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

Dana O'Neil
  (2:00 PM)

Welcome to my fireside chat. Yes, I'm literally fireside. Got no electricity here. But got an air card, so bring on the questions

Dana O'Neil
  (2:00 PM)

Welcome to my fireside chat. Yes, I'm literally fireside. Got no electricity here. But got an air card, so bring on the questions

Kyle Styck (Las Vegas NV)

What a crazy weekend of College Basketball with an enormous amount of upsets, Do you believe with Ohio St. surviving a scare against Northwestern that they are the definete #1?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:01 PM)

Kyle: I do believe Ohio State is the legit number one, though Texas is gaining. Saw the Buckeyes smoke Purdue and was so impressed with how loaded that team is.

your friend blake (hattiesburg, ms)

Ok big game tonight for the Golden Eagles against UAB but what do you see happening with the underrated CUSA I think 2 teams will come out of there one who wins the conference and the other who wins the tournament. So who do you see as those two teams? mine are of course USM and im going with UTEP as the other! THE YURT!!!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:03 PM)

Blake: Hey, hope the Yurt is holding up. C-USA certainly looks fairly wide open. I keep thinking Memphis is going to get things going, despite the drama. Hard to figure out who is going to win out, though. I'd say Southern Miss, UTEP, UAB and Memphis still all in the mix.

Connor B. (Baltimore)

What kind of shot do you think PSU has at making the big dance? Should be interesting..

Dana O'Neil
  (2:04 PM)

Connor: Really could use a signature road win. I think these next 9 games they will either play themselves in or out. They're that close.

Nate (NC)

Will Jimmer break 50 points this year?????

Matt (NC)

How good did the Heels look last night?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:06 PM)

Nate; If anyone can, the Jimmer can.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:06 PM)

Sorry.. now let me answer bout the Heels...Looked good. Think bringing Larry Drew off the bench is long overdue. Thing about the Heels is, if they can get things going, they could be a dangerous team come March. But they've got to get consistent.

matt (utah)

why isn't dave rose considered for COY? He's had five straight 25 season's with BYU ... soon to be six and no national love for him at all besides his successful battle with cancer. Wheres the love?

Rob (Cincinnati)

How about Chris Mack? You can never doubt Xavier!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:08 PM)

Rob: Incredible job. Seriously. He was in my top 5 for COY honors.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:08 PM)

Rob: Incredible job. Seriously. He was in my top 5 for COY honors.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:08 PM)

Rob: Incredible job. Seriously. He was in my top 5 for COY honors.

jordan (new york)

Do you see Texas's road games at Nebraska or Colorado as being potential trap games for them? Am I crazy for thinking this team is nothing like last year's debacle?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:09 PM)

Jordan: If you're crazy, so am I. I think this team is legit. The Loghorns play terrific defense, really like Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph. Jordan Hamilton is playing with the offense. So much better.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:09 PM)

Jordan: If you're crazy, so am I. I think this team is legit. The Loghorns play terrific defense, really like Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph. Jordan Hamilton is playing with the offense. So much better.

Matt (Moraga)

Hi Dana, how big was St. Mary's win over the Zags last week? Also, do you see the Gaels as a tourney team?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:10 PM)

Matt: Big until they lost to Portland. Still think the Gaels are a tourney team, for certain, but that was disappointing.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:10 PM)

Matt: Big until they lost to Portland. Still think the Gaels are a tourney team, for certain, but that was disappointing.

Ryan (Idaho)

Hi Dana,With BYU not being allowed to play on Sundays, does this restriction come at the expense of another team? Would the committee be forced to downgrade a team to appease BYU's policy?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:11 PM)

Ryan: No. When I did the mock selection, that is part of the conversation, certainly, but it doesn't necessarily mean someone else is punished. Remember you're just talking about picking Friday-Sunday versus Thursday-Saturday.

Randy Gleason (Sheboygan, WI)

As of today, do you think the Wisconsin Badgers are deserving of a #4 seed and the possibility of playing in Chicago?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:12 PM)

Randy: Right now they'd definitely be there and if they beat Ohio State next week, even more so. Typical Bo Ryan team. No one talks about em. No superstars. Just win.

Julius (Atlanta)

Dana, enjoy your chats! Question is does Georgia make the tournament and if so, can they make a sweet 16 run with right matchup.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:13 PM)

Julius: Amazing that hte Bulldogs are at the bottom of their league. Best bottom-sitting team in the nation. I do think they still have a legit shot at the tourney and with the right matchups could be scary. But wow have they had bad fortune.

Chris (PA)

Still think Pitt is the best team in the BE? How is Marquette not ranked now? They have to be one of the most underrated teams right now.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:14 PM)

Chris: Yeah, I do. In fact with everyone going loopy in the Big East, think so even more now. As for Marquette... curious to see if they debut in the power rankings this week. Deserve consideration.

