Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

January 12, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with Dick Vitale

Dick Vitale
  (11:03 AM)

I am looking forward to calling the Virginia-Duke tonight at 9 pm ET. It will be a test for Tony Bennett's team, which lost twice to the Blue Devils last season. Mike Scott has been outstanding for the Cavaliers this season. I am excited to work with Mike Patrick as we are re-united for the first time in three years, it should be a lot of fun. Something has to give, Duke is in the top 10 in scoring while Virginia is number two in scoring defense at 50.5 ppg. I think Duke will score more than 50 tonight, so the Cavaliers need to get scoring from someone else besides Scott.

Paul (Orlando)

Dick what is your scoop and opinion on the talent of Dion Waiters?

Dick Vitale
  (11:05 AM)

Waiters, I just put up a tweet. He is a star getting better and better, his presence creates all kind of problems for defenses. He is a scorer and a passer. He is the most productive players in America for the minutes he plays. Waiters is awesome and the only team that can beat Syracuse, I firmly believe, is Syracuse.

Matt (NJ)

If Seton Hall can beat USF will they be in both polls on Monday

Dick Vitale
  (11:08 AM)

Yes. I think they will be in my poll for sure. Jordan Theodore has become a star for sure. They have a lot of swagger now. They really seem to be playing with a lot of confidence. They struggled early, losing to Northwestern and barely beating the likes of Mercer and St. Francis. Now they are a different team beating Connecticut and West Virginia, winning at Providence. Definitely a Top 25 team now.

Al (NJ)

Dick, Lou Henson celebrated his 80th birthday this week. In your opinion should he be in the Hall of Fame? If so, why don't the voters vote for him. With his two Final Fours and 750+ wins, I think he compares favorbly to HOF'ers Gene bartow, John Chaney, Guy Lewis, Norm Stewart and Lou Carnesecca. As an aside he'd be a great spokesman for Coaches vs Cancer, considering what he's been through.

Dick Vitale
  (11:10 AM)

Lou Henson did a phenomenal job. There are a lot of guys not in like Lefty Driesell and Eddie Sutton, quality guys not in. There is a college Hall of Fame and I believe he will eventually be in that. I do not believe Henson ever got the credit for what he did at both New Mexico State and Illinois.

Ray Stinger Jr (Pittsburgh)

Dickie V!!!!! What in the name of Paul Evans is going on with Pitt?

Dick Vitale
  (11:12 AM)

Obviously the transfer of Birch did not help. They have not gotten the same execution on offense that they have in the past. It is a mystery to many involved. Losing at the Oakland Zoo often is surprising. Now you learn from adversity and who is in your corner when things are going tough. We will see how they handle adversity. This has been a tough stretch and in a way, Jamie Dixon spoiled the fans with that prior success.

Dusty (St. Louis)

Thomas Robinson played 19 min last night and had 19 pts and 12 reb. He has to be the leader for POY right?

Dick Vitale
  (11:13 AM)

If you go to my website he was my choice of Midseason POY. Kansas lost quality players liekt he Morris Twins and are still very successful and Robinson is one of the key reasons why.

charlie vancleve, winchester, ky [via mobile]

do u think kentucky has what it takes to finally win another championship?

Dick Vitale
  (11:15 AM)

They are right there. They will be one of the favorites, they have great defense which will keep them in games. They need to be more consistent on the perimeter. They are one of the schools that could be celebrating in New Orleans. They keep teams in games early, like Auburn, Arkansas-Little Rock, They keep teams in games and then go on a spurt. Against quality teams, that mentality can haunt you.

Ben (Chicago)

Should Illinois be more excited about Paul's performance against OSU or Leonard's play vs. Sullinger? What effect do you think this game has on the rest of both teams' seasons?

Dick Vitale
  (11:17 AM)

Excited about both. Paul was brilliant, off the charts, shooting 28 percent from 3 before the game. With him, it is about shot selection. Leonard's development has been exciting too. He may get himself into the lottery.

Mark (Nashville)

Vandy is back baby!!! Can you see my 'dores pulling the upset over KY and winning the SEC title?

Dick Vitale
  (11:19 AM)

Vandy is a team we anticipated to be very good. Tinsely has been incredible in assist to turnover ratio during their recent streak. Ezeli is back, having Jenkins and Taylor, they are now hitting their stride. They struggled early but I feel Vanderbilt is capable of beating anybody.

Blake (Campbell)

Can Long Beach State, Creighton, UNLV or Wichita State be legitimate Final Four contenders?

Dick Vitale
  (11:20 AM)

I would say UNLV. Any team that can beat North Carolina and Illinois up at Chicago is a good basketball team. The conference is underrated and Dave Rice has done a phenomenal job in his first season.

Dusty (St. Louis)

If Bill Self guides KU to an 8th straight Big 12 title, given all that they lost from last year's team, how is he not in the mix for COY? Seems like everyone is forgetting about him.

Dick Vitale
  (11:26 AM)

I don't think anyone is forgetting about him. Kansas has done a good job. This team lost a lot of veteran leadership and Self has kept this team playing well. The win over Ohio State, over Kansas State...I think the Jayhawks will be heard from.

Mitch (Georgia)

Know it's still early, but what do you think of Bama's chances this year for the tournament? If they can get a bit more consistent from beyond the arc, do you think they can make a deep run come March?

Dick Vitale
  (11:27 AM)

The Tide has been a little up and down but I think Anthony Grant's kids are capable of making a lot of noise in the SEC. That was an impressive performance against an improving LSU squad. I like the talent of guys like Green and Mitchell. This team will get back in the big dance this season after last year's disappointing ending to many.

