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November 7, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Dana O'Neil

Dana O'Neil
  (3:01 PM)

Greetings everyone. Welcome to basketball season!

The Hamburglar (North Carolina)

Would you rather see a blue blood Final Four or something similar to last year with the cinerellas?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:02 PM)

Can we get a half and half? Actually what I really prefer is a good game, which we didn't get last year. THe bluebloods theoretically have the talent, so that always makes for a good game.

Zach (NYC)

Dana - for the first time in a long time, my St. Bonaventure Bonnies have gotten some national attention in the pre-season. What do we have to look forward to this season, starting with the opener against Cornell @ home Friday? CAN'T WAIT!!!!!

Dana O'Neil
  (3:03 PM)

Zach: Andrew Nicholson is terrific (as if you didn't know that) and can really elevate the Bonnies. Could be a great year to be in Olean. Or something like that!

Sue McMahon (Chicago)

Good afternoon Dana: Who will have a bigger year Terrence Ross or Thomas Robinson?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:04 PM)

Sue: Both need to but leaning on Robinson, only because he REALLY needs to.

Tony Stewart (North Carolina)

With so much returning talent, do you think we see a frosh-less 1st team all-american lineup at the year's end?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:05 PM)

Tony: Potentially though there are some seriously impressive freshmen out there, too. So I could see that happening but I also could see one of Kentucky's freshmen or even Austin Rivers knocking someone out.

Terry (Houston)

There has been a lot of buzz for Creighton this year. Is this team really as good as advertised?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:06 PM)

Terry: Definitely could be. Doug McDermott is terrific. The catch is, the Valley has other good teams in Wichita State an even Indiana State, so Creighton' record might not look as good as it should

Sean (Lexington)

Dana, what rumblings are you hearing about the age limit for the NBA? I would love to see all the talent have to stick around an extra year from here on out.

Dana O'Neil
  (3:07 PM)

Sean: Really haven't heard much about that at all. Though I'm with you. Wish they'd force them to stay or on the flip side, not force them to come.

James (ATL)

With so many new names in the ACC, what upcoming coaching staffs do you see having the biggest impact in the next few seasons?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:07 PM)

James: Well Tony Bennett already is getting things done at Virginia as is Brad Brownell. Really impressed with the recruiting haul that Mark Gottfried has gotten at NC State, too.

Matt (Sterling Heights, MI)

What kind of impact can Mitch McGary have on Michigan as soon as next year?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:08 PM)

Matt: Huge, huge get for Michigan and John Beilein. Always this idea that he can't get great players because of his style of play. Clearly that isn't the case anymore.

Chris (NJ)

Hi Dana! Do you see UConn as final 4 material? The chalk says that it is. Thanks!

Dana O'Neil
  (3:09 PM)

Chris: Absolutely. The Boatwright situation could hurt their depth long term, so that's an interesting twist. But I'd argue that even without him, they have enough talent. Big question: who takes over as a leader for Kemba?

doug (columbus ohio)

What do you think the odds are of 4 number one seeds making the final four this year and will Sully and the guys bring a championship to Columbus come March? Go Buckeyes !!

Dana O'Neil
  (3:10 PM)

Doug: Could be a very chalky year, no doubt. I was doing my Final Four picks and felt obligated to pick someone other than the obvious but it's really hard to make a case for that. Like Ohio State a lot but have to replace Diebler's shooting, which is critical.

John (CA)

Hi Dana, which program do you think has the most upside, GT, UVA or ILL?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:11 PM)

John: Hmm.. right now I'd say Virginia. Tony Bennett has things progressing right now. Overall, though, Illinois ought to based on geography and available talent.

John (New York)

Dana -- Can you give us your impressions on the conference realignments, specifically wrt the Big east and the damage (or opportunities) the movements may bring?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:13 PM)

John: My impressions? I hate it all. Greedy nonsensical movements, in my opinion. I'll be interested to see how it affects Syracuse and Pitt, especially. BC's move to the ACC hasn't really done much for the school or the athletic department.

DJ (MD)

Any chance my Terps sneak up on the rest of the country? They have a solid pieces (Faust, Stoglin, Len/Howard when they come back) and Mark Turgeon is an excellent coach.

Dana O'Neil
  (3:14 PM)

DJ: Awful lot to replace but agree that Turgeon is a terrific coach. May be a bit of a tough sled this year for the Terps but that won't last.