Matt (Gainesville)

How do you think Florida does the rest of the season, and in the NCAA tournament?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:15 PM)

Matt: Big game on Saturday against Kentucky. Need to win that to assert their place in the SEC. Gators are still frustrating for me to watch sometimes. Think they're good Think they can get better.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:15 PM)

Matt: Big game on Saturday against Kentucky. Need to win that to assert their place in the SEC. Gators are still frustrating for me to watch sometimes. Think they're good Think they can get better.

Marc (Charlotte)

Forde said yesterday that Dook has been overachieving this year. Can you tell him to quit drinking before he chats?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:16 PM)

Marc: Well if you think about it, they are playing without arguably the best player on their roster. No excuses. Nolan Smith is a nice fallback plan and I'm not sure overachieving is quite accurate. I'd say they deserve credit for still being good without Irving.

Chris (Florence, KY)

So many say Calipari and UK can't win with one and done freshman. After last night's game against Ole Miss, it looks they can't win with upperclassman. Frosh scored every point in the second half. Thoughts?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:18 PM)

Chris: The challenge for this team and for teams built on one and dones on is finding the right mix - great freshmen and reliable veterans. Patrick Patterson was a reliable veteran. Assumed the role, knew how to handle it. These guys were role players their whole career and haven't figured it out yet. They need to.

James N. (Kansas)

Will texas loose a game in the big 12?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:18 PM)

James: Hard to imagine them not but honestly, the rest of the schedule certainly stacks up in their favor. I don't see any definitive losses.

Keegan (Phoenix, AZ)

Who wins tonight between the Cuse and the Huskies?!? Two hall of fame coaches and top 20 programs facing off...The Huskies have more big wins than any team in the country...Can they continue this trend?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:20 PM)

Keegan: Big game for both teams, but I think even more for Syracuse. Really need to get themselves back in working order here, especially defensively. Not sure playing at Hartford against Kemba is the way to get yourself off the schneid, though.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:20 PM)

Keegan: Big game for both teams, but I think even more for Syracuse. Really need to get themselves back in working order here, especially defensively. Not sure playing at Hartford against Kemba is the way to get yourself off the schneid, though.

James (DC)

Dana -- what do you think about Georgetown's 5 game win streak? JTIII's shifting Lubick to the 4 spot and bringing in Thompson off the bench seems to have done wonders for the inside game. Do you think the Hoyas will be around for the second weekend in March?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:22 PM)

James: Lubick really has been a nice surprise for the Hoyas of lately. More than one person at the Georgetown game asked, ' where did this guy come from?' If they keep the balance of things going, could be a tough out in March.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:22 PM)

James: Lubick really has been a nice surprise for the Hoyas of lately. More than one person at the Georgetown game asked, ' where did this guy come from?' If they keep the balance of things going, could be a tough out in March.

Mike (San Diego)

Although they've made some strides this year, last night showed that Iowa State is still a LONG way from being a contending program in the Big 12. How many years do you think it will be before they make it back to the dance?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:23 PM)

Mike: Not surprised. Gotta put some perspective in place, here. I think they're better already but things rarely happen overnight. I'd say give Fred Hoiberg at least 2 more years before think NCAA Tourney.

Jason B. (Missouri)

Does the big 12 have 2 legitimate final four contenders?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:24 PM)

James: Yep, they do. Kansas and Texas.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:24 PM)

James: Yep, they do. Kansas and Texas.

jdan (maine)

do you think maine has a good chance of winning the american east??

Dana O'Neil
  (2:24 PM)

Jdan: Well I did until they got torched by BU last night. What was up with that?

Brad (Lafayette, GA)

If you were assembling a starting 5 and you could pick from any player in the country, who would you pick?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:26 PM)

Brad: Fun question. Let's see... Jared Sullinger, Jimmer Fredette, Kemba Walker, Terrance Jones and if I can have an injured player immediately healthy, Kyrie Irving.

Matt (Minny)

How badly does Nolen's injury and now complete lack of any true pg on the roster hurt Minnesota? Do you see them more as a 10th seed now or possibly be even out of the tourney if they really struggle?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:27 PM)

Matt: Hurts a bunch, no doubt. I'm not sure it knocks them out altogether. Still think they'll win enough to get into the Tourney and a 10 seed would be fairly low. But it hurts.

Chris (Amsterdam)

Has anyone been more exciting to watch this year than Louisville?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:28 PM)

Chris: Well yeah some teams have been BUT... Louisville has been a real eye opener. Put Pitino on my short list of COY. Great job with a team that had marginal talent, a bucket of injuries and little in the way of expectation.

Mark Turgeon (College Station)

True or false: We are a sweet16 team this year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:29 PM)

Mark: Hard to count you guys out because of hte defense, but not sure it's strong enough this year. Might be second round.

