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March 9, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Dana O'Neil

Nick (Chicago)

Who do you got in the michigan/Illinois matchup? Also do you think the loser will still make the dance?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:01 PM)

Nick: I think MIchigan is playing well right now, so let's go with the mild upset. I say both are in, though.

Kevin (Syracuse)

With all these mediocre teams getting into the NCAA Tournament, don't you think it would be much better to switch back to the regular 64-team tournament? I'm not going to like waiting for the play-in games to finish before I start my bracket.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:02 PM)

Kevin: This year they probably could have contracted to 32 but I'm intrigued to see who the First Four are. Adds another bit of drama. You can wait a little bit for that bracket. Cmon now, Kevin.

Jonathan (Dallas, TX)

When Ohio State takes the court either this weekend (in the B1G Tournament) or next weekend, will the OSU football story take attention away from the basketball team? Should it (is that fair)?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:03 PM)

Jonathan: I don't think so, to be honest. This isn't an across the board academic scandal that has roped in basketball players. I think Gene Smith will deal with it a little bit as he should.

Anthony (Wisconsin)

Dana who is the one mid major team that could make a little noise in the tourney. Apart from the usual suspects who have been there before, George Mason, Butler, Gonzaga.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:04 PM)

Anthony: I like both Morehead and Oakland. Both have an NBA player on their roster - Kenneth Faried at Morehead and Keith Benson at Oakland. That's a major difference maker for mid majors.

Jon (NYC)

Dana, is Villanova still a lock? What would you say its % chance is of making the tourney?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:05 PM)

Jon: Don't think they'll be left out. They have too many games and too many wins against really good teams. But if things go absolutely wacky in these power conference tourneys, could get uncomfortable.

Milton (illinois)

Dana:I knew early on that the Irish had a pretty good team but had no idea they would be this good!....you're thoughts?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:05 PM)

Milton: Yeah, I agree 100 percent. No one knew they'd be this good. Very impressed with the job Mike Brey has done and I absolutely love the fire and energy Ben Hansbrough has brought to this team.

Elan (Providence)

Can USF win the Big East tournament??

Dana O'Neil
  (2:06 PM)

Elan: Theoretically, yes. Realistically? No.

Cole Bigelow (Utah)

For North Carolina to get a 1 seed do they just need to win the Acc tourney and what are the chance of winning a national championship, they have really came out of no where.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:07 PM)

Cole: Going to be interesting, I think. If they win the ACC Tournament they very much deserve to be in the conversation and could take a No. 1. As for a national title, why not? They're playing as well as anyone right now, on a hot streak.

Prohoss (MO)

Dana, Missouri State with a 25-8 overall and 17-4 conference record is on the outside looking in. The Valley has been a 2 bid league in recent years. What is the biggest knock on the Valley this year? Is it the record in the BracketBusters this year? At some point, doesn't the regular season have to carry weight in a high mid-major conerence?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:08 PM)

Prohoss: I think the problem is just overall the Valley has been done. No real impressive non conference wins to hang their hat on and no dominant team. I think it's gonna be one bid.

Big5fan (Philadelphia)

What are your thoughts on the new staggard tip times? A tip time on Day4 at 930 will be to late for me. I was accustomed to going to bed at 7pm on Sunday of the 2nd round (no I won't call the play-in games the 1st round).

Dana O'Neil
  (2:08 PM)

I like it, actually. No more annoying cutaways. You can watch the games through and through. I'd suggest a large mug of coffee on Sunday night and suffer.

Zac (Moundsville, WV)

So Dana it looks to me like WVU got a pretty nice draw to the Big East Finals. Marquette who we lost to early and then L'ville and ND who we beat recently. Think the EERS have any chance to repeat?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:10 PM)

Zac: A chance, yes, but I actually have ND winning the whole thing. Think that's a tough matchup.

Kevin (NYC)

Uconn going to make a run in the BE tournament? Seems like this team plays better under pressure.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:11 PM)

Kevin: So far so good. In the quarters. Hard to win five games in five nights, especially when the next one is Pittsburgh. Still a good confidence boost - and a much needed one - for the Huskies righ tnow.

