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February 22, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Dana O'Neil

Dana O'Neil
  (2:01 PM)

Greetings everyone. Wacky night on Tuesday. See what's coming up...

Jimbeezy (Tucson)

I am giving up my cats losing again .. what are you giving up for lent?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:02 PM)

Jimbeezy: Very good. I am following in Frank Martin's footsteps and trying to improve my um, word selection.

Trey Burke (Ann Arbor)

Am i the big ten player of the year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:03 PM)

Trey: Nope but you are probably the freshman of the year. Though Cody Zeller will argue that.

Lee Hargis (Murray)

A "Mid-Major" team has made the final four the last couple years. If one or two teams made the final four this year, who do you think it would be? I could see three Mid Majors making the Elite 8 as well...your opinion?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:03 PM)

Lee: Hmm... Wichita State is mighty impressive. Maybe Long Beach State, but not sure on that one.

John Calipari (Kentucky)

Who are my five most important players in order, that I need healthy to win the National Championship?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:04 PM)

John: I'd go with your starters as a good place to begin. And then I'd get some bubble wrap and put Anthony Davis in it.

Jeremy (NYC)

Any chance Havard gets an at Large bid if they lose the Ivy League regular season title?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:05 PM)

Jeremy: As in Jeremy Lin?! OK... interesting question. I think they have a strong case with a decent non-conference win. The problem is, for Harvard to miss out on the automatic bid, it would have to lose at least once - if not twice - in conference again. Both of those would be bad losses.

John (lawrance) [via mobile]

With Missouri's loss last night does Kansas get a one seed in the tournament

Dana O'Neil
  (2:06 PM)

John: If the Jayhawks win Saturday (and tonight), I'd say yes. If not it gets messy with Michigan State, Ohio State, North Carolina and Duke still in the mix.

Jon (New Canaan)

Always look forward to your chats. Tell me something encouraging to make me think uconn can catch some magic again this year

Dana O'Neil
  (2:07 PM)

Jon: Well they're awfully talented. That's not the problem. It's between the ears. If they can fix that, they can play.

tmplowl (Red Bank NJ)

So the rumbling has started up again..>Temple to the Big East. If you were a betting woman...does it happen this time around?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:07 PM)

I'm going with a yes this time around. I believe my kids' elementary school is joining in 2014 but keep that quiet. Hasn't been released yet.

Kourtney (Buffalo)

If you had to name the top 5 most passionate fan bases, who would they be??

Dana O'Neil
  (2:09 PM)

Kourtney: Wow, lots to choose from. Off top of my head: Kentucky, Kansas, Syracuse, Indiana and then split btw Duke and UNC.

Jason (VA)

VCU wins out and makes CAA final but doesnt win it.....do they get an at-large bid?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:10 PM)

Jason: Me personally, I would argue that if VCU, George MAson or Drexel fits that scenario they get an at-large.

Mark B (San Diego)

Dana, what do think the possibility of seeing 4 MWC teams in the tourney? What a shame this conference is imploding ... it was developing into a decent basketball conference.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:11 PM)

Mark: Very good chance w/ Colorado State's big win last night. And I agree. It's a shame all of these leagues are imploding. I have no idea who is in the Big East. Or more accurately, who isn't.

Brian (Chicago)

Who wins the Big Ten Reg. Season?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:12 PM)

Brian: I like Sparty.

Will (Columbia)

Missouri loses to kU in Lawrence... and then wins out (including conf tourney)... Tigers a 1 seed?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:13 PM)

Will: They'd need someone else, Michigan State, Ohio State, UNC or Duke to stumble, too. That loss last night - especially at home - is a 1 seed killer. The good news: they'll probably be the top 2 seed, which isn't necessarily worse than being the 4th 1 seed.

The Beach (CA)

GREAT article on Robinson today. How far to you think Long Beach can go this year? No good seed is going to want to play them...

Dana O'Neil
  (2:14 PM)

Agree. Very good team. Played a competitive non conference schedule, so won't be intimidated by anyone. Think they will scare a lot of people. Sweet 16 to me is almost a gimme.

Maheer (Syracuse) [via mobile]

Hey Dana! I hear a lot of talk on how my Syracuse Orange isn't a national championship caliber squad because we don't have an individual star. I believe a TEAM is what it takes to go all the way. What do you think? Thanks!!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:16 PM)

Maheer: Well Florida didn't have one star player and it served them pretty well. For two years. I'd rather have a ton of weapons than just one anyday.

