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January 16, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Dana O'Neil

Dana O'Neil
  (12:00 PM)

Greetings everyone. What's on your mind?

Jon (LA)

Is UCLA one of the best teams no one is talking about right now?

Dana O'Neil
  (12:01 PM)

Jon: Definitely. Seems like now that Ben Howland has adapted his coaching to fit his players' style the Bruins are a very dangerous team.

Todd (Aztec Nation)

Who do you like in the UNLV @ SDSU matchup? Thoughts on the MWC this year? 3rd or 4th best confrence?

Dana O'Neil
  (12:01 PM)

Todd: I actually think it's second best in terms of quality of teams to the Big Ten. May not be reflected in seeds but in terms of good teams who can vie for the title, it is. Great game, but UNLV... I've been a little unsure of. Going with SDSU.

Aidan (Richmond)

What are the chances that VCU advances to the sweet 16 in March?

Dana O'Neil
  (12:02 PM)

Aidan: Well matchups always dictate things but I would not be the least surprised. VCU is a sold team. Period.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Even though you Cover Men's College Basketball,What are your Favorite NFL & MLB Teams?

Dana O'Neil
  (12:02 PM)

Chris: Yankees and Giants. New Jersey girl by birth.

brandon shankle (spokane)

do you think gonzagas a real contender?

Dana O'Neil
  (12:04 PM)

Brandon: Can I answer that after Saturday? After I see them against Butler? But I htink this is Few's best chance in a long time .

carl (connecticut)

Hey Dana, if Uconn was elgible for Ncaa tournament do you think they would get in as of now?

Dana O'Neil
  (12:06 PM)

Carl: I think so, yes. ENough decent wins. No horrific losses. Decent schedule. Alas...

Andre (Tallahassee, FL)

How many NCAA bids should the ACC expect thus far?

Dana O'Neil
  (12:08 PM)

Andre: Let's see: Duke, NC State, Miami. Personally don't love Florida State's resume. Maryland could play its way in. Ditto UNC, even as unlikely as that may seem right now. Numbers still there.

Ray Stinger Jr (Pittsburgh)

Hi Dana! Do you think Coach Dixon will leave Pitt to go to USC?

Dana O'Neil
  (12:08 PM)

Ray: I think he will be considered. He's been pretty steadfast in his commitment to Pitt, though, and I'm not sure he'd want to stand opposite his mentor, Ben Howland.

Bernard (Lewisburg, Pa)

Mike Muscala is putting together numbers like no other big man this season. How do you rate the Bucknell center, who is starting to receive accolades after great performance vs. Missouri and others.

Dana O'Neil
  (12:09 PM)

Bernard: Agree on all counts. Terrific player who could be this year's version of CJ McCollum - a breakout star late in the season. Because I do think Bucknell could beat teams in the NCAA Tourney.

John (Annapolis)

MD or NC State and why?

Dana O'Neil
  (12:10 PM)

John: I'm headed there shortly & still tossing it around. I'm leaning NC State. I know everyone expects them to be in the clouds after beating Duke, but I also think they're mature enough to handle this. Then again, I didn't see Wisconsin beating Indiana last night, so take it for what it's worth.

Bausch (NYC)

Yes, I'm back for more. I know the health of Bowers plays a factor. But let's say he doesn't play at Florida and Missouri splits with Florida over the season and finishes with a 14-4 conference record and goes to the SEC Championship game, is that enough for a 2 seed or will that be a 3 seed. Thank you for putting up with my Missouri questions.

Dana O'Neil
  (12:11 PM)

That's an awful lot of ifs, isn't it? It will depend on other conferences to an extent. The fact that the SEC is so down isn't going to help anyone.

Laura (Iowa)

Who is your player of the year at this point? Burke? McDermott? Pressey? Someone else?

Dana O'Neil
  (12:12 PM)

Laura: I lean Trey Burke at this point, with McDermott a close second.

Nick (Philadelphia)

After Saturday's game against Syracuse, what are your thoughts on Villanova? Still some bugs to work out but they seemed to hang in there with a Top 10 team.

Dana O'Neil
  (12:13 PM)

Nick: Definitely much more encouraging. Think they're getting better, which is what is most critical. And the way the Big East is, completely topsy turvy, who knows what they could do?