J.B. (PA)

Dana: Is Syracuse destined to be sent out West yet again? They may as well join the PAC-12!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:12 PM)

JB: Not necessarily. They do well enough in NYC they could get sent to DC and maybe even Newark. Which is where I'll be, so I'd be ok with that.

Donnell (Ashburn, VA)

Does the All-ACC team lose all credibility with Kyle Singler being a part of it and no Tar Heels (Zeller, Henson, Barnes), marking the first time the regular season champs had no members on the team.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:13 PM)

Donnell: Little surprised by that just because Singler, I think, is having a really down year. Reputation is tough to overcome, though. Was on a conference call recently and his name was brought up as a potential 2nd team All American. No way.

Patrick (Chicago)

Georgetown hasn't won without Chris Wright after losign their first BE Tourney game...shouldn't the Kenyon Martin rule come into play here? They are clearly a different team now, right?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:14 PM)

Patrick Well to an extent it will. If he can/is/might come back for the NCAA Tournament, their record without him will have an asterisk.

Big5 (Philadelphia)

I'll be in DC and Newark too? I'll buy you a beer at the concession stand (I wish they would sell)

Dana O'Neil
  (2:14 PM)

Ha! Glad they don't. Some of us have to work.

SU Fan 4ever (Rochester)

Given that Purdue, Texas, and SU have the same record, but SU is 6-3 against the current Top 25 and Purdue and Texas are 2-3 plus both lost last week, why do you think they are still ranked ahead of SU and are projected by Lunardi to get a better seed?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:15 PM)

That midseason slide was pretty ugly for the Cuse while Purdue (til Iowa) had a nice little late season push. Think the Orange could bump up a seed line with a nice run here in NYC

Patrick (Chicago)

But if Wright cannot come back, shouldn't Georgetown be seeded accordingly (or left out entirely)?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:16 PM)

Patrick: Left out? No. The caveat here is that Georgetown is saying they expect he will be back. THat's what the committee has to work off of. With Martin, remember there wasn't any wiggle room.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Is the seat warming up a little under Gary Williams in College Park? The Terps have been going to the NIT an awful lot and the AD and Gary have had issues.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:17 PM)

Tony: New AD, so that helps his cause a bunch. I don't think it's hot yet. Certainly under scrutiny but not hot.

Laura (Kansas)

considering marcus morris is big 12 player of the year and the best player on the 2nd ranked team, why is marcus morris never mentioned in all american talk?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:18 PM)

Laura: I imagine he'll get a second team nod. Think he's a victim of a talented team that spreads the wealth.

Jon (Malvern)

How much blame does Jay Wright deserve for Nova's free fall?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:19 PM)

Jon: Well, he's the head coach so ultimately it's all his responsibility. Seems like he never got his finger on the pulse of this team, never figured out how to make them go. I think he's got a few guys who have wandering NBA eyes and that's hard to control but I also think they should be a whole lot better.

Patrick (Chicago)

Speaking of hot seats, how about Tom Crean, Sidney Lowe, JT III, and Jeff Capel?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:19 PM)

JT3???????? No way. Crean, I think, gets another year. Suspect Lowe will be burnt and Capel may try to bolt.

Alec (school)

if Nebraska goes deep in the big 12 tourney do you think they will make the tournament?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:20 PM)

Alec: I'd say they can play themselves into the conversation. Have some nice wins but would need to win a few, as you said, in the Big 12.

Denny (Rankin, IL)

If you take out consistency and rate on "if they played their best", who would be your Final Four?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:21 PM)

Denny: So pure talent alone? Kansas, Texas, Ohio State and North Carolina.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

The Bruins have been a non-factor the pass couple of years tourney wise. Do they make a splash this year? Sweet 16?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:21 PM)

Tony: Could definitely happen. Trick is it's a very young team, so this will be a whole new experience for them. LIke the defense and really like Josh Smith. Not out of the question at all.

Brian (LA)

Please tell me you are picking against Duke again because that worked out really well last year.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:22 PM)

Brian: ASk me next week when I see the bracket.