Levar (Beaumont, TX)

Who becomes a contender in the respective conference first Iowa or Iowa State?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:29 PM)

Levar: Well since Hoiberg has taken some quick transfers, I'd say Iowa State. But both have a long climb in tough leagues.

Chris (Chapel Hill)

Love the chats! you answer more questions in an hour than all the male ESPN reporter do combined! Here's the question, building off the one above.. best starting 5 and only freshmen!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:31 PM)

Chris: Women can multitask. I'm chatting will commandeering two kids home from school and a puppy. So there. As for the question.. Jared Sullinger, Kyrie Irving, Terrance Jones, Tristan Thompson, and Harrison Barnes. Realizing I'm leaving out a few that I could swap in easily.

Dan (On a Beach in SD)

Do you think any team has such a strong bond like the Aztecs do?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:32 PM)

Dan: I refuse to answer your question because of your location. And because it would be hard to judge. However I will be on your San Diego beaches next week and hopefully more able to answer.

Dan (Princeton, NJ)

We're 4 weeks from mid-major conference tournaments starting up. The mid major to keep the closest eye on is?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:33 PM)

Dan: Just one? Hmm... I'm big on Oakland. Undefeated in league. Keith Benson is phenomenal. Team played tough sched in non conference.

Kenny (Philly)

Why does Pitt seem as though every year they are underrated until tournament time?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:34 PM)

Kenny: Picked to win the Big East? That can't be underrated. But maybe people look past them a bit because of their lack of star quality. Definitely a team built on the sum of its parts.

Matt (Philly)

Will Villanova beat Marquette tonight?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:35 PM)

Matt: They need to. Cats need a win, especially at home, and should beat Marquette.

Rick Barnes (Austin)

Who is more respected on campus me or Mac Brown?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:36 PM)

Rick: Win a national title and you get in the running. But it's a football school in a football state.

nick (chapel hill)

How do you see the unc/duke rivalry playing out this year, given the recent and dramatic swings in momentum and the loss of Kyrie Irving?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:37 PM)

Nick: Interesting. On the surface, looks like a down year for the rivalry but the fact that the Heels are playing better and the Devils lost so badly to St. Johns, could be actually a very telling year for this one.

Dave (NYC)

What has hurt Cornell most losing all their players or losing their coach?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:37 PM)

Dave: Yes to both.

Barack (D.C. )

Dana: Real quick, b/c I need to get back to running a country. Texas and OSU are separating themselves from the pack. Who would win in a matchup?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:39 PM)

Barack: Dude, you don't need to pay attention until Katz asks for your bracket. Ugh.. I think it would be a monster, monster game. I honestly would be thinking coin toss right now. That close.

Al (Carlsbad)

Is Steve Fisher the COY?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:39 PM)

Al: In the running. Check out our site today. Andy Katz, Diamond Leung and I debated our 3 choices plus compiled a list of 10 others to consider.

John (UK)

how bad was last night's loss to Ole Miss? Our only road conference win is @ South Carolina and with games @ Vandy, @ Florida, and @ Tennessee, it's not looking good

Dana O'Neil
  (2:40 PM)

John: Definitely a tough road coming up here for a Kentucky team that hasn't done well on the road. Be very telling to see how this goes.

BK (Worcester, MA)

With the ACC being so bad this year is there a possibility that they only get two into the dance? Does the same hold true for the Pac-10 etc

Dana O'Neil
  (2:41 PM)

BK: Wow. It's hard to imagine that from the ACC or the Pac 10 for that matter. But is it possible? Yeah. Not sure it's probable.

Grady (NJ)

What is a bigger win as far as showing the depth of the Big East Seton Hall hammering Syracuse or St, John's beating up on Duke?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:42 PM)

Grady: I'm always leery bout taking too much out of one game. I'll have a better feeling bout St. Johns after I see them play at UCLA this week. As for the Hall, they have the talent to play this way. Just need to do it every night, which has yet to happen this season.

Justin (Piqua Ohio)

I know everybody is really excited about the way Texas is playing. I know they beat Kansas in Lawrence, but has anyone seen Kansas in their last two games. It seems like they are playing inspired ball right now. Am I crazy to think Kansas is still better than Texas?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:43 PM)

Justin: No, you're not crazy but I happen to think both are playing very well right now. Wish they met again in the regular season, to be honest.

Travis (DC)

Dana: What does ND have to do to secure a 2 seed? Get a 1 seed?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:44 PM)

Travis: I think that's a lot to ask, frankly, of the Irish. They'd have to win more games on the road, for starters and do really well in the Big East Tourney. Not sure that's likely. Maybe more of a 4 seed.

Pete (IN)

Pick one team that is getting over looked right now, who will be a top 4 seed in the tourney?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:44 PM)

Pete: Does Wisconsin qualify? no one ever pays attention to the Badgers for some reason.

