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February 16, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Dana O'Neil

Dana O'Neil
  (2:00 PM)

Greetings hoops fans. A lot happening, as always. Discuss.

JB (couch)

Hey Dana! Well looks like Xavier is once again getting stronger as the year goes on. Seems like they do this every year! What is it that charges this machine year in and year out? It time to give credit where credit is due...

Dana O'Neil
  (2:01 PM)

JB: I'm excited to see Xavier in person tonight. Heading down to St. Joe's to see what Tu Holloway and Company are all about. Really impressed by this team, considering the injuries and other roster issues they've overcome.

Bob (North Carolina)

What's a team not currently ranked that you could see making the sweet 16 or even the elite eight?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:02 PM)

Bob; My mid-major darling this year is Oakland. Golden Grizzlies played a tough non-conf schedule all on the road; have an NBA player in Keith Benson.

James (NJ)

Dana,Who do you have tonight, Gtown or UConn? Does this game have implications for seeding? Shame this caliber of a game is only covered by ESPN3

Dana O'Neil
  (2:03 PM)

James: Have a hard time picking against Georgetown right now, to be honest. Playing so well and don't seem at all bothered by road games. As for seeding: yes, in the Big East Tourney.

Tim (ATL)

Hey Dana, how about some love for the job another Dana is doing with a very shorthanded Oregon Duck team in Eugene? Most thought they wouldn't win 6 conference games all year, but they could actually make the NIT if they keep this up! Do you think this is a preview of the type of success Dana Altman could have long term in Eugene?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:04 PM)

Tim: Agreed. Dana Altman has done an incredible job at Oregon with almost nothing to work with. Gotta think he'll have no trouble attracting guys to Nike U., so could be the beginning of something special.

Brendan (Connecticut)

With Kansas losing just hours after being number 1, who do you think will end the season at #1?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:05 PM)

Brendan: If you mean end as in regular season end, probably Texas. Longhorns will move up this week - not sure they'll get my vote but that's the likely pattern - and they've got a very winnable slate the rest of the way.

Eddie D (Just Lax Baby)

Dana,Love your chats. Seems like a lot of the top teams this year have holes in them. The caliber of NCAA player isn't what it used to be. Especially the big men who need to do some chin ups and get in better physical shape. Lots of skinny guys like JaJuan Johnson out there. Thoughts?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:06 PM)

Eddie: I'd say Sullinger is not half bad :) but the big man I watched stand around last night, Renardo Sidney? Not so much.

Big5 fan (Philadelphia)

Is it really possibile for the Big East to get 11 teams into the NCAA tournament?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:07 PM)

Big5: I suppose it looks that way, though I contend that some of the - Marquette, West Virginia and Cincy - are on awfully thin ledges.

Mike (Lowell, MA)

Dana, thanks for sticking up for the little guy. What conference tournament(s) are you going to be at?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:08 PM)

Mike: Don't know yet for sure but there will be some good ones to watch outside of the big ones: CAA, Valley, Ohio Valley, A10.

DJ (Cuse)

The more I watch my beloved Mizzou Tigers the more I wish Mike Anderson would have taken the Oregon job. Is there a coach that teaches less defense then he does? Am I crzy to think this?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:09 PM)

DJ: Yes, you are. This team isn't terribly defensive minded, I'll grant you, but he's done an awfully good job at bringing talent and raising the standards at Mizzou.

Chris (Knoxville)

How about those Tar Heels?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:09 PM)

Chris: Yep, give em their due. Look like things are finally falling into place.

purplecat (manhattan)

what are your thoughts on K-State after ?onday ? Have they finally turned the corner ?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:10 PM)

Purplecat: Need more than one win in an intense rivalry game against No. 1 to prove to me they've turned the corner. Gotta string something together. Looked like the team we expected to see, though.

Shane (AZ)

Hi, Dana. Your best guess: Who will win the Pac-10? Will my Wildcats hold on?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:11 PM)

Shane: I think they just might and who'd a thunk that? Sean Miller has done a ridiculously good job. Helps having a guy like Derrick Williams, of course.

Matt (VA)

Hey Dana, what did you think Mason last night? Longest winning streak in the nation now that Coastal Carolina lost last night as well

Dana O'Neil
  (2:11 PM)

Matt: That was a major wow. Very very impressive. Actually had to look twice to make sure I was reading the score right.

Ricky (Staten Island, NY)

Dana, who do you like in the Pitt-St. John's game this weekend? Do the Johnnies slay another giant in the Garden?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:12 PM)

Ricky: I"ll be there. That would be hugely impressive since Pitt, I believe, hasn't lost on the road this year. Which is insane.

