Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

March 11, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Jay Bilas

Jay Bilas
  (2:00 PM)

Hey everybody! Let's get going, because I don't have long to go today. Two games tonight at Madison Square Garden.

Tony (New York City)

How come Louisville is projected by many to be a lock for an at-large bid but Seton Hall is projected on the wrong side of the bubble? They have similar records and strength of schedule, both lost in the same round of the Big East tournament, and Seton Hall won head-to-head?

Jay Bilas
  (2:03 PM)

Fair point. Look, the parsing of schedules is all fine, but in the end, you are left with whether the team you are considering is one of the 34 best. I thought it was silly that some were saying that Marquette and Notre Dame were not yet locks, yet after they beat St. John's and Seton Hall, they were? That makes no sense. None. Seton Hall makes a decent case as against Arizona State or Washington. But, in any scenario, the Pirates are near the end of the line.


Which teams are you seeing as a potential George Mason?

Jay Bilas
  (2:04 PM)

Cornell, Northern Iowa, St. Mary's and Richmond. The first three have big men that can score and guard in the post. That is why George Mason went to the Final Four, not guards. Will Thomas and Jai Lewis could score and defend in the lane.

Jeremy (Santa Fe, NM)

With mid majors such as New Mexico, Butler, BYU, etc. having huge seasons, what impact do you think this will have on future NCAA tourney fields?? More love for mid majors?? Or the continuation of domination by big name schools??

Jay Bilas
  (2:06 PM)

None. The Committee goes with the best teams. Some years see more good middies and some don't. A few years ago, the Missouri Valley got four teams in, but it was just that year. Now, it is back to just one, or maybe two. You have to have really good teams. That is the measure.

greg (not syracuse)

is cuse still a 1 seed, after they fall to gtown in the next minute

Jay Bilas
  (2:07 PM)

Probably, yes. If not them, then who? I think the Cuse is still a top four team, even with the loss. Georgetown is a pretty good No. 8 seed in a conference tournament, don't you?

elmer (new york, ny)

jay what happened to syracuse? you think their 2-3 zone defense didnt work against georgetown?

Jay Bilas
  (2:08 PM)

They didn't get to play it all that much in the second half. Georgetown did a nice job of beating the zone down the floor and scoring in transition. And, when the Hoyas did play against the zone, they did a good job of overloading the zone, penetrating via the pass, and hitting shots. There is a good Georgetown and a bad Georgetown, and we saw the good one today.

Mark (Dayton)

If Dayton beats Xavier and Richmond but looses in A-10 finals. In or out?

Jay Bilas
  (2:09 PM)

In. That would do it for the Flyers. So many poor teams out there on the bubble, two wins like X and Richmond would seal it. And, Dayton is fully capable of it.

Zach Smith (Athens, TX)

Hey Jay, why does Kansas State get more respect than Baylor? They have identical records overall and in-conference. I have no problem with KSTATE being ranked ahead of Baylor since they beat them, but you can't tell that Baylor is not as good if not better than most teams between them.

Jay Bilas
  (2:10 PM)

Fair question. I think that Kansas State is probably better than Baylor by a smidge. But, Baylor has finally started to guard people. The zone has been good, and the Bears have paid attention to defense for the first time in a long time. Baylor is good, and will be in the NCAA Tournament.


Is there a Stephen Curry-esque player who will make a name for himself this March?

Jay Bilas
  (2:11 PM)

Ryan Wittman of Cornell. Big time shooter, and an assassin. He is really, really good.

Dave (NJ)

From a spectator point of view, is the Big East Tourney the best event to see? Better than the NCAA? A lot of emotion.

Jay Bilas
  (2:12 PM)

Big East and the ACC are the two best, in that order. But, all have certain aspects that are really cool. I love the conference tournaments. Best time of the year.

Matt (DC)

How high do you see the Terps getting seeded?

Jay Bilas
  (2:13 PM)

Depends upon the finish. Could be a 3 with a Tournament title, or could be a 4 or a 5. Good team, with a great player in Vasquez.

Ryan (MI)

So if Onuaku has a serious knee injury and can't play in the tournament, are we going to hear the same crap about Syracuse that we've been hearing about Purdue? Onuaku isn't as good as Hummel obviously, but the Orange only go 7-deep. This would be a huge loss.