Matt (Spokane)

Still think St Marys knocks the WCC crown off of the Zags?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:16 PM)

Matt: Humbly I admit, I do not.

Jason (KC)

I think Thomas Robinson might be the first KU player ever that fans actually want to see leave college early for the NBA. Did you get that feeling at all when talking to Bill Self?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:17 PM)

Jason: Ha, that's a very good point. I think Kansas fans want whatever good can come his way and frankly, even if you're not a Kansas fan, you should. Amazing amazing person.

Ivan (Kansas)

How would you think WVU and TCU affect the Big 12 or I guess what are they bringing to the Big 12 this next season? What are your thoughts?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:17 PM)

Ivan: TCU not so much. West Virginia plenty. Very good team every year. Huggins is never going to be awful. They're tough, scrappy, have an edge. Think it's a nice injection of even more personality.

Shaun (PA)

Any words of encouragment for the Nova fans out there? Not only are they blowing big leads and losing, now they are getting beat by 30 footers at the buzzer.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:18 PM)

Shaun: Well that was an awful shot that Napier took. He wasted time dribbling up the floor. Should have driven a la Scottie versus Pitt. So that's bad luck. The good news: things can only get better? No seriously. This is growing pains, especially painful ones but I dont' think it's the end by any means.

Dan (Ohio)

How good is Louisville? They've won 7 of 8 games with a 1 point loss to 'Cuse. Cincy is really tough though, so how big is Thursday's game?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:19 PM)

Dan: Definitely a big game, maybe bigger for Cincy. They're in but could use a little security. I think Louisville is very good now that they're finally healthy. I worry that they dont' shoot it particularly well, which could affect them long haul.

Brian (Minneapolis)

Butler must smell March as they getting hot as usual, but I think next year the Bulldogs will be even tougher with addition of Clarke and big time recruits. What's your take on BU in 2012-13 and do you think Stevens listens is Illinois comes calling?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:20 PM)

Brian: Absolutely think Butler will be very good next year. THey need a shooter now and Rotnei Clarke is that guy. But don't count em out this year. Maybe not for a Final Four run, but to make the tourney. As for Brad, I don't know. He's been pretty steadfast in his commitment to Butler.

Hasan (Da Bunny)

Winner of Self vs. Haith this weekend the COY?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:21 PM)

Hasan: Is it that simple? I'm not sure. Both have a great case, but I give Haith an edge. I know Self didn't have a whole lot to work with but Haith basically started over in October when Bowers went down.

Alex (Winston-Salem)

How do you see the conference shakeups affecting non-BCS conferences like the A-10 and MVC? Any chance we see well supported teams like Xavier, Dayton, Creighton, Wichita State, St. Louis and maybe Butler get together to form a league?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:22 PM)

Alex: Well the trickle down is inevitable. Now if Temple is leaving the A10, and I presume that it is, that puts the A10 in a predicament. Be a great league to put the teams you mentioned together!

SNX (Music City USA)

Let's talk Jerome: Horizon - Butler make a comeback? Big South - Coastal Carolina might make it through. Colonial - Drexel seems obvious, so it can't be them. VCU?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:23 PM)

I will not reveal my Jerome picks. Double top secret under lock and key. Or not made yet.

Greg (North Carolina)

If my Dukies somehow manage to win out, which would include a win AT Florida State and against Carolina in Cameron and then winning the Duke Invit.. I mean, ACC Tournament, would they get a #1 seed?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:23 PM)

Greg: Depends on what happens in the BIg 10 and the Big 12. I still say Kansas, Michigan State and Ohio State are the frontrunners over either Duke or UNC but we will see.

Steve (D.C. )

Marquette is definitely passing the eye test right now, I think i might enjoy watching them play more than any team in the country. Are they legit contenders?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:24 PM)

Steve: Very very good team and completely overlooked. Which is dangerous. I wouldn't pick against a nice long run from them at all. Good pseudo sleeper.

Ryan (Boston)

I'm a Syracuse fan living in Boston. Should I be getting my tickets for the East regional now? What would have to happen for Syracuse to not get the #1 seed in the East?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:25 PM)

Ryan: Armageddon. If I'm a Cuse fan, I'm presuming they'll be targeted for Boston and if I'm a Kentucky fan, ready myself for Atlanta. After that, open season.