Dusty (St. Louis)

What do you make of Bill Self's comments regarding playing Mizzou moving forward? "The majority of Kansas fans don't give a flip about playing Mizzou"

Dana O'Neil
  (3:15 PM)

Dusty: I guess I'd defer to Kansas fans on that one. I know he said that to me earlier, that maintaining the rivalry wasn't on Kansas if Mizzou moved. I get that but I also think that the rivalries are part of the collateral damage of all this realignment.

Chris (Paoli, PA)

Do you see Dunph leading the owls on a big run this year?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:16 PM)

Chris: Like the backcourt a lot. How couldn't you? But need to figure out who is going to replace Lavoy Allen.

Ben (New York)

How much is the departure of Rick Jackson going to hurt Syracuse?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:16 PM)

Ben: Biggest question mark on the team, no doubt. Fab Melo and Rakeem Christmas have huge shoes to fill, both offensively and defensively.

Andrew (East Lansing)

Everyone keeps saying that MSU's team will revolve around Appling, Green and Nix. While I won't doubt that we'll need strong showings from all 3 to compete - I feel like people are forgetting the 2x Brandon...Wood and Dawson - Both could have massive impacts! Pretty sure Wood dropped 30 on UNC not to long ago...any thoughts on this?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:17 PM)

Andrew: Well yeah this is going to have to be a team effort for the Spartans to get it back together. Green, Appling and Nix appear to be the most surest of things, hence the attention.

Self (Wine Country)

Should the season be labeled as a disappointment if Indiana misses the NCAA Tournament this year?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:18 PM)

Gotta make some sort of postseason. At the very least the NIT. Without Creek, obviously, they have some issues to make up so that's a bit of an excuse.

Jeremy (San Diego)

Will Arizona be ranked preseason #1 next year? They're going to be loaded.

Dana O'Neil
  (3:19 PM)

Jemey: Lemme get this year started first.

John (Houston)

How do you think K-State fans will react when Bob Huggins makes a return trip to Manhattan?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:20 PM)

John: Could be very interesting. I gotta think Manhattanites aren't terribly thrilled with Bob.

John (Las Vegas)

Do top-heavy conferences really have disadvantage at all compared to a deep league? Ie, ACC vs Big East.

Dana O'Neil
  (3:21 PM)

John: Disadvantage in terms of...? Value of the conference? Yes. How the team performs? Sometimes.

Andy (New Hamspshire)

Would you consider a .500 record a moral victory for nova this year?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:22 PM)

Andy: I think they'll be better than .500. Not great but not awful.

David (Lansing, MI)

Dana, it's been twenty years since Earvin Johnson announced that he had HIV. Here in Lansing it was a very sad day that I will never forget. What are your thoughts on Magic and how great will it be to see him on the aircraft carrier smiling big while his Spartans take on UNC?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:23 PM)

David: I remember that very well. Was working at a paper in Trenton and I remember we did a whole story on how to handle AIDS in sports, which seems so childish and uninformed now. Thrilled that Magic will be there. Thrilled I'll be there.

Alex (Anaheim)

Who captures the WCC title?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:23 PM)

Alex: I say Gonzaga, but think Saint Mary's and BYU will make it interesting.

Cam (Lexington Ky)

Do you think Kentucky and John Calipari can finally get over the hump and win a national championship with another loaded freshmen class?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:24 PM)

Cam: Think it's really up to Doron Lamb, Darius Miller and Terrence Jones more. If they can be leaders, Cats will be tough.

Zevon (In a cafe)

What player do you see sneaking up on the country like how Derrick Williams did last season?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:25 PM)

Zevon: Not sure it qualifies entirely but I've picked Xavier's Tu Holloway as my national player of the year, so he's a possibility.

Brad (Northeast)

I know this isn't a burning topic, but who wins the Ivy?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:25 PM)

Brad: It's burning here. My husband works at Princeton! Give the slight edge to Harvard over the TIgers.

dave (Washington DC)

Remember when Mich St and Syracuse played in the first "Carrier Classic"...so did anyone contact Syracuse about the naming rights? (Yes the Carrier Dome used to host the Carrier Classic)

Dana O'Neil
  (3:26 PM)

Dave: so funny. My husband, who is from Syracuse, said the exact same thing when I said what the game was called.

Karl (Illinois)

Does the MVC finally return to multi-bid status this year?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:26 PM)

Karl: It definitely deserves to. Think, at least right now, there are three teams that should be good enough to earn a look.

Moses (The ACC Promised Land)

Big East. Let my people go.

Dana O'Neil
  (3:27 PM)

Moses: Amen, brother.

jillinho (norman)

Do you think Loiusville will join the Big 12? If so, will it affect the style of play?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:28 PM)

If it's up to their AD, I'd think they will. If it's up to their basketball coach, no. As of right now, the Big 12 is closing the expansion doors for 2012. Not sure it would change their style.. that is, so long as Pitino is still the coach.

