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December 1, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with Dick Vitale

Dick Vitale
  (11:03 AM)

It is Jimmy V week and I want to start this chat talking about him. Jimmy V was a very special person whose life ended so prematurely. Some may feel his legacy is when his NC State Wolfpack cut down the nets in 1983. I feel it is his brave and courageous fight against cancer and what has happened since he said Don't Give Up, Don't ever give up. Go to my website and make a donation or call 1-800-4-jimmy-v.

Bo (NC)

What is your greatest memory of Jim Valvano?

Dick Vitale
  (11:05 AM)

Obviously cutting the nets down, beating a Golaith like Houston. They had to beat UNC with Jordan and Perkins and Virginia with Sampson in the ACC tourney just to get into the big dance. I appreciate and respect that run. His battle against cancer was so unique and special. He said take your worst toothache and it is running through my body...now you can understand the pain. He fought that dreaded disease so hard.

Grant Kruszewski (Erie)

Do you think that Ohio State can win the Final Four?

Dick Vitale
  (11:07 AM)

Ohio State is one of the leading contenders and thy have an outstanding team. They cover all three areas of the court -- the post with Sullinger, the point with Craft and the wing with Buford. When you cover those three areas you have a chance. They were certainly impressive in the win against Duke, the best performance I have seen from an individual team in person all season.

Rick (North Carolina)

How impressed are you with NC State right now? Would you say that their two losses were because of a team not yet knowing how to win consistently, considering they have been within striking distance in both games with less than 3 minutes to go.

Dick Vitale
  (11:10 AM)

I am impressed with the spirit, enthusiasm and energy Mark Gottfried has bought to the program. I tweeted about that yesterday at twitter.com/dickie v. Don't just look at pure productivity but good things are happening at NC State, including a top five recruiting class next season. He wants to build the fan base back up and he is doing it. That was a tough loss to an improving Indiana team. I think Gottfried is showign the spirit and enthusiasm the way Steve Lavin did last season at St. John's.

Lucas (Quincy, IL)

Dick, who do you think is the key to Kentucky's season? Also, UK was 10-6 in the SEC last season. Do you think they will improve on that record this year? Will you be in Rupp tonight?

Dick Vitale
  (11:13 AM)

Very simple, the key is Marquie Teague. The point guard has to be consistent in John Calipari's system. he must make good decisions in Kentucky's sets and in passing on the break. I am looking forward t being at Rupp tonight with the most passionate fan base in college basketball. It is one of my favorite places to go to, you feel college basketball when you walk into the arena. I think Kentucky could improve on last year's SEC record though the league is very good.

Scott (Bristol, RI)

Hey Dick, Thank you for all you do with the fight against cancer, means a lot to all...Do you see Providence being able to hang with the BE this year, the seasons under Keno were painful, can coach Cooley resurrect the pride and the program??

Dick Vitale
  (11:14 AM)

He has some great recruits coming in down the line. It will be tough this season because of the nature of the league going against so many quality teams.

Brian (Chicago)

Thoughts on the Syracuse situation and whether Boeheim should step down?

Dick Vitale
  (11:16 AM)

Absolutely not. This is not the Penn State case where a member of the staff notified Joe Paterno. I do not see smiliarities because there have been no indictments. Unless someone proves to me otherwise, Jim Boeheim does not deserve to be fired. Nobody wants to feel the pain that people in this situation have felt.

Steve (Orlando)

Dickie, you da man! How will our Rays do (an RBI man?) this off season and how will my Marquette Golden Eagles do (sweet 16)? Thanks.

Dick Vitale
  (11:17 AM)

The Rays have great pitching and leadership so that's a great start. Spoke to Buzz Williams and he is excited about his experienced team. They defend well and play as a team and they could cause havoc, You don't hear as mucb about them compared to Connecticut, Syracuse, Louisville and others. They could be a surprise.

Adam (Chicago)

Dickie V, how bout those Hoosiers? Think we can knock off UK with you on the sidelines next Saturday?

Dick Vitale
  (11:19 AM)

Me being on the sidelines won't matter. Worry about Davis, Gilcirst, Jones, Miller, etc. They have momentum at home with wins over Butler and NC State. Tom Crean has them heading on the right direction and with the recruits next year plus Cory Zeller this year, they are going the right way. Hulls made some big shots and that was a great win at NC State last night. It will be tough against Kentucky but the crowd in Bloomington will be electric.

Matt (Cincinnati, Ohio)

Hey Dick, during the Duke-Ohio State game, you talked about Tu Holloway. You were talking about how great of a guard he is. With Tu, Mark, and the rest of the supporting cast, how far do you see Xavier going? Do you think they can go undfeated? If they take care of their home games, they really only have Memphis, Temple, and St. Louis that can challenge us.

Dick Vitale
  (11:24 AM)

Xavier was very impressive winning at Vanderbilt, thought the Commodores will be a different team. Holloway is a special player. I think Chris Mack is doing a great job. Xavier will be a force in the A-10.

JESalukillini (Decatur, IL)

So does the Illini looking like that they maybe a suprise this year? Is Sam the Man at point?

Dick Vitale
  (11:26 AM)

This is an important season for Bruce Weber and the Illini has been playing pretty well. That was a good win on the road against Maryland. The middle of the Big Ten is going to be very tight. Ohio State is still the team to beat clearly.

Johnny G (Westwood, NJ)

Dickie V. What do you think of Steve Masiello the new head coach of Manhattan College? Do you think he could get them back to respectability?

Dick Vitale
  (11:31 AM)

He is a up and coming young coach. He was a disciple of Rick Pitino and he is trying to build up the program. Keep an eye on the Jaspers, though Iona is really loaded and the team to beat in the MAAC.

