Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

March 4, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Mark Schlabach

Mark Schlabach
  (2:01 PM)

Thanks for joining the chat today. I hope Greivis Vasquez can take some time off from polishing his ACC Player of the Year trophy to take a peek. I'm sure everyone is excited about the last weekend of the regular season, and some conference tourneys cranking up. Here we go....

Johnny Hazeltine (Las Vegas)

Is the loser of the Georgia Tech/Virginia Polytech game on the outside looking in heading into the ACC Tournament?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:02 PM)

I think the loser is in trouble if it's Va. Tech. I still think Georgia Tech is going to be OK. Now, if they lose to the Hokies and lose first game in ACC tourney, there might be a problem. But Jackets have four good wins and played toughest sked during ACC players. Hokies really need a win at GT because of soft sked.

Nick (College Park)

Mark, did last night cement Greivis as ACC POY? Should it? Also, does this MD team look like one that could make noise in the Tournament with a favorable draw?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:03 PM)

I think Vasquez sealed it up. Yes, Terps can make some noise in March. I wasn't a believer until a few weeks ago. Hand Gary Williams ACC Coach of the Year, too. Terps have three veterans and the freshman is giving them a presence in the paint. Vasquez can take a game over, too, and they have solid guard play.

Johnny Hazeltine (Las Vegas)

Besides picking Duke, who wins the ACC Tournament?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:04 PM)

Maryland could win it. Georgia Tech has the talent to win it, but can the Jackets win away from home? Florida State might put their opponents to sleep and win it.

victor (monroe,la)

Do you think notre dame just put themselves in the ncaa tournament next month?and 2nd uconn is not getting shots explain.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:05 PM)

I think the Irish are probably leaning toward the right side of the bubble right now, but they could really use a win over Marquette to cement their at-large hopes. Three great wins over Pitt, West Virginia and Georgetown, but not much else. Nonconference schedule was a joke, but hard to keep a team out that finished 10-8 in Big East.

Tim (Charleston, WV)

Hey Mark, do you think WVU still has a shot at the #1 seed in the NCAA with a win over 'nova Saturday or would they still be a #2 at best?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:07 PM)

Cuse, Kansas and Kentucky probably have them locked up. West Virginia could get one if it beats Nova and does well in the Big East tourney. Nova or Kansas State probably in play for one, too. Can't see Purdue getting one without Hummel, and New Mexico is probably a No. 2 seed.

Tommy (Georgia)

Is Gonzaga grossly overrated? The big computer rankings have them well below the human polls. Sagarin has them at 30th, RPI at 35th, and KenPom has them at 49th. Every bracketology has them in the 4/5 seed range. In Spokane no less!!! What gives?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:09 PM)

I think they're probably a little untested. Beat Wisconsin (neutral court) and swept St. Mary's, but that's about it. Lost to Duke by 35, Michigan State by 4 and Wake Forest by 2. Bad losses to Loyola Marymount and San Francisco. Have played one tough non-conference game since Jan. 3. But I don't doubt Mark Few in the tournament.

Matt (St Pete FL)

Mark - in your opinion, should FSU be a lock after last night's win versus WF? Even if they lose out (last reg season game, first ACC tourney game) they would finish 21-10, 9-8.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:11 PM)

Pretty close to a lock. Win over Wake was big because Noles only had sweep of Georgia Tech and win over Marquette, which looks better now. Beat Va. Tech, but that's about it. If they win at Miami, I'd say they're a lock. Two straight losses might make it interesting, but they're probably safe.

Rob Toms River N.J. [via mobile]

If only one team of the two can get in the tourney who would you put in, UConn or Notre Dame? And why?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:12 PM)

I'd put Notre Dame in because they just beat U-Conn without Harangody. Irish have beaten three good teams recently. But the committee might reward U-Conn for its nonconference strength (No. 8 and No. 2 overall sked strength), and give the Huskies the benefit of the doubt because Calhoun was out for so long. Huskies need to win at South Florida.

Zach (Kansas)

After getting beat by Ku again, where do you see KSU in the seeds?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:13 PM)

I think they still have a shot at a No. 1, if they beat Iowa State and reach the finals of Big 12 tourney. In contention for fourth No. 1 seed with Nova, West Virginia, Purdue. Again I don't see Boilers getting it without Hummel.

Zach (Kansas)

Does Old Dominion deserve an at-large bid with a loss in the CAA finals?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:15 PM)

I think it would be close. Huge win at G'Town and wins over William & Mary (twice) and Charlotte, VCU and Marshall. One bad loss, which wasn't awful (George Mason). RPI at No. 39 right now and decent schedule strength (No. 10 non-conference). I say it's close, but I think they get in if they reach CAA finals.

