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February 23, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Dana O'Neil

Dana O'Neil
  (2:01 PM)

Hey there... lots to talk about it, so let's talk.

John (West Lafayette)

Dana, everyone keeps talking about Pitt, Kansas, Texas, Duke, Ohio State, SDSU, and BYU as possible #1s. Why is Purdue not getting any consideration? Painter has them playing their best basketball, and they are healthy.. Not to mention W's over O State and Wiscy... What gives?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:02 PM)

John: You're right, to an extent. I think Purdue ought to be among those in the conversation but an awful lot would have to happen, I'd imagine, before the Boilers could slide into a #1 seed.

Todd (SDSU Crazytown)

Are u coming back to SDSU for the BYU craziness? What are your thoughts on the game and possible #1 seed implictions for the winner?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:04 PM)

Todd: Wish I was, but Andy Katz will be enjoying The Show this time around. I expect a terrific game, just like the last one. Think the Aztecs win this one, with the rubber match in Las Vegas. As for seed implications, think the winner will get a look but again, some things have to break their way with the other teams in front of em.

Dustin (Las Vegas)

Dana, I'm sure your getting a million questions about this, but I gotta ask, Duke? Number 1? They are currently a whopping 1-1 against top 25 teams and have an SOS that is 63rd! Any insight into the logic behind the voting?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:05 PM)

Dustin: You mean in the poll? It's the way it works. People tend to just move up the team that didn't lose. I dont' agree at all with that theory and in my mind, Ohio State still deserves to be #1. If you're talking seed, by the way, Pat Forde and I debated that in the blog today.

Flyer fanatic (Mission Viejo, CA)

Dana, you seem to follow the A10 - here's my perfect storm - Dayton runs the table in regular season and then wins 2 conf tournament games. That makes them 24-10 - enough to get in the dance?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:06 PM)

That's a heckuva storm. Not sure I can see it happening and not sure it would be enough, to be honest. A10 is sort of mish mash this year.

Jarrett Gercken (Raleigh, NC)

How far does North Carolina go in the big dance?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:08 PM)

Jarrett: If you asked me a month ago, I would have said the NIT? Now, still a little shaky on counting on the Heels but should be a second weekend team. Know that's not much for Carolina fans but considering where this all started, it's pretty good.

Jesse (VA)

Is it finally safe to say that George Mason is a lock for the NCAA tournament?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:09 PM)

Jesse: Dear Lord, it better be! And I'd pencil in a win or two, as well.

Torie (Florida)

Given SDSU's success this year in the mountain west, would the success and hype be the same if they were in another conference? Also given the switches in the conference in the coming years will State's success be altered in anyway?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:10 PM)

Torie: You mean more or less hype? THe hype is big this year because it's unprecedented, because there's a top rival in BYU and because the Aztecs are legitimately good.

Brian (Chicago)

Dana, sure they've struggled like I would have never believed but what's your take on Michigan State right now? Looks like Kalin's back to his old self and things are coming together. Is it too late though?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:11 PM)

Brian: You know I hate to count out Tom Izzo and I'll admit it, I did. Things look better, definitely a lot better and most of it is because Kalin Lucas looks like himself. Still a long way from the expectations but the Spartans could be a team no one wants to play in March.

Charlie (Michigan)

Do you think a win tonight by Michigan over Wisconson puts Michigan in the Tourny

Dana O'Neil
  (2:12 PM)

Charlie: It certainly helps. Think the Wolverines are right there and need that signature win. BUT BUT BUT... cannot win this and fall apart down the stretch.

Dan (Princeton, NJ)

What do you think will happen now to Bruce Pearl now that NCAA investigation is over and he was found to be non-compliant.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:13 PM)

Dan: A long way to go before that's decided. Tennessee appears before the committee on infractions in June. Punishment a few months after that. Appeals. Think it will be interesting. The question is, are the 8 games enough?