Vinnie (NYC)

What does NC State have to do to get into the tournament at this point? Is all hope lost?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:26 PM)

Vinnie: For starters, win out and not lose early in the ACC Tourney. Then hope some other bubble teams lose. Also hope there aren't a ton of wacky upsets in say, the Valley or the CAA.

Sam (Lexington)

Everyone is talking about Davis, Jones, and MKG, and deservedly so. They are absolutely phenomenal. But I'm curious as to your opinion on the effect of Darius Miller on my Cats. In my opinion, he is right up there in terms of value to the team by virtue of what he brings to the table with his leadership and cool under pressure play. I think last night was a perfect example of what he can do.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:26 PM)

Sam: Agree 300 percent. He was terrific against Mississippi State and I don't think you can undersell his leadership even a little bit.

Paul (Seattle)

Can the Washington Huskies feel safe without the auto-bid? I figure they need to sweep the three regular season games, and at least one Pac-12 tourney game, maybe two? Would an outright Pac-12 regular season title help if California stumbles in the next three?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:27 PM)

Paul: Definitely an outright title would help because they'd finish stronger than California. I think the Pac 12 is wildly unpredictable so if I'm Washington, I'm on edge. Odds are the Huskies are in but the margin for error is slim.

Ty (Kansas)

Who do you have as player of the year right now, and who do you think will win when all is said and done?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:28 PM)

Ty: I'm leaning Thomas Robinson but only slightly. The reason: he's had to do so much more for Kansas because there aren't as many other options as Davis has at Kentucky. And the reward for Davis: I think Kentucky wins it all.

Dan (OH)

is this the year Xavier is left out of the tournament? That loss to Umass didnt help last night

Dana O'Neil
  (2:29 PM)

Dan: They are doing their darndest to miss. The loss at UMass absolutely does not help. I'd see the ice is extremely thin and cracking for the Musketeers.

Ryan (Boston)

We saw a few big upsets last night and there was the potential for more. Tonight seems like it could be a repeat. What ranked teams do you see losing tonight?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:31 PM)

Ryan: San Diego State has me nervous. Haven't looked good lately. Notre Dame can't afford a slow start against WVU. Not sure I see Minny or A&M pulling the upset.

Alec (Las Vegas)

It's tough to be a fan of the MWC. We are never included in the "power conference" articles but we are also excluded from the "mid-major" articles. Can you do something about that!? Love your stuff.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:32 PM)

Alec: Hmmm... What should we call you then? And maybe WCC and A10? Kinda majors? Sergeants?

Malcolm (Kansas)

With wins over Baylor and Mizzou, do you feel Kansas State is now a lock for the NCAAs?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:32 PM)

Malcolm: Yep

Nick (Boston)

Hi Dana, at the beginning of the year Austin Rivers I think got off to a slow start and I thought he would be returning to Duke next year for sure (as a Duke fan I was kind of hoping he would return). Now he is playing some of the best basketball in the country. Do you believe that he will return to Duke for another season or enter the draft?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:33 PM)

Nick: I doubt it. The NBA drafts on potential as much as statistics and his is huge.

Scott (Bloomington Illinois)

Wichita State Fan here and Kansas Jayhawks...my question though is why does duke and north carolina who are 4-8 against the top 50 rpi always get a pass for the #1 seed but kansas has to win tonight and beat missouri to lock it in? tell me why :)

Dana O'Neil
  (2:34 PM)

Scott: I don't disagree with you. I frankly thought the Big 12/Big 10 winners deserve the other No. 1s over either team in the ACC.

Ryan, North Carolina [via mobile]

Can we now enter Harrison Barnes' name in the national POY discussion? His numbers seem to warrant it..

Dana O'Neil
  (2:34 PM)

Ryan: You can enter him. He won't win. It's about the entirety of the season, or it should be.

Joe (Buffalo)

Can u think of a more interesting national championship other than Cuse v. Kentucky? Zone and experience v. talent and youth

Dana O'Neil
  (2:35 PM)

Joe: Wow that would be fun. And length, to boot.

Dusty (St. Louis)

Does Greg Marshall leave Wichita St. after this season for a bigger job?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:35 PM)

Dusty: Extremely possible.

Blonde (Strip Bonny)

Cuse / kU neutral court... who would you take right now??

Dana O'Neil
  (2:36 PM)

Eek... Hard pick. Syracuse's depth I think is a huge advantage, especially against Kentucky. But Kentucky makes it so hard to drive and kick... Kentucky but it would be a helluva game. And I dont' say that with entire conviction.