Jacob (Nashville,TN)

Hey Dana, what do you think of Vanderbilt. Will they go to the NIT or will they sneak into the tourney

Dana O'Neil
  (12:13 PM)

Jacob: Too many early losses for tourney, I think, and not enough chances to get good wins in the NCAA.

Rick (Kansas)

Why isn't Withey getting the National Player of the Year hype that Anthony Davis got last year? His numbers are better than Davis' were across the board. Is the talent in college basketball really that much better than last year? Or did voters over-rate the blocking stats last year? I just don't get it.

Dana O'Neil
  (12:15 PM)

Rick: I think Withey is overshadowed a bit by everyone else, including his own teammate, Ben McLemore. And I would contend that Anthony Davis didn't win based on numbers. He won the eyeball test. Hands down the best player in the country.

Tom (Chicago)

With Clarke out for Butler, do you think they stand a chance against Gonzaga?

Dana O'Neil
  (12:16 PM)

Tom: Sure I do because Butler is ridiculously tough and gritty and it's at home. Not easy, needless to say. Kellen Dunham and Chase Stigall need to score to stretch the defense. And Andrew Smith has a big order in Kelly Olynyk.

Aaron (Miami,Florida)

How long do you think Miami can contend in the ACC title race and how far can they make it in the Tourney?

Dana O'Neil
  (12:17 PM)

Aaron: You know, on the Experts yesterday I almost was tempted to say Miami will win the ACC. Mostly because Ryan Kelly seems unlikely to return soon and Miami has been so good without Reggie Johnson. So I guess what I'm saying is, I think the Canes are pretty good. Ugly scoring debacle the other night notwithstanding.

Adrian (Batesville MS)

Give some love to my REBELS!!! Is this a team that could go deep into march? And can they recruit well enough long term to be competitive with UK and Florida? thanks!

Dana O'Neil
  (12:19 PM)

Adrian: You know what, the Rebels opened my eyes a bit last weekend. I really thought this was a three-team league but I think they can make it four.

Chris (NC)

Why are you guys such hypocrites? When I say you I mean YOU, BILAS, KATZ, WILLIAMS...etc. After Duke beat Louisville the first thing reported was that Louisville was without their big man Deng. Everyone, including yourself, spewed the same message for weeks after that. Kelly goes down for Duke literally 3 or 4 days before they play State AT STATE and they loose. Yeah yall mention that Kelly was out but infer that Duke would have still lost regardless and hoist NC State up as the greatest win ever. Not only that, when it comes to voting for number 1, yall once again reference Deng being out as the reason why they lost to Duke and also mention that it was "early in the season".Duke boasts the best resume in college basketball but it doesn't mean crap because of the bias yall have for them. If Louisville, Kentucky, Ohio State or any other top school had that same resume yall would be talking about them like royalty. I just wish one of you so-called reporters would report the facts and stop being haters!!!!

Dana O'Neil
  (12:20 PM)

Chris: Simmer down. I actually wrote that NC State's game came with an asterisk. So perhaps research would help your anger.

Jay (Michigan)

Michigan travels to the barn tomorrow night, who do you like?

Dana O'Neil
  (12:20 PM)

Jay: Tough one. I can't imagine Michigan will lose back to back but I also can't imagine the Gophers are losing that one at home. I'm leaning home tome but not with a lot of conviction. Think it will be a great game.

Mark (Conn.)

After they are done beating each other up in conference play, how many A-10 teams do you have in the dance?

Dana O'Neil
  (12:21 PM)

Mark: Butler, VCU, Temple, maybe/probably could be St. Louis. Need some more proof from Charlotte and St. Joe.

Dana O'Neil
  (12:22 PM)

Timeout: My phone just buzzed with a local alert: Chip Kelly to be named Eagles coach? Am I being punked?

Jay (Michigan)

Cuse travels to UL saturday, I see UL winning by double digits. You agree?

Dana O'Neil
  (12:24 PM)

Jay: I see them winning pretty decisively too. Syracuse doesn't play well against zones (irony), doesn't have best shooter and Louisville creates chaos, which, as good as MCW has been, is hard.

Charles (Milwaukee)

What are the chances the badgers win the Big Ten title?

Dana O'Neil
  (12:26 PM)

Certainly not ready to call it but it is fortuitous that they don't have to go to Michigan or Minnesota. In good spot.

Alex (Chicago)

Top 3 Games Your Most Excited For This Weekend?

