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February 10, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Dana O'Neil

Dana O'Neil
  (2:00 PM)

Greetings everyone. Some fun games last night and more to come this weekend, I suspect. Commence chatting

Jeff (Cincy)

Your thoughts on Xavier-Duquesne on Sunday?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:02 PM)

Jeff: Big game, obviously. I'd say bigger for Duquesne. Xavier has a slightly better (though not slam dunk) at-large resume right now, so would help the Dukes to get this one. Tu Holloway has been outstanding for X and really like TJ McConnell for Duquesne.

Peter (Provo)

How many MWC teams will get into the tournament this year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:03 PM)

Peter: Maybe 4? Maybe. The obvious 2 - BYU and SDSU. I'd say UNLV has a decent shot. Ok, not great resume, nice RPI. Colorado State and/or New Mexico has to play way in.

Andy (Kansas City)

Other than UNC-Duke, what do you think are the top rivalries in the country?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:04 PM)

Andy: Kansas-Mizzou is pretty heated, I'd say. Kentucky-Louisville, which ought to be part of rivalry week, if you ask me, though UK-Tennessee is a nice second. Used to be St. Joe-Villanova, but the Hawks have to become relevant again.

Todd (SDSU)

How would you rate your experience watching "The Show"? One of the best student sections in the country?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:04 PM)

Todd: Tremendous fun. Was really impressed with the atmosphere and energy and the irreverence. And the fact that it's happening in Southern California makes it downright astounding.

Josh (Virginia)

Why is everyone picking against OSU on Saturday? I know it will be a tough game in hostile territory, but haven't the Bucks already proved they can win close games on the road?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:05 PM)

Josh: I'm not, for what it's worth. Have a gentleman (gentlewoman?) bet with a friend because I believe the Buckeyes will win.

Al (Arlington, VA)

I see that you have George Mason ranked in your top 25. What do you think it would take for them to become a consensus top 25 team and how high could they conceivably go?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:06 PM)

Al: Was bummed they didn't make the power rankings. Think the CAA is really a decent league this year. Obviously they can't hiccup and they need some folks ahead of them to fall. Both of which can happen.

Dave (Zona Zoo)

Dana, what do you think the ceiling is for my Wildcats in terms of seeding in the tournament, and do you see them making a run come March? P.S. I love that you have Arizona 13th in your power rankings, after the losses by L'ville, Cuse and Nova last night I think that's ultimately where they will be ranked come Monday (assuming they win at ASU Sunday night)

Dana O'Neil
  (2:07 PM)

Dave: Right now, Arizona is in the driver's seat in the Pac 10, clearly. MoMo Jones and Derrick Williams are a terrific pair and as they gain confidence, they ought to be a tough out in March.

John David (Lexington, kY)

Hi Dana - Thanks for doing these chats! Kentucky has been pretty bad on the road thus far (although 4 of their 5 losses have been by 2 whether that's a good thing or bad think i don't know). Do you think that Kentucky can make a deep run in the tourney especially when you consider the fact that nearly every tournament game is a home game for them with the way our fans travel?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:09 PM)

John David: Certainly would help to gain a little confidence here by winning on the road at the end of the season. Like this weekend at Vandy. Think their depth is also a bit of an issue for a long haul run, but honestly, they're as good as anyone in the 10 to 15 range right now, so why not?

Nick (San Diego)

If Curtis Kelly gets dismissed from K-State are they still a tourney team?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:09 PM)

Nick: I didn't know they were with him on the roster.

Logan (DC)

How impressive are the road wins for Georgetown this year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:10 PM)

Logan: Extremely and a 7 game win streak in the Big East is like scaling Mt. Everest in a bikini. Impossible. Very impressed with the Hoyas right now.

