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February 13, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Dana O'Neil

Dana O'Neil
  (2:00 PM)

Greetings everyone. Just digesting the crummy news about Nerlens Noel. What's up?

Terry (Pensacola)

From your column I gather you enjoyed your visit to Miami and the Hurricanes/UNC game. What was your impression of the Canes now that you have seen them?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:01 PM)

Terry: I always enjoy Miami in February and I came away very impressed with the Hurricanes. Have size, power, stregnth, experience, a terrific point guard and a fantastic coach.

Bobby (Texas)

Hi Dana, if ole miss loses tonight at Texas A&M are they on the wrong side of the bubble?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:02 PM)

Bobby: I'd say so, yes. They are slipsliding the wrong way these days.

Kevin (Miami)

Dana, you have Florida at #9??? BPI has them at #1 and ESPN RPI has them at #4. Yes, they are in the lowly SEC, but their sos is still top 15 (better than Indiana's). I would like an actual reason why you have them that low, it can't be the eye test because the Gators have destroyed the teams they beat. Two of the three losses are to teams in the Top 15 on the road.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:03 PM)

Kevin: I'll move them up after the win over Kentucky but my worry is that they've lost to two of the better teams they've played and destroyed a crummy SEC. The eye test works in their favor. I like how they look but just reserved about who they've played.

Ray (DC)

OTTOMATIC

Dana O'Neil
  (2:03 PM)

Ray: Haha. I've heard Mr. Porter does indeed have a nickname. A clever and fitting one to boot.

Alex (San Diego)

Big win for Sparty last night, but how would you compare it to the dominance Miami had over Duke a couple weeks ago? Duke was a top team at the time as Michigan was last night; both games were won by the home team; both Duke and U of M were ranked #1 at one time. If Miami is getting all of this possible #1 hype, shouldn't MSU? MSU has had no bad losses w/ Indiana, Miami, Minnesota, UConn (All away and all ranked teams during season); currently 1st in by far the toughest league in America. Your thoughts?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:05 PM)

Alex: I tabbed the Spartans as sleepers (if a Tom Izzo team can be so qualified) in October. Now they're not a sleeper. This is a very good, very dangerous team right now. Wouldn't be surprised to see them in Atlanta. At all.

Tony (Neptune Beach, FL)

After seeing what the Big 10 is doing, agreeing to not play FCS schools anymore in football I forsee the begining of the end of the NCAA. How long do you think it'll be before the Mega Conferences breakaway and form their own governing body.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:06 PM)

Tony: Interesting question and I don't think that Armageddon idea is anywhere near as farfetched as it once seemed. Especially with the fiasco the NCAA is making with its enforcement process.

Nick (South Dakota)

Kentucky a NIT team with Noel out for the season?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:07 PM)

Nick: We'll see. The committee has to consider who will/won't be available for the Wildcats but right not it's too early to tell. They have to win games. Same as they did with Nerlens.

GBK (Lincoln Park)

Dana, I had a question about coaches on the court. I've noticed it more in college hoops over the last few weeks, especially in the Big 10 with coaches like Izzo and Matta. The coaches seem to be on the floor all the time when their team is on the other end. I feel like this is eventually going to lead to an injury of some sort. When I refereed high school games we were told to call technical fouls if coaches wandered too far out of the coaches box, but it never came up because they generally kept to the sideline. What's the rule in college?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:08 PM)

The rule is they're supposed to be in the coach's box except unless they are blatantly trespassing - and Buzz Williams was practically at midcourt signalling a TO on Monday, so not sure what that would entail - they won't get a technical.

J (Sib)

Is Gonzaga a legitimate contender for the final four or are they just another west coast illusion?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:08 PM)

I like the Zags, myself. Think they are as solid as anybody out there, with good interior players, good guards, depth, experience.

John (Washington)

Does this Cuse team have Final Four potential w/ Southerland back?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:09 PM)

John: Yeah I think so but as you can see by this chat, I think there are a lot of FInal Four potential teams. No doubt Southerland is huge. Spreads the defense.

Alex (Altoona)

Chances Duke embarrasses carolina tonight?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:10 PM)

Alex: Extremely good if Carolina plays like they did against Miami. Looked severely intimidated.

Greg (Cicero)

Why does McDermott get all the pub but Olynyk and Harris are having better all around years and their team has actually won games this year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:10 PM)

Greg: McDermott scores in bunches but I'm with you. I think Olynyk has done every bit as much for a better team.

zac (chicago)

Who are the coach-of-the-year candidates?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:11 PM)

Zac: I'll leave someone out but top of the list has to be Jim Larranaga, right? Izzo will work his way in there now, I'd suspect. Who am I forgetting?

Matthew (NYC)

Even with all the love being shown to the Big Ten this year is the Duke/Miami rematch looking like the biggest game of the year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:12 PM)

Rich: What they say privately is one thing; what they usually say publicly is the Beilein stance. Izzo just says what he feels, which is why he is who he is and we all love him for it.