Chris (Houston)

After their win at Marshall, has UTEP become a lock? If so, what does their seeding range look like? Any chance they get as high as the 6-7 line?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:16 PM)

I think they're probably in at this point, even if they lose to UAB. 13 straight wins and 14-1 record in C-USA. Win over UAB and at Memphis, swept Tulsa. Not a lot of meat on the resume, but record speaks for itself. They look like an NCAA-worthy team.

eric w (philadelphia)

That final 1 seed spot looks CRAZY. Duke? VillaNova? Kansas State? Purdue? anybody else in the hunt? You gets it at the end of the day? I've seen otterhound races more predictable than this mess.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:17 PM)

Duke is probably still in the hunt if it wins the ACC tourney or at least reaches the final, as long as WVU or Nova doesn't win Big East tourney and Kansas State doesn't win Big 12 tourney.

Halldan (New Jersey)

If seton hall beats rutgers tonight, will we get in the tournament?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:19 PM)

Schedule is very much in Pirates' favor, but they have to beat Rutgers and Providence and win one or two in the Big East tourney, in my opinion. Three good wins (Pitt, Louisville and at Cornell), but 12 losses would make it interesting. Most of those losses came against good teams and four came in overtime, which will help. Can't lose to Rutgers or Providence, though.

DJ (Cuse)

Please help me understand why St. Mary's and UTEP are probably in with a combined 3 top 50 wins over non-power conference teams. What is the incentive to schedule good teams when you can beat up on the bad ones and get in. I would rather take a Siena that played and lost to 4 good teams them either of these 2 that scheduled noone good.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:20 PM)

I never said St. Mary's is probably in. In fact, I think the Gaels are probably out right now. Siena is going be an interesting case if the Saints don't win their tournament. They don't have a win over a top-70 opponent, which really hurts. But lost at Temple by 4, lost at Butler by 17, lost at N. Iowa by 17 and lost at Ga. Tech by 10. Siena wasn't competitive in all of those games, but at least it scheduled them.

Jim (NYC)

Is it just me or does Wake Forest look like a team playing terrified?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:21 PM)

Looks like a team that is feeling the pressure, yes. Again, I think they have to lose out to have any risk of not making the NCAAs. A lot of talent on that team, but it's gut-check time for the Demon Deacons.

david (il)

are the buckeyes overrated and do they stand a chance against the badgers in the big 10 final?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:23 PM)

No, Ohio State is in no way overrated. Won at Purdue, at Michigan State and beat Wisconsin, FSU and California. Evan Turner probably national player of the year. Your boys didn't look so good at Minnesota a few weeks ago.

Hayden (Logan, Utah)

as an avid USU fan, what bubble teams are ahead of them? ie who do I cheer against?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:24 PM)

Cheer against Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, U. Conn, Seton Hall, Notre Dame, Illinois, Cincinnati, Florida, Miss. State, Ole Miss, San Diego State, ODU, Rhode Island, Dayton, UAB and St. Mary's. That should keep you busy.

Mike (Dallas, tx)

Who is your COY?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:24 PM)

Jim Boeheim, hands down the easiest selection.

skiler (albuquerque)

Do you think UNM will get a shot at a Number 1 seed in the tournament if they run the table in the MWC?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:25 PM)

I think the Lobos might be in the conversation, but I think they're probably behind WVU/Nova, Duke and Kansas State at this point.

Heath Gerstner (Manhattan, KS)

I see Kansas State as a much better team than Duke. Who do you see gets the #1 seed? Defensively Kansas State is the better team, but I also realize Duke has played a great schedule. Lastly, what makes Kansas State go to the final four? Any specific player in your opinion?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:28 PM)

If Samuels and Kelly stayed out of foul trouble, KSU would probably give Duke a good run. I think Duke is probably more deserving for a No. 1 seed at this point, but conference tourneys will be a big factor this year. Again, if the two big boys stay on the floor, KSU could make a sustained run.

Pete (San Francisco)

Does Cal have a lot to be worried about if they lose at Stanford Saturday?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:29 PM)

Cal needs to beat Stanford. I can't see the Pac-10 regular season champ getting left out of the field, but Bears don't have a top-50 win. No room for error.

Tom J Corbett (NC)

Who will win BE POY? It looked like Scottie Reynolds was running away with it a few weeks ago is that still the case?Tom

Mark Schlabach
  (2:30 PM)

I'd go with Reynolds at this point.

John C (San Jose, CA)

Marquette is the most underrated team in the NCAA. Their defense is unbelievable and their three point shooting is number one in the nation. Please Mark give the Golden Eagles some love

Mark Schlabach
  (2:30 PM)

They've been great the last month. Love a team that finds a way to win no matter what. Three straight overtime wins? Are you kidding me?

Branning (MS)

What are Ole Miss's chances of making the dance if they win tonight against LSU and Saturday at Arkansas?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:31 PM)

Slim. Need to win those two, which won't do much for them, and win some games in Nashville. Getting swept by Miss. State and losing to Florida doesn't help the Rebels.

John (Oxford, MS)

Half way home with no SEC talk, awesome.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:31 PM)

Have you watched the league this year? Outside of Tennessee, Kentucky, Vanderbilt not a lot to talk about. Other than Travis Leslie's dunks, of course.

Bryan (Dallas)

Hey Mark - why do you think Baylor isn't getting more talk for a higher seed? #10 RPI - won 6 of last 7 in the Big 12. 10 road/neutral wins, etc. etc. + 3 players who could potentially be Big 12 first team.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:33 PM)

Two bad losses? At Colorado and against Alabama? Five top-50 wins, though. Bears can move up with strong showing in Big 12 tourney. Beating Texas would help.