Zack Buaer (Shrewsbury, MA)

Hey Dana, simple question: Should UNC be upset with themselves for blowing a double digit lead, or pleased and forward-looking based on a young team playing 20 minutes of brilliant basketball at one of the toughest places to play on the road?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:11 PM)

Zack: Discussed that with Eamonn Brennan on our podcast today. If I'm a Carolina fan this morning, I'm happily angry. Happy we're getting our act together and playing well, happy that the immediate future looks bright as well as the long-term and angry that we blew the lead and that it took this long for Kendall Marshall to take over the team.

coug.78 (Provo, UT)

Dana, what was your reasoning behind putting San Diego State ahead of BYU in this week's power ranking poll?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:13 PM)

Coug: Well aware of the head to head, obviously, but think that San Diego State losing on the road at BYU is slightly less egregious than BYU losing on the road at UNM. Know the Pit is tough, but quality of competition in the two losses not comparable. They're practically neck and neck.

Ashton Gibbs (Pitt)

Can Pitt win saturday night without me?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:13 PM)

Ashton: I think they can, sure. Solid team, decent depth. Will it be harder? Yes

Tony (Framingham,Ma)

Hey Dana, With the weak play of Illinios and Michigan State lately how many bids will the big ten get this year?? Do you think its to late for sparty? Unless they win the big ten tourney which I dont see happening. Right now Ohio St Wisconsin Purdue seem to be the only 3 to be locks. Who would of thought before the year that the big ten could possibly only get 3 teams in the dance wow. Thanks Dana!!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:15 PM)

Tony: Yeah kind of agree. Hard to believe based on what we expected. I suppose Sparty could always have a late surge here, but there's no reason to believe that save I always think Tom Izzo can right the ship.

Shaun (Erie)

Dana, I know that Nova should not have let Rutgers hang around, but did Fish really foul him? On TV it didn't look like it.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:15 PM)

Shaun: Talked to a friend who was there. Said it looked like he reached in trying to deflect the pass and because the shot happened in one fluid motion, kind of got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, so to speak. And honestly, never ever should have come down to that.

ben (maryland)

hey dana what do you think about maryland right now do they have any chance to make the tourny?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:16 PM)

Ben: Two big separation games here against BC and Va. Tech. Similar-ish resumes, so winning both would be huge.

Jake (Minneapolis)

Big game at the Barn tonight for two teams having trouble with inconsistent play: Illinois v. Minnesota. Do both of these teams have the juice to make the NCAA Tournament? If not, who is in and who is out?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:17 PM)

Jake: I'd say because of injuries, etc., Minnesota's road is considerably harder. But boy, I have not liked what I've seen out of Illinois lately. Where did Demetri McCamey go?

Aaron (Kansas )

Dana, who would you favor in a Kansas-Duke matchup?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:18 PM)

Aaron: Eek, tough one. I'd say Kansas right now. So much offense and the Morris brothers versus the Plumlee brothers the Morris brothers win.

jordan (new york)

I know the Big 12 has two 1 seeds in Lunardi's latest bracket, but is this a realistic possibility come Selection Sunday?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:19 PM)

Jordan: Sure it is. I don't see anyone clamoring to unseat them right now.

Jeff (Cincy)

Dana...It seems like there is Ohio State...and then a significant drop off to the next tier of teams. Everyone apparently is beatable (aside from the bucks) Is it more wide open this year than any year that can be remembered?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:20 PM)

Jeff: I see it wide open, but slightly differently. Think Ohio St., Kansas, Texas, Duke, SDSU and BYU are in a pack unto themselves. That said, think all of them are beatable, just less beatable than the rest. If that makes any sense.

Jeff (Cincy)

(not the same Jeff in Cincy you previously responded to...)Why is Tu Holloway not a top 10 point guard for the Cousy award?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:21 PM)

Other Jeff from Cincy: I have absolutely no idea. He is in my mind.

Brad (Gadsden,Alabama)

Dana, What do you think of the alabama @ vandy matchup tonight do you think grant can get two big road wins in a row?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:21 PM)

Brad: Tough to do but Vandy has been shaky lately. Regardless Anthony Grant has done an amazing job in a very short time.

JP (At work)

How are you feeling about your Syracuse preseason prediction? [the finals]

Dana O'Neil
  (2:22 PM)

JP: Always a smart aleck in the group to remind me. Ugh.

