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January 5, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Dana O'Neil

Scott (Raleigh)

Out of the remaining teams still undefeated, who will get their first loss last? No one goes unbeaten once conference play one.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:01 PM)

Hey there folks. Welcome to Wednesday.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:02 PM)

Scott: Don't have their scheds in front of me right now but based on quality of competition in respective leagues, maybe Duke. The ACC just isn't as strong as the Big East (for Syracuse or Cincy), Big 12 (for Kansas), Big 10 (for Ohio State) and don't know how long UCF can sustain it.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What is the Best & The Worst NCAA Men's College Basketball team so far this season?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:03 PM)

Chris: Best has to be Duke, with Ohio State, Kansas and Cuse right there. Worst? Would have said Auburn til the Tigers beat Florida State. Can't figure that one out.

Kyle (Decatur, IL)

Hey Dana.I was wondering if we could read anything into last night's Big Ten close scares? With Minnesota already having two losses in the conference and then almost losing to Indiana at home or with Ohio State cutting it close against Iowa. Thanks.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:05 PM)

Kyle: I'd read more into Minny's deal than Ohio State's. Think the Buckeyes just played poorly against a bad team. Minnesota, though, has some holes and isn't going to skate thru the Big Ten easily. Still a very tough conference.

Ann (Seattle)

Do you think that Tennessee can right the ship or will they end up missing the NCAA tournament despite their early impressive wins?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:06 PM)

Ann: Can I answer that after they play Memphis? I can't imagine the Vols missing the tourney after that great start but they best get their act together fast. Remember they're without their coach for 8 games, so the margin for error is slim.

Garrett (Richmond, VA)

St. John's is 3-0 with a nice wins against Georgetown, @ W. Virginia and @Providence, but is it still too early to label them as a contender?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:07 PM)

Garrett: Well, yeah. Great win against Georgetown for sure. But they've got seven ranked teams in their next seven games. That's not the sort of run that the Johnnies have survived lately. Things are better - and remember next season's class is supposed to be fabulous. But need to simmer down on the expectations this soon.

Alex (Columbia, MO)

PLEASE tell me you've heard something on Tony Mitchell and his status? What is going on here? Is there any optimism that he will even attend Mizzou, I check the internet every day just to see if there is anything out there on him, but nothing..

Dana O'Neil
  (2:07 PM)

Alex: I have not heard anything. Sorry

Andrew (Cincinnati)

What do you thing the chances are of Xavier turning things around after a rough start and winning the A-10, which seems to be struggling this year.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:08 PM)

Andrew Agree that the A10 is sort of all over the map right now. Still think Temple is the favorite. Xavier has so many injuries to contend with that overtaking the Owls would be tough. But honestly, even with the injuries, they are about as reliable as anyone in the league right now.

Josh Harrellson (Wildcat lodge)

Hello Dana, How important am I to the success of UK this year. I figure if I don't step up we may not make it very far come March.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:09 PM)

Josh: Working on my SEC primer and labeled you the conference's early surprise. Whoever had you averaging 7 and 9 this season, I want to take to the track. Great stuff. And yeah, you're important for Kentucky. Need a low-post presence and a rebounder and unless Enes is freed, you're the dude.

Rachel (New Mexico)

What about UNM? People tend to forget we are back to back defending champions. Did New Mexico fall off the map this year with the nation? Talking to SDSU fans and BYU fans...they still believe we are the team to beat in conference. What do you think? Thanks Dana!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:10 PM)

Rachel: Think the Mountain West is going to be a whole lot of fun to watch this season. I'd argue that San Diego State and BYU are the teams to beat, but I'd also argue that New Mexico and UNLV may have something to say about that.

Charles (Queen City)

Nobody in Charlotte would have predicted 8-6 after the 49ers showing in the Charleston Classic. What can they do in conference play, should the A10 powers be worried that Alan Major's squad is coming on strong?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:11 PM)

Charles: Much agreed. Alan Major has done a terrific job in his first season. No one in the A10 is unbeatable, not even a little bit, so yeah the 49ers can turn some more heads.

Joe (Syracuse)

Does Syracuse have enough outside shooting to win against the elite teams in the Big East? How far will they go in the NCAA's?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:12 PM)

Joe: THat's definitely the Orange's Achilles heel. Need consistent shooting, but I think it's coming. Slowly. If it does, I'll stand by my October pick: Cuse in the national championship game against Duke.


Rock Chalk. Do you think that Selby will avoid hitting the proverbial "freshman wall" at the end of the year since he missed the first few games?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:13 PM)

JR: Impossible to predict but I doubt he'll hammer into it. First of all, he doesn't need to play 40 minutes a game. That helps. Secondly, these guys play so much AAU ball that they aren't fatigued so easily.