Michelle (Indianapolis)

How far do you expect Indiana to go in this year's NCAA tournament?

Dick Vitale
  (11:29 AM)

Tom Crean's team has been one of the biggest stories this season. The development of Cody Zeller with the veteran nucleus that returned has paid dividends...just ask Ohio State and Kentucky. It is tough to beat the Hoosiers in Bloomington. The way Indiana has played, this team can do some damage in the big dance. First things first, Indiana wants to finish strong in the conference.

Tom (CT)

simple question: will Northwestern ever make the NCAA tournament? This season is starting to fall apart and its starting to seem like making the NIT is our ceiling with coach Carmody

Dick Vitale
  (11:31 AM)

A win last night at Michigan would have helped. There is enough time to make a run and get some big Ws. Beating Seton Hall for example is a positive on the resume. I think Northwestern needs more scoring from guys other than Shurna and Crawford. Right now, I would say Northwestern is struggling to get into the tourney for the first time. Bill Carmody is a very good coach, but the Big Ten is the best conference in my opinion this season.

Nate (Bristol, Ct)

Dick, what's with the pollsters and pundits still so high on Florida and Uconn? Florida hasn't been competitive with any top team all season, and Uconn, while incredibly talented, hasn't displayed any sense of consistency against even mediocre Big East teams like USF (not to take away from USF at all, but they're definitely in the bottom of the conference). Plus, while the Big 10 is hugely tough, OSU hasn't displayed the focus that a Final Four team needs, so far at least. Please, educate me, because I just don't get it.

Dick Vitale
  (11:34 AM)

I think Florida and Connecticut have a lot of talent on potential. Drummond looked like a star on Monday against West Virginia and it is taking time for the team to put it together as a unit. Florida is perimeter oriented but has some talent led by Patric Young inside. There have been some stumbles on the road, but I would not write Florida off by any stretch. Rankings and polls are good for interest but don't read too much into them. Like I said, both of these teams have the potential to go pretty far in the tourney.

Alex (Louisville)

Dick, i gotta know, What is wrong with my cardinals??? We started out 12-0 but are 1-4 since. i mean, when ND came in and won in double overtime, that's one thing. But getting beat by 31 points to last team in the big east, that is just crazy! What do the cards have to do to get back on the right track?

Dick Vitale
  (11:36 AM)

I think Rick Pitino would like to know that answer. Losing like that against Providence is surprising, though I am sure the Friar fans were stoked because they honored the 1987 Final Four team that night. Louisville has to get back to playing sound, fundamental basketball and get good shots on offense. There is a little funk but Pitino should get things straightened out.

Mike (Tampa)

Dick, I like what I am seeing from the UNC lately, they seem to have stepped up their defensive intensity, particularly on the perimeter. However, I am concerned that the 'down' ACC will not provide enough of a battle test for the 'big dance', your thoughts?

Dick Vitale
  (11:38 AM)

The Tar Heels will get a test in Tallahassee this weekend. I agree, North Carolina has been playing very well with a nine-game win streak. The win over Miami was impressive considering Harrison Barnes really struggled, hitting 2 of 12 from the floor. Marshall is one of the best passers in America. The ACC looks like a two-team race, though Virginia has a different opinion. Going on the road in the league is not easy.

Michael Duggar (Nashville TN)

How far do you think Murray State will go in the tournament??

Dick Vitale
  (11:39 AM)

Murray State has had a great run. I think the win over Memphis gave the team confidence. This can be a dangerous team in the tourney, and I give a lot of credit to Steve Prohm, in his first season as head coach.

Jeff (Newport News, VA)

What are your thoughts on Mike Brey's coaching job this season. I know he has won coach of the year in previous seasons, but isn't this his best coaching job to date? Especially considering what he has to work with on his team. Any chance they can make the big dance?

Dick Vitale
  (11:41 AM)

Outstanding. When Tim Abromaitis went down, it looked like it was going to be a long season in South Bend. Brey has done a great job. This team looked like it was in trouble when I saw them in Kansas City against good teams. Brey has done a great job and they have had a few very good wins in the Big East already. A salute to coach Brey, baby!!!

Adrian (Beltsville Maryland)

Is Terrell Stoglin the ACC POY favorite? If not what does he need to do to become the favorite?

Dick Vitale
  (11:42 AM)

He has had a very good season, especially with PShon Howard missing time. I do not know if he is POY in such a tough league. There are a lot of quality candidates.

Dick Vitale
  (11:48 AM)

I am excited to be calling three games over the next five days. Tonight, it will be fun to watch teams with different styles. Duke relies on its three-pointers, while Virginia plays tough defense on the perimeter. The Cavaliers will need more than that because Duke will score more than 50, my friends!Then I have North Carolina down in Tallahassee Saturday, the first road trip for College Gameday. It is tough to win on the road in the ACC and Florida State has been a Jekyl-and-Hyde team coming off a good win at Virginia Tech. North Carolina barely won last year on a Harrison Barnes shot. North Carolina is still my pick to win it all in New Orleans. Monday night should be special. Martin Luther King day is capped off By Kansas. Rock, chalk, Jayhawk should be an incredible environment. Baylor, if it beats Oklahoma State, will come in unbeaten to the Phog. Thomas Robinson and Perry Jones III, wow. I know the Big 12 has been good this season with Missouri, Baylor, Kansas State, but the road to win the title still goes through Lawrence. I also want to thank all of my fans who helped me get over a quarter-million followers on Twitter. As I promised, I will be giving special prizes to my twitter fans. Check out to see if you won on vitale...check it out to see if you won a prize. See you next week, enjoy the game tonight and this weekend.