Luke (Greensboro, NC)

Dana I have not always agreed/liked your opinions but you seem to know your stuff, as of today who are your top 3 POY canidates?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:22 PM)

Luke: Well thank you. Right now as of today: Jimmer, Sullinger and Nolan Smith overtaking Kemba. That could change, though, if Kemba and UConn get Kemba-ing again (If Jimmer can be a verb, why not Kemba?)

Matt (Texas)

If OSU pulls it out against Wisky this weekend, is it ok to start talking about an undefeated season?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:23 PM)

Matt: Sure. The rest of the schedule breaks favorably. At Purdue and at Penn State, while not gimmes, are doable.

Kevin Miller (Chattanooga)

How do you feel about the Vols in the Tournament

Dana O'Neil
  (2:24 PM)

Kevin: Need to bet better in a hurry. They got outplayed and beat up by Kentucky. Really exposed, I thought.

Matt (CT)

Dana, I'm a Villanova fan. Talk me off the ledge. Did we really just lose to Providence and Rutgers? How deep do you think this team can go in March?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:25 PM)

Matt: Yes you did and the first step to recovery is acceptance. This is a very good year to be a very good team because there aren't really a whole lot of great unbeatable teams. Losses aside, Villanova is a very good team and can still make a run in March.

Mark (Maine)

How many teams from the Big East get into the tourney this year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:27 PM)

Mark: Everyone but DePaul. Kidding. To me, seven are locks right now- Pittsburgh, Georgetown, Notre Dame, Villanova, Louisville, Connecticut and Syracuse. Then you've got four with decent potential but I still say some work to do: Marquette, West Virginia, St. John's and Cincy. Some combination, and maybe all of them get in.

Ben (Chicago)

What's your take on The Jimmermania Facebook thread that went viral on Tuesday? Eamonn sure seemed to like it...then agian that's expected since he has a HUGE man crush on The Jimmer.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:28 PM)

Ben: Loved it. If Jimmermania can't sweep Provo, there's something very very wrong.

alyssa (philly)

your fans/chat members are a very different kind from gonzo's... who do you think wins the a-10? temple looked badddd against fordham last night.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:29 PM)

Alyssa: Is that a compliment? Right now it's between Duquesne and Xavier, in my opinion.

Alex (OP Kansas)

How do you feel about multiple 1 seeds coming from a conference, obviously talking about KU and Texas...

Dana O'Neil
  (2:30 PM)

Alex: Don't have a problem with it at all. It's not Little League where everybody gets a trophy. The best teams should get the seeds.

Jake (Chicago)

Since you choose your National Champion favorite based upon their "hunger", who is hungriest right now?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:31 PM)

Jake: Me. Missed lunch. Otherwise.... maybe Texas based on what happened last year. NOt sure that equates to a national title.

Jeremy (Blacksburg)

Dana, I may have expected more than others this year from my Hokies so I'm a little disappointed about this season. Should I be or no because of the severity of injuries we've had. Thanks!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:31 PM)

Jeremy: What's Blacksburg without a bubble around it? You should be used to this by now. The injuries are a problem, sure, but I expected more consistency this year, too.

Lou (Rockville, MD)

If PSU goes 4-6 down the stretch, making them 11-7 in the Big Ten, can they play their way back into NCAA contention? That would include either a win at Minnesota or Wisconsin and/or a win over OSU. Or did the Michigan loss torpedo them completely?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:33 PM)

Lou: Well they can play their way back into conversation, certainly. The fact that the loss came w/o Brooks helps. The committee will consider that slightly. No more hiccups. Need to steal a few and absolutely can't be a one and done in the Big 10 tourney.

Troy (Buffalo)

Why didn't nova just foul before the shot and not put themselves in that situation? With less than 5 seconds left, I don't see why you don't do that.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:33 PM)

Troy: Don't know but thought the same thing.

John (Lewiston, ID)

How about some love for the Idaho Vandals? They have done something that no WAC team has been able to do for over a year.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:34 PM)

John: You mean make everyone rework their power rankings at 2 am? Yes, that is true. But well done, Vandals, well done.

Jimmy (New Jersey)

If UNLV beats San Diego State at home this Saturday, is UNLV basically a lock for the NCAA tournament? There RPI is 25. They would have wins against Winsconsin, Virginia Tech, San Diego State, and Kansas State.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:35 PM)

Jimmy: I'd say so, yes. Be a huge late resume boost.