Andy Ball (New Hampshire)

What do you think of Mike Rice's antics on the sideline at the Villanova game on Sunday? Seemed like it warranted it a Technical to me... Will Rutgers ever get out of the toilet?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:14 PM)

Andy: Mike's always been that way. Some people are bothered by it. I'm used to it. Definitely think he has the sort of recruits next season that can turn things around. Won't be overnight, but he's on the right track.

Matt (Memphis)

Who wins tonight's Tennessee East vs. West show down? Memphis or UT? Also, which team's season has been more successful?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:16 PM)

Matt: Eesh. Tough one, to be honest. Tennessee needs it desperately and it's at Tennessee, so give the Vols slight edge. No question Memphis has been better. I know they don't have the marquee win but they don't have the abysmal losses.

Gerald Ung (Temple)

Gun To Your Head who is going to win Player of the Year this year.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:16 PM)

Gerald: Stop the violence. Jared Sullinger.

Jordan (Lexington)

Overall, how would you grade the NCAA's rulings so far, across all sports?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:17 PM)

Jordan: Is perplexing a grade? I can't figure the NCAA out for the life of me. Still don't get Cam Newton. The Ohio State thing is a mockery. Understood Selby. Curious about Kanter.

Blake (Abilene, TX)

Dana, who is more underrated? Jordan Hamilton or his team Texas?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:18 PM)

Blake You can't be underrated when you're ranked 12th, so I'll go with Jordan Hamilton. And I'd say he's more unheralded than underrated. Lacks the pub.

RayhadJackson (Rainbow, CA)

How do you think the Penn Quakers will do this year in the Ivy League? Will they be a top or bottom?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:19 PM)

Gonna go with better. Princeton and Harvard seem to be the best of the bunch. Don't think Penn is the worst. And after last year's disaster, all improvements are impressive.

Dan (Media, PA)

Now under my diploma from THE St. Joseph's University, I vowed to never root for Villanova. But as a basketball fan, I try to be impartial. That being said, it just seems to me that Villanova is going to have another 2nd round exit because they still don't have enough offense inside, and rely too much on guard play. Convince me I'm wrong

Dana O'Neil
  (2:20 PM)

Dan: Oh heavens, when hasn't Villanova relied too much on guard play?! They went to the Elite Eight with Will Sheridan as their big man. Think the bigger issue is getting everyone going. Corey Stokes has been good. Maalik Wayns is incredible and Corey FIsher has been up and down. If he gets going and they stay focused on defense, that's a good team.

Chad W. (Greensboro)

Why do you do Mens BB instead of WB? Is the Big East far above all other conferences this year?

Matt (Bethlehem, PA)

Hi Dana. Do you see a clear separation between the top three teams in the polls and the rest of the championship contenders?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:22 PM)

Chad: I like men's basketball better. Faster, more athletic. And I'd say, yes, the Big East is the best right now. The caveat being: not sure how good some of the ranked teams are - Cincy and Louisville, for example.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:23 PM)

Matt: Whoops. Technical glitch. A huge separation? No. But there's a gap right now. All three have issues: Duke without Irving, Kansas defensively and Syracuse outside shooting.

Logan (DC)

Do you think the combination of a tough non-conference schedule and a brutal Big East will wear down the Hoyas?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:25 PM)

Logan: I don't. The Hoyas have three veteran guards who have been through the Big East. They know what they're doing. They played poorly against St. John's but that's going to happen in the Big East.

Dirty Nagle (Big Apple)

How depressing is the state of affairs of PSU hoops in that the only chance for a W is if Talor Battle shoots 40 times a game

Dana O'Neil
  (2:25 PM)

I'm still depressed over the bowl game. Thanks for the reminder. Go volleyball! and fencing!

Matt (South Cali)

Where do you see SDSU first lost? In my opinion i still think the team to deal with are the Lobos...they slid under the radar and i have been to the pit before...there is no place like it. What are your thoughts Dana, Thanks!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:26 PM)

Matt: Could be that one. Could be the game before against UNLV.

David (West Virginia)

Question about the WCC: Is it Saint Mary's and Gonzaga and then everyone else or does Portland have a chance to make it a little interesting? What about LMU?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:27 PM)

David: I'd say it's down to Saint Mary's and Gonzaga, but neither are so very good that this will be a walkover. Portland maybe makes it interesting.

Willy (Kansas)

Dana, What are your thoughts on Kansas State? I know they haven't lived up to expectations, but are really starting to show some potential with the return of a much more focused and patient Jacob Pullen.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:29 PM)

Willy: They definitely haven't lived up to expectations but honestly, it's how you finish. If Pullen can get it together - especially shoot better - it's still a team to watch out for. Think people have jumped off their bandwagon and Michigan State's a bit prematurely.

