some mid majors that could make some noise come march?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:30 PM)

chase: Can we still count Davidson? Probably not. Not sure if Utah State counts either. Otherwise... Siena is undefeated in the MAAC, veteran team turned heads last year. Western Kentucky is another team, if they win the league and get in, that could make noise and at the risk of sounding crazy, Cornell - finally healthy - is another to watch out for. Don't seem them losing in the Ivy.


what do you think of the chance for mizzou

Dana O'Neil
  (2:31 PM)

Gustine: Texas isn't playing very well right now and Damion James, while probable, is not 100 percent. I'd say the Longhorns are ripe for the picking for a very good defensive Mizzou team that needs a signature win right now. And I've been wrong a lot...

Jack (CA)

HI...Any thoughts on the career of Derrick Character and can he turn it around at UTEP

Dana O'Neil
  (2:32 PM)

Jack: Well I'd love to see him. Is he in shape? I'm going on the theory of no. He has to get his act together, mentally, and really commit. Maybe away from the spotlight he can. I hope so. Was an awfully good player.

Mike (New york city)

Dana - what's your final four. Still Louisville as champion?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:33 PM)

Mike: I am Italian stubborn. Refuse to give up on the Ville. Right now I'd add UConn, Carolina and Duke, though I have a hard time leaving Oklahoma out.

Nick (Boston)

9-7 in the ACC get BC in the tourney?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:34 PM)

Nick: Probably. They have enough quality wins to overcome that Harvard disaster.

Greg Freson (Cincinnati, OH)

Is LOST the best series currently on TV?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:35 PM)

Greg: got no idea. If i'm not watching hoops, I'm watching Discovery w/ my 4 year old or TLC w/ my 7 year old. Woefully out of touch.

Michael (raliegh) [via mobile]

Duke vs unc who u got?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:35 PM)

Michael: I'm very excited to say I'll be there. First Duke-Carolina game. First game at Cameron, believe it or not. I'm going w/ Duke. Gulp

Deuce (Minneapolis)

You say the Big Ten is "slow and plodding." I say the Big Ten "knows how to play defense." Which is why they are #2 in conference RPI rankings, right?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:36 PM)

Deuce: I don't see it that way. The Big East has teams that can play defense; ditto the ACC. yet they're also way more athletic.

Justin( Arizona)

How is Duke going to handle the size of the Clemson Tigers tonight?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:38 PM)

Justin: I see the flip of the question. How is Clemson going to handle Duke's ballhandlers and quickness. The big man problem hasn't been a huge problem for the Blue Devils this year. That said, cannot get killed on the boards.

Michael (raliegh) [via mobile]

not a surprise one bit that you are picking Duke after all you are a Duke fan Dana

Dana O'Neil
  (2:38 PM)

Michael: There are people who know me well laughing heartily at that one.

Jeremy (NYC)

Dana, what is it going to take for UConn to get the top #1 seed? Would winning at Marquette, at home vs Pitt and winning the Big East Tournament be enough ?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:39 PM)

Jeremy: Well winning the Big East tourney is a lock. Right now I'd say they've got the inside angle, even if they finish strong and stumble in the Big East. Remember they get a bye to the quarters so logically they wouldn't lose til maybe the semis.

Ryan OH [via mobile]

How do you see xavier losing their only true point gaurd effecting them? Do you think they might slide.back to the pack in the a 10?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:40 PM)

Ryan: good question. When I saw them in November and December, Holloway's inexperience was their biggest problem. He got better, they got better. I think it could be problematic, to be honest.

Matt (Orlando)

What are the noles chances at the tournament at this point?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:42 PM)

Matt: Presuming they don't bomb against the teams they should beat, I'd say the Noles are in.

Tom (Salt Lake)

What's the deal with the Spartans losing at home but winning everything on the road? Is it an internal issue or just two guys going off on them at home, hitting ridiculous 3's (Coble and Battle)?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:43 PM)

Tom: I'd say the latter. Battle was hitting things from the parking lot. I think Pringle or someone banked in a 3.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:43 PM)

Oh and remember. Morgan isn't playing.