Marc (Charlotte)

Bert and Ernie would win over the Plumlees.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:36 PM)

Marc; Were they brothers? Never offered last names or backstories.

Don (New Mexico.)

How is it looking for memphis ? I am a huge fan. but the wins they have just doesnt jump out at me.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:37 PM)

Don: Yeah, nothing major to really fall in love with, to be honest. Don't think they have much wiggle room.

Brad (Moraga)

Hey Dana, what do you think SMC's chances of an at large bid if they don't win the WCC tourney??

Dana O'Neil
  (2:37 PM)

Brad: I'd say pretty good, I think. Don't know RPI off top of my head, but decent sched, good wins.

Eamon (Chicago)

Dana Altman has done an outstanding job at Oregon this year, with a completely depleted roster. How long before the Ducks compete for a tourney berth, and when will Altman start getting buzz for coach of the year. Name one coach who was done more with less.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:38 PM)

Eamon: Wait, there are two Eamon (or an Eamon and an Eamonn) in Chicago talking sports on ESPN.com? So confusing. He has done an outrageously good job with absolutely nothing to work with. Recruiting to Oregon is like attracting bees to honey with the bells and whistles, so gotta think the lean years for the Ducks won't last.

rob (D.C.)

Do you think Kansas may actually be a better team without Josh Selby? As "talented" as he is, KU seems to be in better control when he's off the court.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:39 PM)

Rob: I've heard that thought bandied about and I get that they looked more fluid without him, but I always have a hard time thinking a team is better off with a superiorly talented player.

Bob (LA)

Let's be honest, if POY comes down to a Dookie or a guy from BYU...who do you think gets it?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:40 PM)

Bob: I hope that doesn't matter a lick. I contend if Jameer Nelson can win it from Saint Joseph's, anyone can. And should.

rob (D.C.)

Who's the best team that wouldn't make the tourney if the season ends today?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:41 PM)

Rob: If you mean based on talent, that has to be Michigan State. But they sort of stabbed themselves in the gut.

Joe (St. Mary's)

Mickey Mcconnell is in the top 10 for the Cousy Award...but Katz believes Mcconnell was a push to get in (not worthy)...yet hes the favorite for WCC player of the year in my opinion...whats your opinion??

Dana O'Neil
  (2:42 PM)

Joe: Oh I think he deserves to be in. Terrific player. Makes that team go. Love to watch him.

Dan (Cinci)

I know the Irish are a bit unconventional and slow in converting believers, but that's now 5 top 15 wins on the resume. How far can/will we go in the Dance?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:42 PM)

Dan: Yeah, I'd say that is changing. Always based on matchups in NCAA Tourney, but this could be a Sweet 16 team. Who'd a thunk that?

Mike (Columbus)

Argh! So sick of this question, "how many teams from the big east?" The answer is probably 10 will get in, but only 8 should get in. Are St. John's, Cincinnati, and Marquette good teams, yes, but if you're the 9th or 10th best team in your own league, how about we let someone else get a shot from another conference?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:43 PM)

Mike: I'll be honest. I'd rather see more deserving teams from say, the CAA, than sort of middling teams from anywhere, Big East included. I get that the league is tougher so your losses are more plentiful but I'm with you to an extent.

Andrew (in class, Provo, UT)

How do you think the matchup between SDSU and BYU will play out in Vieja Arena?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:44 PM)

Andrew: Hope it's not a tough class. Wow, it's going to be insane, that much I'm certain. Think SDSU wins this one. Rubber game in Vegas.

Andrew (New York)

In your answer to Jeff from Cincy, you didn't put Pitt in your teams in the top tier. Is 10-1 in the best conference in the country with a win over Texas on a neurtal court not in that top tier?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:44 PM)

Andrew: ARe you sure? They should be. My bad.

Mark (Maine)

Here's a tough one, Who wins the Ohio Valley Conference?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:45 PM)

Mark: That is a tough one. Murray State finally playing like expected and Morehead coming on. I'll go w/ Morehead based on Kenneth Faried as the difference maker.