Jay Bilas
  (2:15 PM)

Losing Onuaku would be tough, but it would mean only that Jardine and Joseph would take up the minutes. Syracuse can overcome it. I hope, though, that Arinze is okay. I hate to see anyone get hurt like that. Funny how, when a zone team loses, the zone is the problem. When a man team loses, there is no such talk. So few people really understand zone defenses. It is laughable.

Matt (Iowa)

Will UNI receive a high seed than 8-9, this horizontal movement is angering when SO MANY ESPN, and other major sports analysts are saying they should receive higher. Come Sunday, where do you see UNI being seeded, and from there, do they make it to the Sweet 16?

Jay Bilas
  (2:16 PM)

I think that Northern Iowa should be around the 5-seed line. That is a top 25 team.

Jake (Indianpolis, IN)

With Butler's win over an Evan Turner-less Ohio State squad being marked as "lesser value", does a 25 point victory over Wright State in the Horizon League Championship deserve a "greater value" than just an outright win? Do you think it's fair to speculate on the outcomes of games based on "if (insert name) would have played"? In my opinion, injuries happen, it's part of the game and a win's a win.

Jay Bilas
  (2:18 PM)

It isn't speculation. It is judgment. This Butler team is very good. If you think the team is the tenth best team, then the Bulldogs should be a 3-seed. The Committee is one big poll. Every member gets a vote. No vote is worth more than any other. Only the people in the room know which voices carry the most weight with other members of the Committee.

Dan (Philadelphia)

If Ohio St and Duke both win their conference tournaments, does Syracuse lose their #1 seed?

Jay Bilas
  (2:19 PM)

No. If Ohio State and Duke both win, then Duke keeps the fourth No. 1 seed. Syracuse has only lost four times. And, I think the Cuse is still one of the four best teams.


Jay, why is NM so disrespected? They are 28-3 and ranked 8th, yet every article I read has BYU the favorites for the MWC tourney and to go deeper in the big dance. What's the deal???

Jay Bilas
  (2:20 PM)

Maybe, just maybe, people think that BYU is better. That is not so unreasonable. And, what people think has no bearing on the outcome of the games. None. If the Lobos are better, they get to prove it. I think that both are very good, and I think that BYU is just a hair better. But, it is close. Very close.

Brent (Lexington, KY)

As bad as the "bubble" is this year, is that more fodder for those who are against the NCAA expansion? More mediocre to bad teams in the field is not going to make for a more exciting March.

Jay Bilas
  (2:21 PM)

Expansion is about money. That is the only real motivation. Just adding more average teams at the end of the line is not a good enough reason to expand, in my judgment.

Mark (Charlotte, NC)

Jay please tell me that Roy Williams has a brilliant point guard coming in next year to help fix ths Heels.

Jay Bilas
  (2:22 PM)

A very good one. Lefty Kendall Marshall is very good. Not super explosive like Ty Lawson was, but he will upgrade the position. That team needs more fight and leadership. Marshall will do that.

Murf (Morris, IL)

Do you think any of the big ten teams can make a run to the Final Four? And if so, which one do you see with best chance and why?

Jay Bilas
  (2:23 PM)

Ohio State and Michigan State are the two I would bank on. Purdue was in that group until the Hummel injury.


Is this the year a 1 seed falls to a 16?

Jay Bilas
  (2:25 PM)

I really doubt it. There is no parity in college basketball. A No. 16 seed would have to play great, and the No. 1 would have to really lay down. It will happen someday, but not yet. If we had the 64 best teams instead of the automatic bid system, we would see one sooner.

brad (ohio)

Do you think the buckeyes have a chance at a 1 seed

Jay Bilas
  (2:28 PM)

Yes. If Duke loses and Ohio State wins. Duke has the better resume on paper, and the Committee does a lot of seeding based upon the paper. Just look at past results.....all of these bracket guys predict 64 of 65 annually. Of course, they spot themselves the 31 automatic bids, and anyone can get the next 30, so they really get 4 out of 5 each year. It is formulaic, and that is probably a bad thing.

Jay Bilas
  (2:28 PM)

Thanks for all of the questions!!