Josh (Columbus, OH)

which of these teams will not have a one seed when the tournament starts: pitt, duke, ohio state, kansas, or texas?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:14 PM)

Josh: Hmmm.... I'm thinking maybe Duke, merely because the strength of winning the ACC won't hold as much weight. Will be interesting, though

James (Norfolk, VA)

Bracketbuster week!! Is the VCU-Wichita State loser completely OUT of the at-large discussion?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:15 PM)

James: Ugh, I hate to think so but it may break that way. That ugly loss to George Mason certainly isn't helping VCU any.

Will (DC)

Can Austin Freeman wrestle away BE POY honors tonight from Kemba?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:16 PM)

Will: Interesting question. My guess is no, simply because Kemba has done so much this year and it's about the whole year, not one game. BUT... Freeman was the preseason pick and if Georgetown closes out as red hot as they are right now and UConn slides.. could be.

James (Newport Beach, CA)

Dana, fill in the blank: Sean Miller is ______________.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:16 PM)

James: A really nice guy? OK... doing one helluva job at Arizona.

Justin (Chicago)

Who gets the statement win tonight: Badgers or Boilers?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:18 PM)

Justin: Having a hard time with this one but after Saturday, I'll go with Badgers. How can I pick against Jordan Taylor now?

Scott (Haddonfield,IL)

Out of BYU,SDSU,Duke, and Georgetown, who are the best of the projected 2 seeds?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:19 PM)

Scott: I really was impressed with San Diego State when I saw the Aztecs in person. Couldn't find anything to dislike.

Matt (Philly)

Villanova is starting to trend downward again, and in a worse way than last year. At least last year, they weren't playing tight games with the dregs of the conference and even losing some. Do you see the end result being different or is this team destined to lose in the first weekend again.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:20 PM)

Matt: I'll admit I'm a little dismayed by Nova right now but they are without Stokes and that matters. Think this team has more of the parts than last year's, so I have more confidence in them come March.

Chris (Florence, KY)

Dana, do you really think Rick Stansbury's meltdown was the difference in the game vs. UK last night?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:21 PM)

Chris: It didn't help, certainly but I think there's a lot more problems than that. Sidney being A thru Y. Just not a very smart team

Johnny (Tx)

Is Texas one of the best basketball team right now? Can they win the Championship this year with the players on their roster?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:22 PM)

Johnny: Yes and yes.

Dan (Princeton, NJ)

17 Days until Championship Week gets going!!!!! 65 degrees in the Northeast on Friday!!!!! With Siena coming back to earth this year who do you like in the MAAC?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:23 PM)

Dan: I'd stick front runner here w/ Fairfield. Big bracketbuster w/ Austin Peay this weekend.

Tommy (Los Angeles, CA)

Whoa re some of your darkhorse potential Final Four teams?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:23 PM)

Tommy: Does San Diego State count?

Mike (Atlanta)

How awkward will it be win the NCAA gives the National Championship trophy to Bruce Pearl and Tennessee in April???

Dana O'Neil
  (2:23 PM)

Mike: Pretty sure we won't have to worry about that.

Nate (Illinois)

Dana, who is more likely to make the tourney Michigan St. or Illinois? do you think both can miss out?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:24 PM)

Nate: I still think both will find a way to get there. The difference is, I have a feeling if the Spartans get there, they may fare better than the Illini.

Bial Benn (Niagra, NY)

Thoughts on the state of college hoops? It doesn't appear that there is that ONE dominant team.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:25 PM)

Nope there's not and I personally like it that way. More interesting than just the forced march of 2 years ago where we handed the trophy to North Carolina.

Nate (Illinois)

Whats your thoughts on Steve Fisher's comments about Wyoming? I think he was right for saying something...

Dana O'Neil
  (2:25 PM)

Nate: Thought he was 300 percent right and I don't understand why the man can't express his opinion, to be honest.

Patrick (Chicago)

Has Jordan Taylor bypassed Walker in the POY race? Granted the line forms behind Jimmer, but I would but Taylor on level with Sullinger. And I hate the Badgers, being a Roy Williams fan.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:26 PM)

Patrick: He's on the list but I think the top still reads in some order: Jimmer, Nolan Smith, Sullinger and Kemba.

Brandon Knight (Lexington)

It was clearly a shot last night...right Dana?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:27 PM)

Brandon: You tell me. I'd say there wasn't indisputable video evidence to overturn the ruling on the court.

Joe (Southwest)

Do you think Arizona is really deserving of being ranked 12/13 in the respected polls? Or do you think the ranking is a little inflated right now?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:28 PM)

Joe: I think Arizona is good but I also think the ranking is a result of teams falling in front of them. Say more of a 15-20 team than a 10 to 15.