Neil (New York)

Oladipo top of the wooden watch after Burke's lapse in the MSU game?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:13 PM)

Neil: Probably so. Will be interesting to see how it goes between him and Zeller at the end of the season.

Barak (D.C.)

This years bracket is going to be my toughest task yet.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:13 PM)

Mr. President: No doubt. Re election was a piece of cake.

Jake Sokol (Miami)

Do you think the canes will be a legit contender next year with few starters returning?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:13 PM)

Jake: Dude enjoy this season!

Reid (TN)

How far could Belmont go in March?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:14 PM)

Reid: Good call. Think the Bruins are a very good Cinderella pick. Well coached team, veteran. Why not? Plus Vince Gill will be happy.

Tyler (Louisville, KY)

Your thoughts on Louisville? Still a FF contender?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:15 PM)

Tyler: In the mix, yes but they have got to learn how to finish games. As fun as those 5OTs were, never should have happened.

DJ (LA)

Thoughts on UCLA chances in the NCAAs? Final four or round of 32?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:15 PM)

DJ: Who knows? That team is a complete enigma to me. They likely will make it in. Once that happens, could lose in the first round or maybe the Sweet 16. I lean toward the former. Not terribly immpressed.

Dan (Bloomington)

Your favorite team in the crazy Big East?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:16 PM)

Dan: Well I think the obvious two are still the right picks - Syracuse and Louisville - but I also think that Pittsburgh and Georgetown may have somethign to say about it, if not regular season then maybe in New York.

Hunter (Lexington)

What are the chances Noel returns to Kentucky for his sophmore season? Are there many GM's out there that want to spend a first round draft pick on a guy with an unproven surgically repaired knee?

Bryan (Springdale, AR)

Are you ready to take back your praise for Frank Haith and apologize for your extreme dislike for Mike Anderson? Frank Haith took that Missouri team that Mike Anderson built and has butchered it.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:18 PM)

Hunter: Zero. They will draft him because the draft is all about potential and his is limitless. He'll be ready by November/December. At least a torn ACL is something familiar. Was frankly worried it was worse. B

Dana O'Neil
  (2:18 PM)

Bryan: Every week here I learn I dislike someone or something. Last week I think it was UConn. Now Mike Anderson. Who knew?

Matthew (NYC)

I guess, I'll ask again. Even with all the love being shown to the Big Ten this year is the Duke/Miami rematch looking like the biggest game of the year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:19 PM)

Matthew: Didn't see it the first time. Not sure it's the biggest - the Indiana-Michigan State game will be big - but it's definitely going to be big and intriguing. I mean, who'd a thunk it?

Nate (Illinois)

With the new TV deal in the works, who do you think deserves to keep the Big East name? The seven leaving or the new bunch spread around the country?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:20 PM)

Nate: The seven leaving. Dibs for being the core group and actually on the Eastern seaboard.

Jake (Arkansas)

What mid majors do you see making a deep run in March?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:21 PM)

Jake: Capable: (Butler and VCU don't count), Belmont, Bucknell, South Dakota State, Creighton, Wichita State. Who am I missing?

Brad (Gadsden,Alabama)

Dana, Do you think the SEC will have 5 teams in the NCAA tourney?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:22 PM)

Brad: Five??? I'm searching for the second.

Keary (Brooklyn, NY)

Happy Belated Birthday! Will Billy Donovan stay in Gainesville?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:22 PM)

Keary: Thank you and sure. Not sure where else he would go. Turned down Kentucky. Turned down the Magic. Why go?

Jamie (Lowell, MA)

What do you think is the biggest factor in the reduction of scoring we are seeing this year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:23 PM)

Jamie: I think everyone runs pretty much the same offense these days which makes it not terribly difficult to defend. There's very little in the way of creativity.

Sam (Spokane)

What do you classify Gonzaga as? Mid major or??

Dana O'Neil
  (2:23 PM)

Major in a mid-major conference.

Braden (Lawrence)

Should I as a Kansas fan be worried? How far do you think my hawks will go in the big dance?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:25 PM)

Braden: Nah. They looked awful there, don't get me wrong, but I think Bill Self knows exactly what he's doing calling these guys out. He always pushes the right button. Think KU is like a lot of teams, very capable of Final Four but also could exit early. It's just such a wild year.

Michigan Fan (Ann Arbor)

Are we still a title contender after last night? There are no away games in April..

Dana O'Neil
  (2:26 PM)

You guys have been handled the schedule designed by Satan. Seriously. This is brutal, especially for a young team. I still think Michigan is a good team. I still think they'll regroup but they're learning that the margin for error is tiny.