Owen (Salt Lake, UT)

What conference/conferences will be fun to watch from beginning to end? Any surprise conference out there that people should pay attention to?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:29 PM)

Owen: Aside from the usual suspects, think the Mountain West could be interesting. Think the Valley is fairly wide open, too. And the Horizon... is Butler really back or not?

Jason (Chicago)

Why does it happen every year??? people ignore Kansas until they have no choice but to pay attention. Are people just bored with KU's success?? I've heard Duke, Ohio State, Syracuse, and Kentucky ranted and raved over throughout the year...............but what do you think of Kansas?? Dickie V ranked them #23 in his preseason poll. Why?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:31 PM)

Jason: Can't speak to Dick's preseason ranking, but you're right. People do undersell Kansas. not sure why. Maybe because they turn over guys and you keep waiting for the speedbump that never happens. But this is a good team and a fun team to watch, was before Selby and certainly is with him.

RFC (Niagra Falls, NY)

Dana, how old are you? Just curious.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:32 PM)

I'll welcome guesses. Please, under 60.

Weaver (St. Louis)

Do you think Josh Pastner might drink a coke or say a bad word if Memphis continues to struggle with low major teams at home. I know that they are winning, but I am sure he will succumb one day.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:32 PM)

Weaver: Ha! When I was there last year, I threatened to exchange a water for a Mountain Dew just to see what would happen. The man has amazing discipline but I'd say coaching could wear on Mother Teresa.

Peter (Austin Tx)

I got excited about the Texas Basketball team last year only to be horribly disappointed. Is this team for real? Or will we fall apart in conference play again?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:33 PM)

Peter: Great question. Think that's why everyone is afraid to go all in with Texas. Gotta say, though, like this team. Tristan Thompson is fabulous. Ditto Cory Joseph.

Kevin (Schenectady, NY)

Hi Dana. What are your thoughts on my terps? Young team but their 4 losses are all under 10 points. How do you see them agains Duke and will they make the tourney? Keep up the great work!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:36 PM)

Kevin: Yeah, very young team, so going to be wildly inconsistent. But the ACC is so wide open, they could finish better than you'd imagine.

Tom Corbet (Goldsboro, NC)

Dana, last time you said you had a puppy, what kind? I raise otterhounds.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:36 PM)

Tom: Golden retriever.

Bob (New Mexico)

We played a team in Dayton on Saturday that can jump outta the gym. To me they look like Sweet 16 contenders. Am I wrong?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:37 PM)

Bob: Thought that was Dayton last year and they fizzled early. Chris Wright and Chris Johnson are terrific. If stay focused, could be a sleeper tourney team for sure.

Corey (Chicago)

Given all of the early season struggles MSU has endured (turnovers, poor shooting, free throws), do you still think they can challenge Ohio State for the big ten title this year? I'd hate to bet against Izzo given his track record of in-season team improvements.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:38 PM)

Corey: Spartans have a lot to clean up, for certain. The turnovers are killers. Kalin Lucas has to be 100 percent. Summers has to be more reliable. But I'm with you. Have a real hard time counting out an Izzo team, regardless of their deficiencies.

reckoner (los angeles)

Can Purdue win the Big Ten without Rob Hummel?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:39 PM)

Based on how they've been playing, why not? Looking forward to seeing the Boilers at Ohio State in a few weeks.

Willie (Indiana)

Who will be first to beat a team from a power conference, Indiana or Louisville? And what does that say about scheduling?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:40 PM)

Wilie: I hear the thing about scheduling but I also understand that coach looks at his roster and decides what his team can handle. If you've got a young team, do you really need them to get pounded every night and lose by 30, or do you roll the dice with a weak schedule and hope they gain confidence that pays off later? I've seen a million coaches do it. As for the win: Louisville.

DJ (Cuse)

Is there a more exciting team then the Mizzou Tigers? Will I make it thru the season without having a stroke?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:41 PM)

DJ: Bring a ventilator and defibrillator just in case.

Bear (Bama)

Auburn/Oregon. Who ya got?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:42 PM)


Bilal Benn (Niagra)

How has Danny Hurley's recruiting at Wagner affected the NE Corridor? Should St. John's UCONN, Nova be afraid?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:43 PM)

Bilal Benn: Huh, and you don't remember that I covered you at Nova? :) Different kind of recruits. Danny Hurley isn't going to get kids to come to Wagner that would otherwise want to play in the Big East.

Paul (NY, NY)

Can the Bonnies of ol' St. Bonaventure finally make noise in A-10 play? Andrew Nicholson might have the shoulders to do it...alone.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:43 PM)

Paul: Bonnies are much much better and agree that Nicholson is a terrific player, but he could use help. Still think they could finish higher than they have in years.

David (SC)

I say your 25...thats what you look like anyway

Dana O'Neil
  (2:44 PM)

David: God bless you.