Caitlin (OH)

What do you mean by saying the a10 is sort of a mish mash this year? Xavier has consistently been at the top of their conference for at least the past 4 seasons, and is on it's way to take the top spot again this year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:13 PM)

Sorry, A10 in the middle is a mishmash. Not at the top.

Bill (Va Beach)

Mason is a lock. Is ODU also close to lock status? Could CAA get three in the Dance?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:14 PM)

Bill: I'd say ODU deserves to get in. Sadly I'm not on the committee. AFter that, tougher sell. Someone else would need to win the tourney and then make it interesting.

Christian (Pittsburgh)

Dana, is Jamie Dixon in the running for Big East COY? Also, have you seen a team in recent years with zero pro talent that was as good as his Panthers are this year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:15 PM)

Christian: THink Steve Lavin may get the COY honors. As for zero pro talent, that's been the Panthers MO for years.

Brendan (Connecticut)

Dana, If a team like Depaul or Seton Hall, however unlikely it is, were to win the Big East Tourny, what would do you think that would do to the number of bids that the Big East sends to the dance?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:17 PM)

Brendan: If DePaul wins the Big East Tournament, I will present Oliver Purnell with a bottle of very expensive champagne on the court. No chance on God's green Earth. But to your point, if someone insane wins, someone is going to have to go down in the process. Some of those 9-10-11 type NCAA teams would be uncomfortable.

Bobby (Chicago)

Are the Gophers out? I think blowing that lead to MSU late burst our bubble unfortunately.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:17 PM)

Bobby: Yeah, kind of agree. Not looking good right now at all. Will need a miracle run at the Big Ten tourney.

Jon (Team Epic)

Big fan Dana! I should be working, but i'm a bit distracted. My co-worker is considering doing the vending machine challenge (eats every item in the vending machine in 2 hours). He needs a confidence boost. Please tell him he should do it? And will he succeed?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:18 PM)

Jon: My stomach just flip flopped. I suppose as your boss is OK with him barfing, go for it.

Clive (NC)

In your opinion when all is said and done, how many conferences will represent the final four?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:19 PM)

Clive: Hmm.. interesting question. Could be a diverse group this year. Hard to entirely predict w/o the bracket but the Big 10, Big 12, Big East, ACC and Mountain West all could easily be represented.

Patrick Throckmorton (Winchester,Virginia)

Do you think Tony Bennett will bring UVA back to their winning ways or will he be just another coach that stays a few years and gets fired ?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:21 PM)

Patrick: Think he can change things. They already are slightly improved. It's an awfully tough job, so need to give him some time.

Kevin (Brooklyn)

Do you think that Duke is likely to win the ACC (regular season or tournament) if Kyle Singler does not break out of his slump?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:21 PM)

Kevin: No reason to think otherwise. They've done alright in the regular season. But they do need him for the NCAA Tournament, I'd argue.

Dusty (St. Louis)

KU's offense at times is just unreal. I know Bill Self is not happy with the defense at all. Do you think that their offense alone could carry them to a national championship?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:22 PM)

Dusty: It really can be crazy, can't it? But I understand Self's worries. In a 6-game sprint to the title, there is bound to be a night where you can't shoot. A matchup problem, off night, who knows? So you've got to be able to defend to survive. They need to get better.

Dan (West Chester)

How serious are Villanova's issues? To me, I see them going down in the first round of the dance.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:23 PM)

Dan: Can't figure em out right now. Certainly playing without Stokes hurt. Think the biggest thing they need right now is consistency out of Corey Fisher. Not just shooting but everything. No stupid fouls, all of it.

Will (Springfield,MO)

Dana, is an MVC regular seson title and a trip to the MVC tournament Championship game enough for my Missouri State Bears to get an at large???

Dana O'Neil
  (2:24 PM)

Will: No I think the Valley this year is a one-bid league.

Mike (Ohio)

Who will scare a biggie more, Oakland or Belmont? Both look pretty darn good

Dana O'Neil
  (2:24 PM)

Mike: Agree both do look good. Think Keith Benson is the X factor for Oakland. Having a guy of that ability on a team of that caliber separates em.