Adam, sc [via mobile]

Can vt go dancing

Dana O'Neil
  (2:45 PM)

Adam: I think so. The two losses to clemson and BC are troubling but they were close games, one on the road. Not good, not killers. I'd like to see them develop some consistency to secure a spot.

Chazz (Q City)

Do you see any players capable of single handedly taking their team to the Final Four/Championship this year, a la Melo year back? James Harden, Steph Curry come to mind, or is there anyone else?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:47 PM)

Chazz: Well Curry did and can again. In a different way, Thabeet can dictate a game as he did against Louisville. Hansbrough can will a team to win. Blake Griffin can overwhelm anyone. Maybe none a la Melo exactly

David sc via mobile

Can SC go dancing.Or we are going to dancing in the NIT

Dana O'Neil
  (2:48 PM)

David: I would have liked them more had they won that game last night. They aren't entirely out - and honestly DHorn should be commended for a great job - but have work to do.

Garrett (NC)

Dana, are the Baby Buckeyes going to be scary come March. They are shooting the lights out right now and still don't have David Lighty

Dana O'Neil
  (2:49 PM)

Garrett: Good point about Lighty. And certainly while other teams in the league are going south, they're getting better. Could be an overlooked team that might scare someone.

Matt (St. Paul)

Billy Clyde on the hot seat at UK yet?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:50 PM)

Matt: Is the seat ever cool in Kentucky? Other than the hour after you win a title?Should he have to worry about his job right now? No way. Are the natives restless? Absolutely

Justin( Arizona)

Notre Dame just went through a tough 5 games, do they bounce back tonight and get a win ?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:51 PM)

Justin: I'll say this, they'd better. They certainly are better than Cincy and desperately need to win.

Billy (NYC)

Will Siena College be worthy of an at large bid if they happen to not win the MAAC?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:52 PM)

Billy: Tough call. They played a good non-conference sched but didn't get the sort of wins they were looking for in Orlando. But if they lose to say, Niagara, another good team, in the MAAC Tourney title game they'd have a good argument.

Jeremy (Memphis)

Who you got this weekend: Memphis or Gonzaga?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:53 PM)

Jeremy: Wow. Tough call. Both teams playing well. I'd say I'd have to give the home team the edge though, so Zags.

David (New York City, NY)

Dana - which NCAA matchups would you love to see?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:55 PM)

David: Hmm... DeJuan Blair/Pitt versus Blake Griffin/Oklahoma or Hasheem Thabeet/UConn versus Blake Griffin/Oklahoma. Duke backcourt versus UCLA backcourt...

Eric from State College, Pa

will the tournament committee take into account that if Jamelle Cornley doesn't get into the big dance this year that his likely to kill someone? In all seriousness, this guy deserves a chance to show the country how he can play.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:56 PM)

Eric: too funny. spent time with him in the preseason and really enjoyed it.. Great kid, hard worker and I agree, he deserves to be in.

Joel (Fayetteville, NC)

Okay, since you won't dance with me, I'll get back to basketball. Can UNC win the National Championship giving up 72 points a game like they are? I don't see them outscoring everyone in the tournament without learning to play some defense.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:57 PM)

Joel: sorry. dance card is full. Katz is available, though. As for Carolina, I agree that's the biggest problem. Was last year and is this year. The defense is slightly better but is still not on par with other top teams in the country. .I"m not saying it will do them in but it could be an Achilles Heel in the right game.

Zeke (NC)

Rank these players from NC schools in order of potential for the NBA: Hansbrough, Costner, Teague, Curry?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:59 PM)

Zeke: I never understand the NBA. To me, all of those guys are good players. Period. But since you asked, based on NBA likes, etc: Teague, Hansbrough sligh edge over Costner, Curry.

Mike (Norman) [via mobile]

Do you think OU and KU could both be undefeated in conference heading into their showdown in Norman later this month?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:00 PM)

Mike: Maybe. Kansas will have a hard time handling a better K-State and Mizzou. Oklahoma needs to get past that little game in Austin.

Dana O'Neil
  (3:01 PM)

Alright folks, gotta go. Thanks for the questions. Chat at you next week.