Graham (NYC)

With Clemson likely to be favored in all of its February ACC match-ups, and Duke still to play at Maryland, UNC twice, and Virginia Tech, do you think the Tigers could overtake the Blue Devils for the regular season ACC title?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:45 PM)

Graham: I get what you're saying but wow, that would be a stretch. I don't see impending doom for the Blue Devils even though they looked horrid against St. John's.

Joe (Work)

If you could only go to see one game this year in person (regular season) which one would it be?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:46 PM)

Joe: Right about now, any game that Hawaii plays.

David (PA)

Hey, Dana. Duke and Maryland tonight... Who do you like?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:47 PM)

David: Think Duke gets back on track.

Jason (MO)

How much longer until Tom Crean finally gets the Hoosiers into the National Spotlight again?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:47 PM)

Jason: Whenever he can get a full roster again! Guy has had more horrid luck. Unreal.

chris (new york)

do you think st. john's will make the tournament this year? it would be great for the city if they did i really enjoyed your article after they beat duke.. i think they can win a few in a row if they beat rutgers tonight

Dana O'Neil
  (2:48 PM)

Chris: St. John's can certainly play their way in. Win games supposed to win. Steal another one, maybe. Winning at UCLA would go a long way.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:48 PM)

Chris: St. John's can certainly play their way in. Win games supposed to win. Steal another one, maybe. Winning at UCLA would go a long way.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Even though you Cover Men's College Basketball,Who is your Favorite NBA Team if you follow the NBA?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:48 PM)

Chris: Sorry. Not much of an NBA fan, to be honest.

Ben (Greenville, SC)

Who is your coach of the year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:49 PM)

Ben: Right now it's Rick Barnes. AFter the disaster that was Texas last year to get this team back on track with such dominance is pretty impressive.

Jamie (Lubbock)

How good is Cory Joseph? He's my cousin

Dana O'Neil
  (2:49 PM)

Jamie: Hopefully for you, it's genetic. He's terrific.

Dan (Princeton, NJ)

Is this year one where the WCC tourney will actually mean something as it seems destined as a 1 bid league, or is St. Mary's or Gonzaga going to figure a way into the field regardless?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:50 PM)

Dan: I think Saint Mary's has an argument if it doesn't win the tourney. Think a decent shot even but can't afford any more upsets between now and then.

Luke (Toronto)

Are you partial to Texas? You've answered about 50 questions involving Texas in some way. What has to happen for Syracuse to get back on track?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:51 PM)

Luke: Nope, not at all. Just a Texas-heavy chat right now. As for Syracuse, got to start playing defense again. The offense has been spotty all season but the defense has been absolutely porous lately.

J.B. (Still buried in snow in PA)

How possible do you think it might be for the Big East to get double-digit entries into the NCAA tournament?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:52 PM)

JB: I'm not sure bout that. Maybe. Think teams like Cincy, etc. are still sort of eh. Need some quality wins to turn some heads.

Isiah (Phoenix)

Is there any team in the PAC-10 who could sneak up on Washington and take what seems to be a sure bet conference championship away from the Huskies?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:53 PM)

Isiah: Maybe Arizona, but I honestly think Washington wins that one.

Devin (Madison)

Who is the second best team in the Big 10 right now?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:54 PM)

Devin: Eek. Good question. Gonna say Wisconsin. Game against Ohio State next week should be fun.

Mike (San Diego)

Dan in SD isn't on a beach right now. It's only about 60. Too cold for the beach.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:54 PM)

Mike: Really? 60? Cold? You sound like my father when he calls from Naples and complains he can't golf because it's raining.

Justin (New Mexico)

Hey, Dana! Snowed in here in ABQ with frigid temps! Seems lately UNM is starting to hit a strive...if they keep things up do they have a show to get into the NCAA tourney again?...or are the NIT bound?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:55 PM)

Justin: Say a longshot right now

dessy (cali)

why dont you follow/like the NBA? I like both college and pro but I think NBA is alot easier to watch and college ball can get very unwatchable sometimes

Dana O'Neil
  (2:56 PM)

Dessy: Just never got into it. Different game. Different atmosphere. Just not my thing.

Jevan (Philly)

Ohio State is so balanced, but as good as Craft is... is he a good enough point to lead the Buckeyes in the Tournament?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:57 PM)

Jevan: From what I saw against Purdue, I'd say yes with authority. Looked terrific.

Kerry (Seattle)

What's your super bowl prediction?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:57 PM)

Kerry: One of my best friends lives in Pittsburgh, so if I don't say Steelers she'll hunt me down. So Steelers it is. A shot and a beer for everyone.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:58 PM)

And on that note, gotta go. The power is back on and the kids have built a Lego City on my kitchen table. Thanks for the questions. Catch you all next week.