Brent (IN)

Dana, What's your thoughts on the National COY? My vote is biased for Painter with the way he's used a committee of lesser knowns to fill the void of Hummel and to be where they are. But what a job Lavin and Fisher have done also

Dana O'Neil
  (2:25 PM)

Brent: I had Painter on the top of my list and then took him off when they stumbled. Now I've got him back up there. Think either he or FIsher deserve it the most. Painter has done an incredible job of keeping this team focused and together.

Nick (Madison, WI)

Do you think Ohio State's lack of depth is going to cost them in the NCAAs?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:26 PM)

Nick: Lots of folks say that but it hasn't hurt them yet. Sullinger isn't the type to draw silly fouls and that really helps. Rarely in foul trouble.

Cosmo (Anytown, USA)

Dana, do our Nits get in or not? What do they have to do or not do the rest of the way to make sure they get in? Go Penn State!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:27 PM)

Cosmo: In the NCAA Tournament? Uh no, not unless they pull off a Big Ten miracle. But hey, maybe they can practice on their own court for the NIT.

John (Iowa)

Dana, I have 4 tickets to the Final Four and Championship games. I'd love to see my Jayhawks go all the way, but am worried I'll hate going if they don't make it that far. Advice?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:27 PM)

John: You'll have a blast regardless. Trust me. Great event. Great fun.

Jon (NYC)

Dana, true or false, Scoop Jardine is the best and worst player for Cuse?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:28 PM)

Jon: Get your point. He can certainly be that way and he is the key to what they do and how they play.

Brady (Las Vegas)

Thoughts on Jimmer?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:29 PM)

Brady: He's not bad. Sarcasm.

John (CT)

Let's see your non power conference (Big Six, A-10, MWC, C-USA) all-American team.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:30 PM)

JOhn: Off top of my head.. eek... Jimmer, Kawhi Leonard, Tu Holloway, Charles Jenkins... ...who am I missing?

Charles (San Jose)

How much is it going to help Arizona at tourney time to have had guys like Jones and Parrom step up while Williams wasn't at 100%?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:31 PM)

Charles; Huge. Think I like about Arizona is, as good as Williams is, he doesn't have to be outstanding every night for them to win. They've consistently had help from other guys.


Dana, are you forgetting about the job Rick P. has done at Louisville for COY or do you just hate Louisville that much? You seem to be a non believer in this team.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:32 PM)

Bill: Not true at all. He's done a terrific job with a team that absolutely no one expected anything from. Will certainly be in Big East COY conversation but Lavin has beaten 5 top 15 teams at St. John's. Where they last did anything of significance 9 years ago.

Nikki (DC)

Is it just me or is the bubble softer than ever this year? So does that mean my Terps can get into one of those weird opening games?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:34 PM)

Nikki: It is silly soft, yes. Would say the Terps would need some help in the form of losses from other bubble teams and need to not hiccup themselves. Honestly think it's too early to count anyone out this year.

Matthew (Madison, WI)

Norris Cole or Kenneth Faried

Dana O'Neil
  (2:34 PM)

See forgot them. Forgot Shelvin Mack.

Nathan (Chicago)

Dana, I set out to hate the "Field of 68" but it's intriguing to me that power teams might be in those matchups. Is it bad if I end up liking this tourney expansion?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:35 PM)

Nathan: No, this is palatable. Will be interesting to see who gets sent to Dayton, how they handle that and the turn around. Adds a little intrigue to the 'play-in' day, so I'm ok with that. Still prefer 64 but this isn't awful.

Justin W (Athens, Tn)

As much as i love my Duke boys and what Nolan Smith is doing for us, I think we need Kyrie Irving to win it all. DO you agree?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:36 PM)

Justin: No, think it can happen without him. Done pretty well so far and Nolan Smith is such a luxury. Also remember if Kyrie comes back, he's not going to be the Kyrie we saw in November over night.

marcus strimple (madison wi)

what team is the most up and down team this year? TENNEESSE?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:37 PM)

Marcus: Plenty of worthy candidates for that. 85 percent of the SEC, the middle of the Big East.