Nolan (Durham)

Do I need to carry Duke on my back the rest of the way, or has Seth Curry arrived as the third scoring option?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:29 PM)

Nolan: Even with Seth, you carry the team on your back. Ably, I might add.

Kermit Gosnell (Philly)

Do you think Temple will cut the cord with Dunphy if they don't win at least 1 tourney game?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:29 PM)

Kermit: Good Lord, I hope not!

Jimmer Fredette (Provo)

When are you going to come see me play in person?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:30 PM)

Jimmer: Dunno. Would love to take a return trip to San Diego but somehow I think my colleagues will run me over if I get to go back.

Breanna (Texas )

If there was a game that Texas could lose, who would it be against, Kansas State at home in Austin or on the road in Waco against the Bears?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:31 PM)

Brennan: Well, if the KState we saw against Kansas holds form, that could be a distinct possibility. But that remains to be seen.

Jon (NYC)

Dana, what do you make of the Cuse at this point?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:32 PM)

Jon: Hope I don't get yelled at here... but, think the Cuse's problems is what's been wrong all season: offense. Got no reliable outside shooter and they desperately need one.

Jim Reed (San Diego)

If San Diego wins out will they get to be a #1 seed

Dana O'Neil
  (2:33 PM)

Jim: Think San Diego needs some other people to trip up, honestly.

Ted (VA)

Which conference is better, the Big Ten or the Big 12? Still cant believe that the Big Ten has 12 and the Big 12 has 10 teams.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:34 PM)

Ted: Tough one. The Big Ten isn't nearly as good as I thought it would be and the Big 12 has some holes, too. But I'll lean Big 12 since the power at the top is more impressive.

Optimism (Future)

If Kentucky can win out at home and take a struggling Arkansas and Tennessee on the road (yes I know Kentucky fails on the road), and make a strong run in the SEC tournament, where would you see them being seeded in the big dance? Remember, the name is optimism here.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:35 PM)

Optimism: I'm not good at if this theories unless you tell me if the moon is full. But I could see Kentucky playing its way up to a 3 if other things break its way.

Ben (Pittsburgh)

What is Pitt's biggest flaw/weakness that could keep them out of the Final 4?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:36 PM)

Ben: Parsing things here because they are awfully solid. Not always a great outside shooting team, which could be problematic. Don't have an obvious pro and typically teams who win it all do.

Chad (North Carolina)

How did Carolina go up in the rankings after losing to Duke? And they also struggled shooting last night against Wake Forest. Can they beat Duke at the Dean Dome?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:37 PM)

Chad: I can't remember what happened ahead of them, so that's a factor but I think mostly people respect teams that play well on the road in ridiculously hostile environments, loss aside. Me, for example, I'll probably keep Ohio State at #1 this week.

Dr. Van (PA)

Dana, first child is due right around the end of the tourney. 2 questions, is it wrong to have a game on in the delivery room and what are your thoughts on the "push" present tradition these days?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:38 PM)

Dude if you're watching hoops while your wife is having a baby, I'd strongly suggest a very sparkly push present. No problem with the game on. Start em early.

wcburrs (philly)

Zack Rosen does not get nearly enough respect for his role in making UPenn a Big 5 power this season.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:39 PM)

WC: Probably not and ditto for Jerome Allen. Has done a great job after taking over a disastrous mess.

Paul (Mississippi)

Is the SEC a better than expected conference that is just beating each other up? Or weaker at then top then everyone thought? I can't figure it out.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:40 PM)

Paul Interesting chicken or the egg question. I'm going with B. Haven't seen anything from anyone in the top of the conference to make me sit back and go wow.

Matt (Bethlehem, PA)

Dana, Is Bucknell capable of another first round upset if they go on to win the Patriot League?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:40 PM)

Matt: Good friend of mine who has seen them in person says yes, so he's a smart dude and I'll go with yes. haven't seen em myself.

Jacob Pullen (Manhattan)

Ohio State is the favorite to win the National Title. What about Georgetown? And what about KANSAS STATE?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:41 PM)

Jacob: Are you gonna play like you did against Kansas from here on out? If so, dark horse. Ditto Georgetown.

Scott (Buffalo)

Can fab melo ever live up to his hype? Or will the staff at Syracuse be able to turn him into a dominate big east player by the time he is a senior (see Rick Jackson)?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:42 PM)

Scott: Eventually he can. Right now he looks a touch lost. Give Boeheim time. He tends to make guys better.

Kyle (Virginia)

Does Mason's trouncing of VCU last night say more possitive things about Mason, or negative things about VCU?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:43 PM)

Kyle: I"m a glass half full kinda girl, so I'm saying more positive about Mason. That was impressive stuff.