Phil (Albuquerque)

How do you say that Boeheim is a hands down favorite for COY? Steve Alford has done a lot more with a lot less than ANY coach in the Country. Please explain that for me.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:34 PM)

Alford has done a great job. I grew up in Indiana and he was one of my first heroes. But Boeheim just won the toughest league in America with a team that wasn't expected to do much.

Matt (Nashville)

Why does one game in a conference tournament carry so much weight in tipping a team from one side of the bubble to the other?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:35 PM)

Committee has often said conference tourneys can't hurt you, only help you. A lot of bubble teams need to win games in conference tourneys to get in. I think there are a few exceptions, like if Wake Forest loses to Clemson and then gets bounced in first game of ACC. That makes it interesting. But bubble teams need to do well in conference tourneys to distinguish themselves from the others. And I think conference tourneys play a role in last No. 1 seed this year, too.

Aaron (San Francisco, CA)

Do you think that Greivis Vasquez has any chance of challenging Evan Turner for the National POY?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:35 PM)

I think he should definitely be in the discussion, especially if Maryland wins a share of ACC title or wins it outright. He's been exceptional all year.

Bryan (Nashville, TN)

Your predictions of tourney champs for SEC, Big East, ACC, Big 12, Big Ten...go.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:37 PM)

SEC: Kentucky (a lot of blue there). Big East: West Virginia (just a hunch). ACC: Maryland (Vasquez carries them). Big 12: Kansas (best team in the league). Big Ten: Ohio State

Brandon (Chicago)

Will the Illini make the big dance?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:38 PM)

Probably need to beat Wisconsin to have a chance. Otherwise, might need to reach Big Ten tourney finals. Didn't do a lot last couple of weeks to help their chances.

Kevin (Hartford, CT)

As a uconn fan should i start buying my NIT tickets already?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:38 PM)

Was surprised Lunardi still had them in the field. But, again, schedule strength won't be overlooked, nor will Calhoun's absence. Have to win at South Florida.

Brian (LA)

You really think MD beats Duke on a neutral court?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:39 PM)

I think with Vasquez on the court, Maryland is capable of beating anyone. Four veterans, including three guards. Getting good minutes from Jordan Williams. Win at Cameron? No. Win on neutral court? Yes.

Brandon (Chicago)

Who are your all americans?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:44 PM)

Evan Turner, Greivis Vasquez, Jimmer Fredette, Wesley Johnson, Scottie Reynolds or John Wall.

bobby (cinci)

my bearcats are struggling but beating uconn twice WITH calhoun and somehow uconn in over my cats? your thoughts?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:47 PM)

UC has lost six of eight. Sweep over Huskies definitely helps, along with wins over Vandy and Md. Really hard to distinguish between the two, other than UC's two head-to-head wins. I think both have to win a couple of more games. Too many losses.

Brock (Denver)

What about Sherron Collins for all american?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:48 PM)

Thought about him, too. Shooting only 41 percent but turnovers are down.

Bob (Ellington, CT)

what are the odds Uconn makes the Ncaa tournament? And would you agree that if Uconn does get in they are a very scary team to face and could make a surprise run. Any team with Kemba Walker and Jerome Dyson in the backcourt would be a tough out in my mind.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:49 PM)

Again, I think it's close. Yes, UConn has the talent to win a couple of games. And the personality to lose in the first round, too.

Corey (Waveland, Mississippi)

What do you think of the job Mark Turgeon is doing at Texas A&M after losing Derrick Roland for the season?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:49 PM)

Great coach. Did well at Wichita State.

Thomas J. Corbett (Greenville, NC)

despite what you say, I still think Syracuse deserves a 1 seed.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:50 PM)

I never said they didn't. I said Cuse, Kansas and Kentucky probably have them locked up.

MIKE (TAMPA, FL)

I find it hard to believe UConn can still be in?! They can't get to a .500 conference record, and despite a strong schedule, Nova is their only quality win on the road.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:50 PM)

I agree with you, but schedule strength will help the Huskies. I still think they need to win two or three more games and beat somebody of consequence

Dallas (Virginia)

If Virginia Tech wins at Georgia Tech Saturday and ends up the #3 seed or #4 seed in the ACC Tourney. Then loses their first game in ACC Tourney. would they be out?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:51 PM)

Tough call. Great ACC record, but didn't play the toughest non-conference sked and played most of the ACC heavyweights only once. I think they need to beat Ga. Tech.

Wayne (Asheville)

WHo is COY in the SEC?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:51 PM)

I'd give it to Stallings. Calipari has done a great job, but he has sick talent.

Terry (Sacramento, CA)

I just have a question, if someone could point me in the right direction...I have Max Baer's boxing gloves he wore when he fought King Levensky on July 4, 1932. Where can I find the value of these?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:54 PM)

Seriously? Call Bert Sugar. With that, I'm closing the chat today. Thanks for joining us. I hope everybody has a great weekend. Enjoy the games.