Kendall Marshall (Chapel Hill NC)

What am I going to have to do to get on this chat Dana? All I need from you to make my life complete is tell me that I am the best PG in the nation and should be the ACC POY as well as on an All America team. Is this just way to much to ask?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:37 PM)

Kendall: Set the bar higher than my praise, buddy. You are the best pg in the country, no doubt and we were debating this last night about ACC POY. There is no one more valuable to his team than you (maybe Mike Scott but your results are stronger).

Sam (Chicago)

Assuming Weber is gone after the season, who are some candidates you think Illinois should look at?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:38 PM)

Sam: Well assuming.. though it's a fair assumption. Think Chris Collins at Duke would be up there. Shaka Smart. Maybe Larry Eustachy as a longshot.

Jonathan (Florida)

Who wins in Tallahassee tommorrow night FSU or Duke? Do you believe FSU can win the regular season championship? Tallahassee has been a house or horrors for Duke.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:39 PM)

Jonathan: I'm a little less certain of FSU winning the title than I was a few weeks ago. BUT... I think could get the upset against Duke. Think the Blue Devils look better but still not sure about em.

Joe (Raleigh)

Syracuse will be in their "platinum gray" uniforms tonight... YUCK! How do you feel about these alternate unis that Nike keeps pushing?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:39 PM)

Joe: Hate em. They're ugly for starters. And I'm a traditionalist. I went to Penn State.

John (Kentucky)

How good is Murray State? How deep can its run be in the NCAA Tournament?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:40 PM)

John: I think very. Isaiah Canaan is terrific, the sort of transcendent player a team in that position needs. The caveat: everyone will be watching Murray. But everyone was watching Kenneth Faried and Morehead last year and they did alright. Sweet 16.

Chip (Toledo)

Hi Dana! Not a lot of talk about Michigan being a "sleeper" team in the tourney. Granted, their style of play can lost to virtually anyone, but it can also beat anyone! We may not have the most talent (ala UK, 'Cuse, or even Sparty), but I'd argue the "Team" offense and defense that this team employs could be extremely dangerous! Your thoughts?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:41 PM)

Chip: My only worry is as good as Michigan is at home, the Wolverines are that spot away. BUT... agree that Beilein's style gives people fits, especially on a tight turnaround in the NCAA Tournament.

Tommy (KC)

So should KU break out the retro uniforms for the Mizzou game that they wore a couple weeks ago. Everyone seemed to love them.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:42 PM)

Tommy: think that was to honor a specific team, right? THey were very cool, though. I say both teams wear the first uniforms in the Border War. Short shorts, high socks, Chuck Taylors. Honor the tradition for the last time.

Vinnie (NYC)

Which coach is on the hottest seat to end the season?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:42 PM)

Vinnie: I think Bruce Weber already took home that trophy.

John David (Preston)

What are your thoughts on the ability of this young Kentucky team to close out games the way they have been - even in hostile environments (Vandy, MSt) Davis and MKG definitely don't seem like freshmen.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:43 PM)

John David: They've had a target on their back all year and have had no trouble dealing with it whatsoever.

Mark (Connecticut)

If someone other than Temple, St.Louis, or Xavier win the A-10 tourney, will they get 4 teams in?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:44 PM)

Mark: I'm not so sure Xavier is a lock. That's the caveat there.

Robert (Tallahassee)

Is Duke losing at FSU even an upset??????? FSU is #15/16, is at home, and already beat Duke at Cameron...

Dana O'Neil
  (2:44 PM)

Robert: Technically it is and traditionally it is. I mean, look, Florida State is very good this year but c'mon, Florida State beating Duke is big. In basketball.

Kal (Spartans) [via mobile]

Do you see spartans getting no 1seed? If so, how likely? Thank you.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:45 PM)

Kal: Think if they win the Big 10, they get it. And deserve it

Chris (Cincinnati, OH)

Jason King stated in his article yesterday that he thinks Kentucky is the only elite team and that #2-#10 aren't. Thoughts?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:46 PM)

Chris: I didn't see that but I'd disagree. Syracuse, Kansas, Michigan State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Missouri are all pretty elite if you ask me. I think after maybe 8 it gets sloppy.

jason (okc)

does cincinnati have to beat u of l or marquette to get in at this point?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:46 PM)

Jason: I think they're in but winning one of those two would let you exhale.

jason (okc)

if you had to pick between usf and cincinnati, who would you put in?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:47 PM)

Jason: Well I need USF to finish the season out first. Haven't had to play the best the Big East has to offer yet, so hard to judge.