Dan (Media)

Read an interesting article yesterday and wanted your opinion. With the new (and stupid) NCAA format and the "first round games," doesn't it seem like the "Last Four Teams In" will be leaked before Selection Sunday? You can't just give these teams one days notice that you are playing Team X on Tuesday in Dayton.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:45 PM)

Dan: It's going to be awfully interesting, I agree. Kind of like getting ready for the amazing race or something. Can't imagine they'll be leaked but what a fiasco it could be.

TJ Corbs (NE Corridor)

Would you classify Temple's fans as apathetic? How can a large public school with a quality program not sell out their home court against top 10 Georgetown.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:46 PM)

TJ: Temple fans are hard to figure. They do show up. Was impressed when I was there for the Seton Hall game by the crowd. Just not consistently and I can't for the life of me figure out why. It's not like the NBA team in town is taking the fans away.

JimmyWa11 (D.C.)

Georgia's chances against Cats on Saturday?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:46 PM)

Jimmy: Not impossible. Not easy, but not impossible. Think Georgia is a good sleeper team in the Big East. Need a lot, obviously, out of Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie.

diaper dandy (home of the big 5)

why do so many teams struggle against syracuse's 2-3 zone? They have been playing it for so many years. Is it because teams dont see it often or there length? your thoughts?thanks for chatting

Dana O'Neil
  (2:47 PM)

You hit it. Both that it's unique and teams don't see it often but more, they're length. That's the real difference maker.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:47 PM)

You hit it. Both that it's unique and teams don't see it often but more, they're length. That's the real difference maker.

Mark (Lexington, KY)

Is Kentucky about where you thought they'd be (even without Kanter), or what's your opinion on them?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:49 PM)

Mark: Yeah, I'd say so. Harrelson has been great, a huge difference maker for a team that needs a post presence. Can't say I saw that coming. Still young, so still prone to mistakes and attention gaps (a la start against Penn) but very good

Jackson (Omaha)

How strong would you say the Big 12 basketball conference is compared to the Big 10?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:51 PM)

Jackson: Hmm... Certainly Big 12 has very good teams at the top in Kansas, Texas, Missouri and even KState and Baylor. The middle doesn't quite compare to current middle of Michigan State, Wisconsin, Minnesota and even Northwestern. Bottoms are both pretty awful.

Jackson (Omaha)

If you graduated in 1990 how are you 25? Dave's right on the fact that you look that young though.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:52 PM)

Child prodigy. Went to college at 11.

Dave (St. Charles)

On the same note (new NCAA format) how are we going to have enough time at work to distribute brackets?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:52 PM)

Dave: A legit and serious issue. I'd say designate time at each office for bracket-ing.

James (Charlottesville)

what do you think of illinois? Top ten talent, but very weak inside...should they be playing Leonard more? Tisdale seems lost, and I feel for him. It would be terrible if this team didnt advance

Dana O'Neil
  (2:53 PM)

James: Definitely need to cash in and win this season. Be a sin otherwise. McCamey is so good, I can see why you get reliant there but in the Big 10 especially need good post play.

Soldyear (NYC)

Rewind: january, a year ago. Kansas was what Duke is right now and Duke was just an okay though top 10 team that ended up winning it all. Who's just okay right now and could win it all?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:54 PM)

Good question. Michigan State, Villanova, though that would be a stretch.

Bill (Lexington)

As of today who do you think will be the top 4 seeds in the tournament?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:55 PM)

Bill: As of today, Ohio State, Duke, Kansas and Syracuse.

Chris (BBN)

This the year for Northwestern?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:56 PM)

Chris: Can't say that with much authority just yet. Need to get moving in the Big Ten.

Vennoyance (Seattle, WA)

Dana, UW has lost to 3 teams with a combined 35-7 record, all ranked in the top 25, by a total of 12 points, yet dont make the top 25 of the coaches poll? What do you see the ceiling as for this team? They shoot the 3 really well, and as their 7 footer works on his offensive game, I think they'll be a tough out. What say you?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:57 PM)

Another team that fell off the map way too early. Think Washington is pretty good and you're right, they haven't lost to any dogs. Think dropping the Huskies so fast might be a mistake.

Bill (Lexington)

Have you seen the kid from Morehead St play? Do you think Faried can be a successful NBA player?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:58 PM)

Bill: Will see him later this month. From what I've been told and read, the scouts seem to think that he can and will be a successful NBA player. Pretty cool story

Sawyer (KS)

What are your thoughts about K-State being chosen for pre season big 12 champs at this point in the season and?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:59 PM)

Right now it looks pretty silly. We'll see how it finishes, though.

Hammer (Pittsburgh)


Dana O'Neil
  (2:59 PM)

42...? Don't know what you're referring to!

Common Sense (NCAA)

Do I still get used?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:00 PM)


Dana O'Neil
  (3:00 PM)

Alright folks, that's all the time we have today. Appreciate all the questions. Enjoy the week.