Steve (Butler, NJ)

I wanna hear your thoughts on this. Pick one player that either graduated or went pro last year and gave him one more year of eligibility that would make his team instantly as a final four favorite. My pick would be Andy Rautins for 'Cuse. I guess Evan Turner wouldn't be a made pick either.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:38 PM)

Steve: Both good. I'd say John Wall might be a slight advantage for UK, too.

Caltech (California)

Hey, no love for us Dana? 26 year conference losing streak over!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:38 PM)

Absolutely! Wrote about you guys 2 years ago. Interviewed players who told me about their summer jobs. Kind of different than selling soft serve at Dairy Queen. Awesome job!

John (CT)

In preparation for next month... what the heck is a TruTv?!?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:39 PM)

John: I do not know but intend to find out. Too bad it's not TuTv. Think how happy Xavier fans would be.

Will (Madison)

Forgot Andrew Goudelock and Keith Benson as well.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:39 PM)


Archibald (Clearwater, FL)

Dana, how do you think St. John's will possibly do in the ncaa tournament away from MSG

Dana O'Neil
  (2:40 PM)

Archibald: Was thinking that on SAturday while watching the Red Storm beat Pitt. The teams all bring their fan bases pretty well, so it's not like the St. John's fans will own the place entirely. BUT the casual New Yorker will jump on their side. Definitely more of a homecourt advantage than it has been in a long, long time.

Matt (VA)

Name three midmajors that the BCS conferences do not want to see in the tourney as their first round opponent

Dana O'Neil
  (2:41 PM)

Matt: Assuming San Diego State and BYU don't count? If not, Xavier, Oakland, George Mason.

DJ (Cuse)

Does TruTV come in HD?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:42 PM)


Josh (MA)

best warm up song in college basketball?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:42 PM)

Josh: Anything that does not include the Black Eyed Peas. Want to box my ears I'm so sick of that.

John (CT)

Who you got winning the Ivy: Hah-vahd or Princeton?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:43 PM)

John: Great question. Full disclosure: my husband works at Princeton in the athletics department, so gotta go Tigers.

Lance (Salt Lake City, UT)

Jimmer has put together the most complete season of any POY candidate. But now that a few other players are having a decent 2nd half, why is the national Jimmer love seem to be fading?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:44 PM)

Lance: Quality of competition will be the argument, I'm sure. But if Jimmer is Jimmer on Saturday, the mania will return.

Stu (Cincy)

Do you have a crush on John or something? What does Cincinnati need to do to make the tourney?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:44 PM)

Stu: John who? I'd say that win over Louisville was a huge boost. Beating UConn on Sunday would make em a lock.

Sean (Bay Area, CA)

Saint Mary's or Gonzaga tomorrow night? Who needs it more?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:45 PM)

Sean: Think Gonzaga needs it more. Think St. Mary's wins.

Nathan ((KS))

Dana, who?s your favorite to win the Big 12, Big 10, Big East tournaments?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:46 PM)

Nathan: Kind of chalk-ish... Texas, Ohio State, Pitt. Though I am not 100 percent committed. This, to me, looks like it could be a March of upsets.

Ann (Las Vegas)

Asked earlier Nova in or out of dance with 9-9 in Big aest play?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:46 PM)

Ann: Oh Villanova is in. The question is, for how long?

Jarad (Missouri)

Which missouri player do you expect to lead the team into the ncaa tournament with kimmie, denmon or pressey?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:47 PM)

Jared: For on-court leadership, Kimmie. For points, etc., go with Denmon.

Marc (Boston)

You can't ignore me forever Dana...well I guess you could...but please, give me some inside information on Temple chances the rest of the way!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:48 PM)

Marc: tonight is a little dicey, clearly. After that, ought to be win win win. And while I'm impressed with Xavier, you never count the Owls out in Atlantic City.