Roy Williams (Chapel Hill)

I am the ACC coach of the year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:43 PM)

Roy: No, don't think so. Guy down the road, probably.

Sam (Illinois)

Dana--love the chats. Taking my 4 year old son to his first Illini game tonight against the Wolverines. Will we leave happy?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:44 PM)

Sam: Awesome. Buy him a foam finger and a hot dog! Get him on the Jumbotron! The Illini really need to get things going again. Say they win and your boy leaves happy.

Kyle (SLC)

If BYU loses at SDSU but wins the MWC tourney, who wins COY in MWC? Fisher or Rose?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:45 PM)

Kyle: I still say Fisher. This is San Diego State. They aren't supposed to bet his good. Rose has had a decent team for a lot of years, a ranked team.

Rick Barnes (Austin)

Am I the Big 12 coach of the year ?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:46 PM)

Rick: Yes, I'd say so.

mick corin ((Cincinnati,OH))

Did i do the right thing with yancy Gates

Dana O'Neil
  (2:46 PM)

Mick: I certainly respect you for it. I prefer a coach who has a little conviction and sticks to it.

Kevin (NJ)

How does Chris Singleton's injury affect FSU's NCAA hopes and seeding?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:47 PM)

Kevin: It's just a killer. Obviously the selection committee will take that into account, but in this case it won't help since he's not coming back. Kenyon Martin rule here.

Jeremy (wisconsin)

what do u think of Utah St? also can they make a run in the tournament? 3rd straight year could be the charm?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:48 PM)

Jeremy: Team has a lot of divergent opinions. Some love them, some hate them. I say they've got one of the best coaches around, so I'll believe more in the wins than the blip of the loss.

Colin (Pittsburgh)

How impressive is Pitt's undefeated road record?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:49 PM)

Colin Ridiculous considering the road they've played on, ie in the Big East.

Matthew (Madison, WI)

Hey Dana, what's more important, quality wins or defending your home court? I'd say the later...

Dana O'Neil
  (2:49 PM)

Matthew: If you win all your games at home and don't play anyone, doesn't do you much good so I'd have to differ on that one.

CJ (Accounting 211 (Penn State))

Penn state sweeps Minnesota, takes care of NW on the road, and steals one either at Wisconsin or at home vs Ohio St. That puts them at 10-8 in the big ten, and most likley 4th or 5th. Is it enough?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:50 PM)

CJ: Ugh. Accounting? Took one of those at Penn State. Bless you. Not really, I don't think. Puts them into some conversation but they need to make noise in the Big 10 tourney.

Chris (Charlotte, NC)

Duke is under the radar since Irving's departure. I think with or without Irving, this team will be the best by season's end; however, Irving determines the gap. The plumlees and kelly, oh and CURRY, are starting to come into form...watch out.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:52 PM)

Chris: I'm almost certain you are the first person to put the words Duke and under the radar in a sentence. They are, however, a very good team with or without Irving.

Kyle (Illinois)

How many teams are capable of final four runs this year? I have it around 10 (Pitt, OSU, G-Town, Duke, BYU, SDSU, Kansas, Texas, UNC, and Wisconsin) Too high? Too low?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:53 PM)

Kyle: Might stop after the first 8 myself.

Blake (Abilene, TX)

Dana, Interesting stat that maybe why Jordan Hamilton is playing at a POY caliber and Texas is undefeated in Big 12 play. In conference play Hamilton has only taken more than 14 shots twice in a game. In non conference he took 15 or more shots 10 times.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:54 PM)

Blake Very interesting stat and I believe there is a definite correlation between Jordan Hamilton's maturity this year and Texas' success.

Alyssa (Pittsburgh)

What's the most impressive feat by any team this season? Pitt unbeaten on the road? Texas unbeaten in conference?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:56 PM)

Alyssa: Problem with the conference scheds, of course, is that they aren't built for home and homes with everyone anymore, so while Texas is impressive, PItt wins. For now.

noah (la)

If UCLA sweeps the bay this weekend taking them to 20-7, barring an 0-4 finish, are they a lock for the tournament?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:57 PM)

Noah: Probably. Been playing a lot better and the committee tends to favor teams that get better as the year progresses.

Ben (Philly)

Most impressive feat something other than Pitt or Texas?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:58 PM)

Ben: Duke's success sans Irving, as someone suggested. San Diego State's arrival. Jimmer.

Hype Machine (NCAA)

Jimmer Fredette is the most talked about (during the regular season) college ball player since ........

Dana O'Neil
  (2:59 PM)

Tyler Hansbrough two years ago. Or Joakim Noah in Gator Year 2. Not in the same context, but as frequently discussed.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:59 PM)

Alright folks. Thanks for the questions. Gotta get my act together to go watch Xavier tonight.