Don (decker)

What are the Chances that Kansas and Wichita State, Or Wichita State and Kansas State (assuming they get in) are in the same bracket

Dana O'Neil
  (2:47 PM)

Don: Possible, I suppose.

Jacob (Texas)

Dana, you know UK beat two of those other Elite teams on the list you just gave; I think that is what pulls them above the others.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:48 PM)

Jacob: I didn't say they weren't elite. I said others were ALSO elite.

Rich (Holden, MA)

If you are on the selection committe, what is more impressive- middle of pack from major conference or dominant team from smaller conference.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:49 PM)

Rich: I have big issues with middle of the pack major conference sometimes. They have every opportunity to rack up big wins in their leagues. Why reward them if they fail to do so?

Adam (Kansas)

Dana, seems like the "best" team (#1 one seed) rarely wins the title. Last team to do this was UNC. Is that a realistic reason to not pick Kentucky?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:50 PM)

Adam: Actually it's longer than that. Joe Lunardi told me this yesterday. THe last overall #1 seed to win the title was Florida in year 2. That year UNC won it all, I believe Louisville was the overall

Jamie (Lowell,MA)

If you could pick one conference tournament to attend this year, what would it be?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:50 PM)

Jamie: I will be there: the Big East. It's the best. Now that said, I'm hoping to go watch some of the earlier action in some of the smaller leagues, too. Those winner take all finals are The Best.

Mitch (Boston)

Who do you think, player wise, that will make the biggest impact in KU vs. Mizzou game this weekend? Follow up: who do you think will win?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:52 PM)

Mitch: Going wtih Phil Pressey. He didn't play particularly well in the first game. Think he needs to be on point to beat Kansas. Who wins? Kansas

Mike Brey (ND)

Impressions of my team?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:52 PM)

Mike: Very impressed. Guys who really have bought in to what they each have to do to win. No egos. Play hard. Play smart.

josh (las vegas)

where would you rate the 1990 unlv squad,top 5 all time?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:53 PM)

Josh: top 10, for sure. Need to think harder about top 5. But in the conversation. Wild group and sort of an iconic one too.

Mike (Upper Merion, PA)

What is the most memorable game you have ever attended live?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:53 PM)

Mike: Laettner's winner against Kentucky.

Curtis (Kansas)

Isn't it true that the only time all four #1 Seeds made it to the Final Four was in 2008 - The year that Kansas won it all? Wouldn't that theoretically make Kansas the Team that won a championship with the toughest schedule?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:55 PM)

Curtis: You mean ever? No because Florida was the overall 1 seed when they won it all.

Kevin Willard (South Orange)

What do you think of Seton Hall's chances to make the dance after their blowout win over Georgetown last night?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:56 PM)

Kevin: Very good. Big win for your squad!

Eric (Austin)

What unheralded college player is most likely to emerge in the NBA as the next Jeremy Lin?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:56 PM)

Eric: I guess it's how you define unheralded. Does Casper Ware count? Garrett Stutz?

Adam (KC)

Who are a couple of the most underrated players in the country?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:57 PM)

Adam: Hmmm... Darius Johnson-Odom for one.

Frank (Oakland)

Shouldn't Cal be mentioned as a surprise mid-major team that can do damage in the tourney?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:58 PM)

Frank: Only if we've downgraded the Pac 12 to mid major. And frankly I think the mid majors would turn the league away this year.

Jarred (Kansas)

Will Tyshawn Taylor be added to the Bob Cousy award list?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:58 PM)

Jarred: He should be but I don't know how that process works.

Dan (Kansas)

If you had to choose one player to lead your team to a National Title, who would it be?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:59 PM)

Dan: Um, Michael Jordan? :)This year... probably Anthony Davis would be my first building block.

Cameron (Manhattan, Kansas)

Which state (as a whole) is playing the best college basketball this year?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:01 PM)

Cameron: Well Kansas has Wichita State, KU and Kansas State but Kentucky has UK, Louisville and Murray. I say they play one another and we crown a state champ, too!

Dana O'Neil
  (3:01 PM)

Alright, folks. Gotta run. Enjoy the games. The best part of the year is right around the corner. Can you believe it?!