John David (Lexington)

What seed do you see UK getting if they win out and the SEC tourney? Are they one of the most underrated teams in America?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:49 PM)

John David: No, don't think they're underrated. Pounds of talent but that inexperience is killing them a bit this year on the road. If they win the SEC, could be a 3seed.

Pauly Walnuts (MA)

is this the year a 16 beats a 1? a good team seems to keep laying eggs every week

Dana O'Neil
  (2:50 PM)

Pauly: I doubt that, honestly.

Kevin (Provo, UT)

With BYU having already beaten SDSU this year, and having played a tougher schedule, why is it that SDSU is still ranked ahead of BYU? Granted, I think that SDSU will probably win the rematch in San Diego, but that just means that BYU will probably drop out of the top 10 if they lose, and SDSU will go up to #3 or 4. How exactly is that fair?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:51 PM)

Kevin: My guess is because San Diego State lost to a better opponent in BYU. Cougars lost to New Mexico. That's been my rationale, anyway.

Adrian (Dallas, TX)

C-USA... teams keep knocking eachother out of first place. There's talent there. How possible is it that 3 teams make the tourney?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:52 PM)

Adrian: Don't know that the body of work is there to merit three teams, honestly. Agree that is fairly unpredictable. Mighty egg laid by UTEP against UCF.

Derell (Charlotte, NC)

Dane - dont get the disrespect coming to Duke these days - defending champs that have been #1 for the majority of the season & only lost 2 games (both on the road) - what gives???

Dana O'Neil
  (2:53 PM)

Derell: Dude, they're No. 1 in the country. Where's the disrespect?


Do you think Kansas would be in a better position as the top #2, than being a 1 seed?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:53 PM)

Eric: Depends. Are they the fourth #1? Then I think there can be a case for that. Less likely to be pushed to a far off destination.

Johnny (Colorado)

Tarheels, ACC, talk to me. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:54 PM)

Johnny: What's up? Can they beat Duke next week? Of course they can. Not saying they will but they can.

Brandon (Washington, DC)

What's the hardest part about covering college hoops? I imagine it can be tough to track down busy coaches or stay up late to cover those late tips out West.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:55 PM)

Brandon: Staying up late is never easy for me. I'm old. Otherwise, I'd say it's just keeping your brain on all the time. Things change so rapidly. Go to bed thinking a team is hot. Wake up and they're not. And the other is dealing with the fact that no one returns my call until my kids take one toe off the bus!

Clay (Mobile)

Please. Been submitting all Chat long???With Chandler Parson's healthy, what's your take on the Gators? Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, Final Four? All they do is win close games, which can only help in the NCAA Tournament.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:56 PM)

Clay: Sorry. Didn't see you. Yeah winning close games helps for sure. Not sure I can see the Gators in the Final Four. Sweet 16, yes. Elite Eight? Maybe depends on the matchups. Good team, competitive team, definitely a tough out.

MattD (VA)

Towsen. Do the win a conference game? And will they arrive on time?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:57 PM)

Matt: Ha! Not a good year. First I heard of a team getting penalized because it didn't plan on bad weather. When things go bad....

Blaine (MS)

Dana, what do you think should happen at Miss. State with Coach Stansberry? Should he get fired, or should this season and all the garbage that came with it be swept under the rug?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:58 PM)

Blaine: Think it's pretty awful, myself. Not sure the issues but the way he's handled them or not handled them in the case of Renardo Sidney.

Ty (Utah)

What's been your favorite interview this year in BB?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:59 PM)

Ty: Wow, tough question. I've had a lot of great ones. Scoop Jardine and Kris Joseph are two of the most quotable but have had great sitdowns with a lot of great players. I'd hate to pinpoint one and be wrong but since you asked... Kenneth Faried.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:59 PM)

OK folks gotta go back to reading through Tennessee stuff. Great questions. Enjoy the week.