Harry (Pa)

I don't understand how people have Mich St in the tourney bracket mocks. I get they played a tough schedule but you have to win more than you lose to be looked at as a serious team in tourney. 17-13 / 9-9 = not good enough for NCAA tourney

Dana O'Neil
  (2:23 PM)

Harry: I agree with you. I think they will get in but an absolute lock right now? I don't see it. The record isn't great. THey've lost badly lately and they just honestly have not good for two solid months.

Daniel (Orwigsburg, PA)

JT3's system doesn't seem to be a smashing hit when it comes to recruiting. Georgetown will be princeton talent battling in the big east if these are the players left after Freeman and Wright are gone

Dana O'Neil
  (2:24 PM)

Daniel: Greg Monroe could play a little bit. Ditto Jeff Green. Austin Freeman. Chris Wright. Jason Clark. I'm not seeing it.

John David (Gerrardi)

Hi Dana, How important were Kentucky's final 3 wins and what are their chances of getting a 3 seed (assuming we win the SEC tournament)?Thanks!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:25 PM)

John David: Huge first of all for a confidence boost. Team needed to know it could win on the road and win close games. Now that's taken care of. The Wildcats definitely could boost their seed by going deep. Maybe 4, possibly 3 if others slip.

RAY GORDONREID ( JACKSONVILE FLORIDA 32O99)

QUESTION TO DANA O'NEIL AT 2.30 PM HI DANA WHO WINS ATLANTIC 1O TOURNAMENT

Dana O'Neil
  (2:26 PM)

Ray: Think this is the season Xavier solves the Atlantic City mystery. Temple is banged up and no one has a player as good as Tu Holloway.

Samuel (LA)

Who is your national player of the year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:26 PM)

Samuel: Jimmer.

Denny (Rankin, IL)

IF they consistently play defense and attack the basket, how far can IL go?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:27 PM)

Denny: Two gigantic ifs there. If Illinois plays as good as Illinois should/can be, could give a scare to Ohio State.

Nick (Albuquerque)

Who do you have in the neutral-ground Ivy League Playoff between Harvard and Princeton at Yale.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:28 PM)

Nick: Haven't thought a whole bunch about it but may lean Harvard. So much at stake for them.

Brad (Boston)

Dana, who do you like in the Marq vs WVU game later today?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:28 PM)

Brad: I had West Virginia winning. Like the way they've been playing here late.

Tom (Pa)

Dana - Does the winner of the Bama/Georgia game get in and the loser is out?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:29 PM)

Tom: That sounds simplistic because it always depends on so much else - what goes elsewhere - but it may turn out that way, honestly.

dan (st. louis)

i think missouri has dramatically underacheived this year. Your thoughts on their tournament chances and what is the problem?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:30 PM)

Dan: Yeah, I agree. Thought they'd be better than this. Look worse, honestly, now than a month or so ago. Still have talent if they can figure things out to make someone uncomfortable but really need more consistency and better defense.

J.B. (PA)

Dana: Any chance Steve Lavin gets COY?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:30 PM)

JB: He'll get on the list, for certain. I'd say it's down to Painter or Brey. Remember he has 9 seniors.

Steve (Abilene)

Dana, One observation even though I am biased. I think UK's team has played conservative more because they are avoiding foul trouble. Before the Tenn game, tell me the last time UK had foul trouble in a game AND two foul out! My take they are really good when they play tough and the last three games have shown that. Thoughts?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:31 PM)

Steve: They don't have a lot of wiggle room for foul trouble with such a short bench, so I understand being cautious. But I agree that if you just play, good things happen. There's nothing to conserve for at this time of year.

joe (not at MSG)

What is the best part about the BE Tourney off the court

Dana O'Neil
  (2:32 PM)

Joe: I'm so rarely away from the court... I love walking into the Garden before the first game. Everyone outside has some team Tshirt on, scalpers all over the place. It's such a big deal even in The biggest city and you really get a sense of that by all the commotion outside.