Jeff (East Lansing)

Michigan State sure looked like an Izzo team last night, don't you think? Tough defense, rebounding, the Izzo way. Even though they are a step below Duke and UNC, think they can make some noise later in the year?

Dick Vitale
  (11:33 AM)

That is a different team at home, feeding off the energy of the Izzone. This team will get better and better building up chemistry and I think Appling is going to be a key. He had a solid game last night. I don't think you can judge the Spartans alone on the first two games, it takes some time to get things together and Izzo is willing to play a rough schedule to get his team ready for both Big Ten play and for tournament play later on.

JP (Columbus, OH)

Dickie V, Mick Cronin's Bearcats are struggling with losses at home to Marshall and Presbyterian. Only two challenging non-conference games against Georgia and Xavier to redeem themselves. How big is it for them to win these games, given the ugly losses they've taken early?

Dick Vitale
  (11:35 AM)

The Presbyterian loss was a real surprise. Marshall under Tom Herrion has soem talent and played very well that night. I think Cincinnati has to be fired up for Xavier since it is a rivalry. The Big East is so tough and to finish in the upper echelon of the league the Bearcats have to make good decisions in late-game situations. Mick Cronin works so hard and I think this team will still make some noise in the Big East. Yancy Gates has too much talent up front.

Jon (Norwalk, CT)

Hi Dick, I know it's loser talk, but very proud of the way the Badgers played yesterday at Chapel Hill. UNC is taller and more athletic/talented at virtually every position and Wisconsin gave them everything they could handle despite shooting the ball incredibly poorly. What are your expectations of the Badgers this year?

Dick Vitale
  (11:37 AM)

Bo Ryan gets the most out of his talent and his team controls tempo. The Badgers will be very tough in the Big Ten, especially at Madison where the Grateful Red...watch out, baby! Bergren has really improved up front for Wisconsin and Taylor is one of the premier players in America. I expect big things from them this season. That game against Marquette this weekend should be something else.

Dick Vitale
  (11:37 AM)

Bo Ryan gets the most out of his talent and his team controls tempo. The Badgers will be very tough in the Big Ten, especially at Madison where the Grateful Red...watch out, baby! Bergren has really improved up front for Wisconsin and Taylor is one of the premier players in America. I expect big things from them this season. That game against Marquette this weekend should be something else.

BoB (Neverland)

Better freshman at the moment: Bradley Beal or Austin Rivers?

Dick Vitale
  (11:38 AM)

Wow, that's a tough one. I like both of them a lot. Florida has such athletic guards. Rivers has to cut down on turnovers a bit but he is so special as well.

dean (Orlando)

looking at this week's AP votes, I notice you moved MU up to 13...that's great since i'm a grad, but i saw one of your fellow voters have them at 19, not a big deal, but had CAL at 16 after Mizzou beat them by 30...shouldn't voters like that be banned.. it's hurts the credibility of the poll

Dick Vitale
  (11:39 AM)

Everybody is entitled to their own opinion. I had Georgetown ranked after beating Memphis and some people did not.

Jobu (San Diego)

Is Creighton on your radar? Down by 17 early last night and come back to beat the Aztecs impressed me.

Dick Vitale
  (11:40 AM)

Yes I have sung the praises of the Bluejays from before the season. Coach McDermott and his son are outstanding and I did notice the comeback to beat Steve Fisher's team last night. That is a quality road win. Watch out for Creighton to battle with Wichita State for supremacy in the Missouri Valley.

Eric (Tucson)

Arizona has Florida and Gonzaga in December on the road. You saw Arizona play in those games at MSG. What do my Cats need to do to win these games?

Dick Vitale
  (11:42 AM)

I saw Sean Miller's team in the Big Apple and there is talent there. I really liked the kid Johnson in the backcourt and he has a lot of potential. Arizona got a good win at New Mexico State this week and I think the Wildcats will be right up there in the Pac-12. I like Solomon Hill inside and Jesse Perry is a hard worker. The schedule has some tests and that will help them in the long run evaluating their strengths and weaknesses.

Dick Vitale
  (11:46 AM)

I am excited to see the battle of Goliaths between North Carolina and Kentucky on Saturday. Until someone wins at Rupp, I give the slightest of edges to the Cats. They have an edge on their home floor. First they have to be cautious to not look past an athletic and young St. John's team because kids like Lindsey, Harrison and Harkless will play hard and they competed against the likes of Arizona and Texas A&M. I know some fans in Big Blue nation are looking ahead to that team from Chapel Hill. North Carolina came back after being stopped by UNLV and got a big win over a Wisconsin team which loves to control tempo. UNC played solid defense against the Badgers.

Dick Vitale
  (11:49 AM)

I am so excited, CBS may have to pull Dan Shulman and me out of the broadcast booth because we want to stay and call Saturday's game, baby! I was also impressed with the domination of Ohio State over Duke at the nuthouse. The Buckeyes dominated in every phase of the game and was impressive.The reason I am here chatting today is Jimmy V week. I want to make a plea for a donation. Cancer affects so many people, so many families. I will miss seeing Steve Lavin tonight because he is still battling cancer. He texted me that he is feeling better, but the wear and tear of being on the sidelines causes so much fatigue, e is cancer free but resting at home instead of being at Rupp.

Dick Vitale
  (11:52 AM)

We need to egt the research dollars together to give the doctors a chance to beat this dreaded disease. Please go to my website at dickvitaleonline.com or call 1-800-4-jimmy-v. The dollars could help save the life of a family member down the line. Also, please join us for the Jimmy V Classic next Tuesday with Villanova vs. Missouri and Marquette against Washington. You will hear Jimmy's famous speech and I wil be talking about a few families that have been affected by cancer. Hope you tune in tonight for St. John's vs. Kentucky too.