Dana O'Neil
  (12:27 PM)

Selfishly Gonzaga-Butler since I'll be there. First game at Hinkle. Can't wait. Want to watch Louisville-Syracuse and Missouri-Florida, though that's lost some luster with all the Gator injuries.

Daniel (Kansas City)

What's Creighton's ceiling as far as seeding; how high must they be to be placed in Kansas City's pod?

Dana O'Neil
  (12:28 PM)

Daniel: Tricky because of the Valley, of course. But they could get 3, I'd think and would then have a shot at site preference.

Tom (Malvern, PA)

Dana...if st. joe's misses the NCAA's is Phil Martelli on the hot seat? That would mean 1 NCAA game (a loss) since Jameer Nelson left in 2004.

Dana O'Neil
  (12:29 PM)

Tom: You know, I know people will say that but I just don't see it happening. I really don't. Not saying there aren't legit questions - I agree that there really never was a capitalizing on the run with Jameer - but I just can't see him having issues.

Ben (oklahoma (New mexico native))

Dana why is that no one ever gives New Mexico credit? they are one of the best defensive teams in the nation i know there offense is horribale sometimes but come on. I'm kinda of tired of only reading stories about the acc and big east the mountain west is just as good and maybe better. so why so little respect for them and the mountain west?

Dana O'Neil
  (12:30 PM)

Ben: I just said the Mountain West was the second best conference in my opinion, dude!!! I think New Mexico is very good. A little unpredictable at times, but Steve Alford has done a ridiculously great job there.

Tom (Memphis)

Dana, how much leeway does Memphis have to be a comfortable at-large selection?

Dana O'Neil
  (12:30 PM)

Tom: Are you conceding C-USA? Think they're fine to get in. But Pastner needs to win a game once in.

Buck (Chapel Hill)

Plumlee's an excellent player, but not what he was in November. Still the NPOY favorite?

Dana O'Neil
  (12:31 PM)

Buck: I agree. As defenses collapse around him more and more - especially without Kelly now - he's not as productive. Think Burke is at the front of the list with McDermott nipping at his heels.

casey (fort collins)

Thoughts on Colorado State? Can they make some noise in March this year?

Dana O'Neil
  (12:32 PM)

Casey: Yes but they gotta gain some traction in the Mountain West to secure a bid. Dont' really have that signature win to hang their hats on and need to get it in conference. Or a few.

Larry (Denver)

If Ben McLemore's injury had been more serious and he missed the rest of the season, does Kansas still win the Big 12?

Dana O'Neil
  (12:33 PM)

Larry: Well fortunately we don't have to worry about that because it's not. I never wish injuries on players.

ryan (indiana)

Dana.... What do you think about the emergence of Branden Dawson and the significance of his role for Izzo.

Dana O'Neil
  (12:34 PM)

Ryan: About time?! That team needs a 'guy,' someone to fill the leadership role. He seems ready for it.

Jacob (Nashville,TN)

A SEC surprise player

Dana O'Neil
  (12:35 PM)

Jacob: You named him. Marshall Henderson.

Charles (Milwaukee)

Dana, Wisconsin does play at Minnesota....otherwise thanks for the insight.

Dana O'Neil
  (12:35 PM)

Charles: They do? Thanks. Missed that.

Mark B (San Diego)

Hey Dana: With Mike Hopkins being an OC native, is he in the mix for the USC job? Do you think he'd entertain an offer, or is JB's retirement too close?

Dana O'Neil
  (12:36 PM)

Mark: Don't know on either front. Would he entertain it? I think at some point you have to, don't you? Coach in waiting is great except when you turn in to Prince Charles and have to wait your entire adult life for a chance.

Joel (Louisville)

Do you think that Louisville is peaking too soon or do you feel that they have more room to grow? And are you convinced that they are the best team in the country?

Dana O'Neil
  (12:38 PM)

Joel: Yes. I thought they were the best team in the country in November and still do. Don't think they're peaking at all. This is who they are. Very good. My biggest worry: Siva and Smith's tendency to take stupid fouls 40 feet from the basket.

Tom (Nebraska)

Prediction of where gophers finish in the big ten?

Dana O'Neil
  (12:39 PM)

Tom: Hmmm... tricky now but still think fourth?

Dana O'Neil
  (12:39 PM)

OK folks, I apologize for ending this early but I've got to get my act together to head to College Park for the game tonight. Thanks for the questions.