Alex Jay (Kansas city, KS)

hi Dana, head to head Ohio State and Kansas. who do you pick and why?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:33 PM)

Alex: Oof. Great game. Right now I'd lean Ohio State. Have looked incredible lately. Like the fact that they can beat you in so many different ways. Play great defense. Extremely tough. Not that Kansas isn't all those things just think right now Buckeyes doing it a little better.

Kevin (Storrs, CT)

Do you think Kemba Walker got robbed of the BE POY? Hansbrough has a team with a bunch of seniors and upperclassmen. Kemba Walker has a team filled with freshman and sophmores.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:35 PM)

Kevin: I understand both sides of the argument. Hansbrough has been really good all year and really given an attitude - and points - to Notre Dame. Kemba has done the same, and you're right, with less but UConn rollercoastered a bit late as did Kemba. Probably did him in.

chase (chester, va)

If the hottest team wins the BE tourney, what team not named Notre Dame takes it all: WVU, Syracuse, or UConn?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:35 PM)

Chase: Out of those three, Syracuse.

Steve (Abilene)

I know people dislike Calipari for reasons that are a bit unfair but he gets no consideration for COY and has done nothing but win 22 games with a team that doesn't have any experience. This team nowhere as good as last year making the job even more incredible?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:37 PM)

Steve: Not sure they're that exceptional. Look at what Calhoun has done with just as much experience or what Brey has done with no expectations or Painter with injuries. He's done a nice job managing this team but just not a wow job.

Charles (San Jose)

How does Harvard have more at stake? Isn't it the same situation for both teams? Win = NCAA, Loss = NIT

Dana O'Neil
  (2:37 PM)

Charles: Because they've never won it before. I just think the emotional push will be huge there. Now it could go against them, so you never know.

Jon (MSG)

Love you Dana! My brother will pay me $50 if you answer my question. I'll split it with you. I know all Uconn did was beat Depaul and a weakened Georgetown team, but wouldn't you say these 2 games have been big for their confidence and what chance do you give them tomorrow against Pitt?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:38 PM)

Jon: I take cash or check. I definitely think it helps their confidence. Remember this is a very young team and they were teetering there a little late. Need them to believe in themselves going forward and this will help big time.

Jim McMahon (Another planet)

BYU suspends Brandon Davies from playing the rest of the season but then let's him cut down the nets to celebrate a championship. Aren't they playing both sides against the middle. which is it? Also, isn't the kid supposed to get a warning/probation first. Although I never did. Please explain

Dana O'Neil
  (2:39 PM)

I was confused by the cutting of the nets, too. Nice gesture but if you say he's off the team because he's no longer allowed to represent BYU, isn't sticking him on a ladder to cut down a net representing BYU?

joe (buffalo)

bigger advantage in tournament....dominant forward/center or dominant guard or dominant wing player

Dana O'Neil
  (2:40 PM)

Joe: I'd say the way the game is played these days, a dominant guard.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:40 PM)

Uh oh.. Nebraska loses to Oklahoma State. Not good for the Huskers bubble hopes at all. Methinks Doc is in the NIT

Michael (Stanton)

Who's the hottest team right now in each respective "major" conference? lets say Big East, ACC, Big 10, SEC, Big 12...more if you want.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:41 PM)

Michael: ACC: North Carolina, Big Ten: Ohio State/Michigan; Big 12: Kansas State; SEC: Kentucky, Big East: Notre Dame.

Ryan (ID)

Dana,Which is more likely to happen? A 4th Pac-10 team sneaks into the dance or UW slips off leaving the Pac with just 2 bids?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:43 PM)

Ryan: Can I take a combo platter and say Washington slips and another team sneaks in and wins the whole thing to push it to 3?

Jeremy (Memphis)

How do you describe Memphis? Do you think Pastner should have let Spoon come back?

lobofan (illinois)

who's the best player nobody knows about?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:43 PM)

Jeremy: How do I describe Memphis? Confusing? Dysfunctional at times.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:44 PM)

Oops. Lemme answer lobofan here.... best player no one has heard of if you mean mid major could be Keith Benson, Kenneth Faried, Shelvin Mack (though presumably people have heard of him after last year)

Jon (Malvern)

Did Nebraska's bubble just burst? Rough loss not even getting a shot off.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:44 PM)

Jon: Ayep, I believe it just popped.