Kevin (NYC)

Uconn loses a double- OT game with Louisville, and then loses close to Cuse when Kemba and Oriahki dont have a good game. Now suddenly everyone talks like Uconn cant do anything this year, why is that?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:46 PM)

Kevin: I don't think they're saying they can't do anything, just wondering if they've hit the wall. Legit question for a team that is overachieving in a hard league and heavily dependent on one guy.

Mike (Chicago)

Please tell me that teams with automatic bids will be exempt from the "First Four" games of the NCAA Tournament. It always made me angry that two teams with auto bids had to play in the play-in game.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:46 PM)

Mike: Yeah, they will be. At least if memory serves me....

Dan (Princeton, NJ)

Pitt-Nova at the Pavillion on Saturday, who do you like?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:47 PM)

Dan: Gonna be a great game. Excited to be going. I lean slightly Nova w/ n Ashton Gibbs.

noah (la)

After watching UCLA play St. John last weekend do you think they are a tournament team?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:48 PM)

Noah: Which one? Both to me are bubble-ish. UCLA's defense was much better and they seem to be finding their stride here a bit, but still not a great team.

Dusty (St. Louis)

Dana, KU's offense is operating at historical levels every since they lost the game to texas. What did you take from the game against Mizzou where they put up 103 pts? and if KU plays like that (1.45 pts/pos) combined w/ their defense, who can beat them?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:49 PM)

Dusty: That was insanely impressive. Mizzou's defense has been fairly junky but still, that was awesome. And I don't think it's a flash. Kansas is very much capable of that regularly, which is mighty scary.

Hosni Mubarak (Egypt)

Dana, I restored the internet so I could come chat w/ you. Obviously I'm on the hot seat over here, but who are some of the college coaches in your land that are on the hot seat as well?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:50 PM)

Dude, you have way more pressing issues. But: Sidney Lowe, Paul Hewitt jump to mind.

Darrin (Michigan)

Irish only sweet 16? I think if they bow out in the sweet 16 many true Irish fans will feel disappointed!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:51 PM)

Darrin: Really? Remember where they were picked, my friend. I'd say that is pretty impressive. They could go further, but that's still a good run.

Bob (Columbia)

I know UNC lost last night, but what should I as a UNC fan take away from it?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:52 PM)

Bob: That Marshall is exactly what this team needed, that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

dan (louisville)

The technical foul called on Kyle Kuric of Louisville last night after his thunderous dunk was ridiculous, right?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:52 PM)

Dan: Completely. I pray we don't become the No Fun League here.

DP (Dayton)

Dayton Flyers any shot they can get at-large?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:53 PM)

DP: Longshot, I'd argue.

Zach (Lawrence)

I thought four 16 seeds, which would be auto bids right?, played in the first four, and the last four at larges?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:54 PM)

Zach: I seriously cannot remember right now. You guys have me confused. So I google and you are correct: four at-large, four automatic. Seems like that was 300 years ago. Sorry for the confusion.

Justin (Chicago)

Why pick OSU for Saturday?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:55 PM)

Justin: Better team, better players. Don't think Wisconsin has enough to handle Sullinger. Yes the atmosphere will be rocking but don't think the Buckeyes won't be up for it, too.

Luke Jensen (Lawrence, Kansas)

How far do you think KU will get in the tournament?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:56 PM)

Luke: Very.

Charlie (Charleston)

What are the top 3 fanbases in America? In order?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:58 PM)

Charlies: Well this will be sure to offend the other 300+ no matter what I say so I'll just say Kentucky wins and then there are bout 10 others I could put behind. Never seen a fan base travel like UK.

Johnny (Malibu)

Dana, The Jimmer said that Kemba was not a verb. Sorry.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:59 PM)

Johnny: Dang. He is now the king of grammar, too? I didn't know.

Pradeep (San Francisco)

Why is Bill Self not even in discussion for COY?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:00 PM)

Good question. Loses a bunch, comes back and is every bit as good. Victim of too many good players, if that's possible. People assume they'll be good every year, despite turnover.

Dana O'Neil
  (3:00 PM)

Alright, folks. I have to go. Thanks for all the questions.Look forward to touching base again next week.