Len (San Diego)

What is your preference on how many teams should be in the NCAA tournament field? Do you see it expanding again, soon?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:28 PM)

Len: 64 is my preference.

Tom (Grand Rapids, MI)

Do you think Tom Izzo is crazy for scheduling North Carolina and Duke back-to-back on opposite sides of the country to open the year? I mean, honestly, Tom we love tough schedules but wow.

Dana O'Neil
  (3:29 PM)

Tom: Well yeah of course he's crazy but that's why we love him. And you'll never be penalized for playing tough games.

Mike (NY)

Who's going to be the biggest surprise in the Big East this year?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:30 PM)

Mike: Hmm... Maybe West Virginia. I know they're young but Huggins seems to really like the guys he has and Kevin Jones is awfully good.

Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh, PA)

Do you see my team's style of playing forcing the ACC to change, or will I have to change my philosophy?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:30 PM)

Jamie: I think nothing changes. You play brutal. They hate it. You win games.

kevin (fl)

Most underratted conference that needs more attention in you mind?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:31 PM)

Kevin: CAA. George Mason, Drexel, VCU all very good. And history has proven those teams do pretty darned well in the tourney.

Uncle Jessie (San Francisco)

Chances Cal wins the Pac-10?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:32 PM)

Jessie: I'd say pretty good. That's my pick.

Matt (NYC)

I love the idea of playing on an aircraft carrier as an exhibition game but don't you think we should leave the Globetrotters gimmicks out of college hoops in games that actually count?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:33 PM)

Matt: Court is the same size. So are the hoops. Same rules. Doing something good to honor servicemen and women. Got no problem with it whatsoever.

Andrew (New jersey)

Rider Broncs to the Final Four this year right??

Dana O'Neil
  (3:33 PM)

Andrew: Uh... no. But I will be there at 6am when they host Drexel. Back to my roots, to the days I logged many an hour in that gym.

Cam (Lexington Ky)

How many tournament bids will the SEC potentially have this year?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:34 PM)

Cam: Off top of my head: Kentucky, Florida, Vandy are locks. Alabama probable. Mississippi State decent chance if Renardo Sidney keeps it together. Who am I missing?

Matt (NYC)

But, Dana, it's outside. That's my biggest problem. Wind shouldn't be a factor in college hoops.

Dana O'Neil
  (3:35 PM)

Matt: It's not like they're playing in Chicago. It's San Diego. And last I checked, plenty of folks play basketball outside. And if one coach blames wind post game I reserve the right to deck them ondeck.

Jeff (Nashville)

How long till a basketball only conference containing the remaining BE and Xavier/Butler etc.?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:35 PM)

Jeff: Well if the Big East expands, it's longer away than expected. I wish it wouldn't be selfishly but financially I understand.

Joe (Buffalo)

Can St. Johns win any games in Big East (Depaul not included) if they do not get all their freshmen eligible. St. Johns v. Boston College? Who do you like

Dana O'Neil
  (3:36 PM)

Joe: Well yes because they still have good players but no doubt will be a very short bench with little room for error or injury. Tonight? Home game. Going St. John's

Peter (Washington, DC)

What are the Chances that the BE gets double digit bids again this year? What are Georgetown's chances of making the field?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:37 PM)

Peter: Questionable on the double digits. Some of the regulars - and I count Georgetown among them - are less of a lock. Villanova, too. West Virginia.

Lee (Syracuse)

When Syracuse and Pitt move to the ACC do you think that will help the Wake Forests, Marylands, etc in recruiting?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:38 PM)

Lee: Think it works in reverse. Syracuse and Pitt get to go into DC, Maryland and North Carolina for players. I guess, theoretically, the ACC can trek to NY and PA but not sure it's the same payoff.

Zack Bauer (Portland, ME)

I'd love to see you and Roy Williams scrap. He'd be bobbin' and weavin' and being all like, "C'mon Dana, Dadgum it stay still so I can clock ya!"

Dana O'Neil
  (3:39 PM)

Zack: That made me laugh and I needed a laugh today, so thanks.

Josh (Columbus, Ohio)

Hi Dana, how many Pac-12 teams do you see in the Dance come March? Also, which one team out of the Pac-12 is best suited in your mind to make a run? Thanks

Dana O'Neil
  (3:40 PM)

Josh: OK, top of my head it again: Cal, Arizona, Washington and UCLA. Who am I missing? As for a run, I'd lean Cal although I still think Arizona could get better and become dangerous.