J.B. (PA)

Dana: What happened to DePaul? That program used to regularly be mentioned for the NCAA tournament. Should they even be in the Big East. There has to be a conference for them where they can be more competitive.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:46 PM)

JB The good news is next year they get TCU. They'll have company.

Joseph (Bakersfield,Ca)

Hi Dana Does Washington State have a chance to get a bid or do they have to run the table

Dana O'Neil
  (2:47 PM)

Joseph: I dunno. 9-9 in an average league is a tough sell. Might need to do some damage in the Pac 10.

Ryan (ID)

Will Jimmer crack the top 10 for baby names in 2011?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:47 PM)

Ryan: Oh Lordie, I hope not.

Cody (Atlanta)

Has UK figured it out just in time, or do you look for an early flame out from the young Cats?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:48 PM)

Cody: Kentucky, to me, is like a lot of teams. Could go deep. Could lose in first round. They've got an awful lot of talent so the latter seems unlikely. the fact that they've played a lot better down the stretch helps a bunch.

Jason (Evansville)

Any chance Indiana State gets a 12 seed?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:49 PM)

Jason: Depends on what happens here. More upsets, better for Indiana State. 12 seems awfully high, though.

Justin (Ohio)

Dana, off the top of your head, who are your top 3 3 point shooters in the country? Diebler number 1?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:49 PM)

Justin: Diebler, Jimmer and Hansbrough off top of my head. Not sure that's entirely accurate.

David (Msg)

Dana I love you but I'm jon's(msg) brother and you cost me $50. Not cool

Dana O'Neil
  (2:50 PM)

David: Ha! I'm a sucker for a guy being done in by his brother. I have one.

Donnell (Ashburn, VA)

Are we on track for Seth Greenberg's annual Selection Sunday meltdown? Or are the Hokies in provided they don't lose their first game in the ACC Tournament

Dana O'Neil
  (2:52 PM)

Donnell: Oh I think these are your typically uneasy times in Blacksburg. Say closer to in than out but got zero wiggle room.

Jon (NYC)

Dana, can you get me a ticket to tomorrow afternoon for less than $100?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:52 PM)

Jon: Check with those nice gentlemen outside the Garden.

Niko ((cincinnati,oh))

if ciny wins out can they became a cinderalla story in march

Dana O'Neil
  (2:53 PM)

Niko: Wow, wins out? That's a tall order. Regardless they could do a little damage in March. Yancy Gates is a beast. Like how Mick Cronin has this group playing.

Brad (Gadsden,Alabama)

Dan, Who do you think will win friday alabama or georgia?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:54 PM)

Brad: Going Georgia but with very little conviction.

Jared (Huntington)

You still got Painter as COY even after Iowa? Or someone else?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:55 PM)

Jared: Yeah I do. I'd say it's close between him and Brey but still think he's done an awfully good job sans Hummel.

Ben (KC)

Is Mizzou a one in done in the tourney or do they have a chance to go deep bc of style of play?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:55 PM)

Ben: Either. They are wildly unpredictable. TAlented enough to go deep but inconsistent enough to flop early.

Mike (San Diego)

Another guy to add to the "great mid major guy people may not have heard of" all-stars is Kawhi Leonard.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:56 PM)

Mike Yep.

Dusty (KC)

Dana, if you could pick one coach that exemplefies Charlie Sheen's "WINNING" ways, who would it be? My pick is Bill Self

Dana O'Neil
  (2:56 PM)

Dusty: Good pick. Man has won at least a share of 7 consecutive Big 12 titles. That's just silly.

Donnell (Ashburn, VA)

No Love for Roy W for COY?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:57 PM)

Donnell: Heck if he had started Marshall early, the stunning turnaround wouldn't have had to occur.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:57 PM)

Alright folks, gotta head out. Plenty of great games to watch, so feel free to take a breather this afternoon and watch. Thanks for the questions as always.