Steve (Washington, DC)

How do you think Virginia Tech will do with the loss of Delaney, Allen, and Thompson and the addition of the new freshman? (Dorian Finney-Smith)

Dana O'Neil
  (3:42 PM)

Steve: Just sick about Thompson. So completely unfair. Certainly makes things more difficult for Va Tech.

Jeff (LA)

Why is Florida considered a lock from the ACC? They have virtually no good forwards on their team.

Dana O'Neil
  (3:43 PM)

Jeff: They're in the SEC, for starters. And yes, the frontcourt is questionable but think Patric Young can hold down the fort.

Spencer (Owensboro KY)

Hey Dana, on a recent ESPN broadcast, the football crew were anticipating the LSU/Alabama game and suggesting a 1 vs. 2 matchup is EXACTLY why you don't want a playoff set-up in college football. The thought was that a playoff would diminish the magnitude of 1 vs. 2. Have you EVER heard anyone say that the NCAA Tournament, in any way, diminishes a 1 vs. 2 matchup in college basketball?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:43 PM)

Spencer: Yeah I don't get that logic at all. Seems a little backward.

Larry (AZ)

Is it possible to build a consistent power at Butler? Or is what coaches like Brad Stevens and Mark Few doing is futile?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:44 PM)

Larry: I think they've built a consistent power, haven't they? Two national championship games in a row is pretty good, no?

Guest (Jackson, MS)

What do you think of the Mississippi State Bulldogs, specifically Dee Bost?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:45 PM)

I like Dee Bost and I think Mississippi State has the talent and ability to be a sleeper team. Just need to get some players - Renardo Sidney - on board.

Muk (Mississippi)

Down 1 and 7 seconds left in the game. Who are you giving the ball to this season?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:48 PM)

Yikes, tough question. Has to be a playmaker... Tu Holloway? Jeremy Lamb? Jordan Taylor?

Kevin (Philly)

Dana, Is Coach Lavin on the bench tonight? Haven't seen any updates on his battle with cancer recently.

Dana O'Neil
  (3:48 PM)

Kevin: He's not. Still recovering but doing well.

J (Heavensville)

Who's your early on pick for freshman of the year?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:49 PM)

Tough one. Logic says Anthony Davis, maybe but I've heard amazing things about Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Also think that if Duke is good, Austin Rivers will get a look.

Carter (Auburn, AL)

What do you think of Auburn's chances as a sleeper team in the SEC this year? Do you think that Tony Barbee is taking the right steps toward making Auburn an elite basketball program?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:51 PM)

Carter: Tough sledding this year as a sleeper but yes, think Tony Barbee is doing the right thing.

J (Heavensville)

I was thinking more of a young 7 footer from Bloomington, but I'll take your word for it.

Dana O'Neil
  (3:51 PM)

Forgot him. Always forget someone.

Bill (Philly)

Do you think the Temple-Villanova game is even more intense than normal with Nova "blocking" the Owls from the Big East....who wins?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:52 PM)

Bill: Um.. maybe but not sure if that spills over entirely. Do think Temple has the edge this year.

Rusty (MN)

who in the Big Ten do you see making the tourney this year?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:52 PM)

Rusty: Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan and Michigan State. Yes, I have faith in Izzo. Indiana has outside chance and there's always Northwestern!

Dan (ny)

Dana,What do you think about Dayton's chances as a sleeper in A-10? They can really shot the rock and seem to be inspired once again under Coach Miller.

Dana O'Neil
  (3:53 PM)

Dan: Yeah I think that's a very good point. not sure they can overtake the top two but certainly could be a tough out.

Greg (Indy)

Wait, you really think Indiana has a better shot at making the tournament than Purdue?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:54 PM)

Greg: No. I forgot Purdue. It's been a bit of a day around here so my brain is on a 20-second delay. A lot of pressure on Hummel, but never count him or Matt Painter out.

Ryan (MO)

What are your feelings on mizzou leaving the big 12?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:55 PM)

Ryan: I get it and I hate it. That's about the best way I can phrase it.

Ford (Chapel Hill, NC)

If Roy wins his third in 8 years, odes he surpass Coach Smith in Carolina lore?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:56 PM)

Ford: I can't honestly imagine anyone will surpass Coach Smith. Titles aren't the only reason he is so adored.

Dana O'Neil
  (3:56 PM)

Alright folks, have to bolt. Say a great big alleluia and enjoy THE GAMES!!!

Dana O'Neil
  (3:56 PM)

Alright folks, have to bolt. Say a great big alleluia and enjoy THE GAMES!!!