Jay W. (Villanova)

Dana - give it to me straight - what are your thoughts on the Wildcats this year? They teased us earlier in the month, but are they a tourney team? At least is there is a bright future ahead of them?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:27 PM)

Jay: Dont' see the tourney based on one good week. I really don't. Need more than that. THe future is brighter, for sure. This team looks a little more lively than the last few incarnations.

Joe (Chicago)

Would you say the Wolverines chances at a Big Ten title are nearly lost? Currently 4th, 2 losses behind the leaders, and still have to play MSU and IU @ Home

Dana O'Neil
  (2:27 PM)

Joe: Yeah, I'd say tough sledding there.

Michigan Fan (Ann Arbor)

you didn't answer the question though.. are they still in your "top 5" teams that have the best chance of cutting down the nets at the end of the bracket

Dana O'Neil
  (2:28 PM)

I have an expanding top 10 on that list. Are they in it? Yes. But honestly, that list is written in pencil on parchment paper.

Joe (KY)

Can Noel still win Defensive Player of the year even after his year ending injury?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:29 PM)

Joe: Interesting questio and I don't know. Withey, obviously, will continue to rack up blocks. Oladipo is still out there as is Aaron Craft.

Hoosier Boy (Indiana)

Dana: Am I still going to have a team to cheer for come April in Atlanta?!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:30 PM)

Hoosier: Again I have about 10 teams in Atlanta for the Final Four right now. The Hoosiers are in there, yes.

Bob (Florida)

Do you really think only one team will get in from the SEC or was that sarcasm?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:30 PM)

Bob: Semi sarcasm but it's tough. Kentucky has to win some games and prove it belongs sans Nerlens. Missouri is terrified of the road. Alabama is OK. Ole Miss is sliding.

James (Seattle)

Was watching PTI the other day and the mention of NBA players not wanting to shoot full court buzzer beaters because it hurts their shooting percentages came up. I realize there is less chance for it in college, but do you feel the future NBA prospects feel the same way?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:31 PM)

James: God I hope that. That's about as self serving a statement as I've heard in a long time.

Garth (Seattle)

Prediction for the Gonzaga vs. St. Mary's game tomorrow night? I get the feeling that people don't realize what that rivalry has become in recent years. That place will be crazy

Dana O'Neil
  (2:32 PM)

Garth: I get you. I think it will be tighter than people think but still think Gonzaga is the better team.

William Kinsel (Gainesville, Va.)

Dana, remember me?! Does Miami have enough to get to Atlanta?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:32 PM)

Is it really you, Doodles?! If so, yes Miami has enough. Only question there is they've never been through that March ringer like that. But love that team.

Brian (Chicago)

What was wrong with Burke last night? He was the only one who came to play? He shot it well, passed it well, stole the ball...just had no help

Dana O'Neil
  (2:33 PM)

Brian: NO one from Michigan looked good. He looked less worse, I agree.

Jon (Toronto)

Dana: What teams are in your expanding 10 teams for Atlanta?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:34 PM)

Jon: Indiana, Miami, Michigan State, Florida, Michigan, Gonzaga, Duke, Kansas, Syracuse, Louisville, what the hell, Butler, VCU and DePaul. OK, kidding on the last.

Jon (New York)

Dana, your chats are the highlight of my week. Let's change it up a little. What is the dumbest comment someone has ever made on one of these chats?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:35 PM)

Jon: We don't have enough time to answer that one.

J.B. (PA)

Dana, what do you pay more attention to: Top 25 poll or Bracketology?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:35 PM)

Mine eyes. Top 25 poll is subjective. Bracketology is interesting. Joe is often right. But I trust my own gut, not that it is any more accurate but at least I know where it's coming from.

David (OKC)

How about Oklahoma State coming on behind Marcus Smart? Are they a dangerous team come tournament time?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:36 PM)

David; Yep, they are. He's fabulous. Does everything well.

Mark Lyons (Arizona)

WE arent on that list?? we are 2-0 against teams you listed!!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:36 PM)

Yes, you're on there.

Clay (Marathon)

You a reserved of who they gators played?. Other thanthe lolwly sec, they have also beaten Wisconsin (which beat IU and MU), Marquette, Middle Tenn, Kentucky and Mizzou. and beat them badly. All of which are tournament teams. I think thats a pretty good resume.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:36 PM)

Marquette is average Big East team. Mizzou, have you seen em lately? Kentucky has one top 50 win. I'll give you Middle Tennessee St. Cool?

Nick (South Dakota)

What does Nate Wolters have a better chance at? winning the Bob Cousy Award or being a 1st team All-American or are they both a long shot

Dana O'Neil
  (2:37 PM)

Nick: both are probably long shots only because there are so many good point guards this year. Doesn't discount what he's done and also think he could be a household name in March.

john (nj)

Dana, is Shane Larkin the ACC POY?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:38 PM)

John: Good question. Him or Plumlee, right? Let's see how they finish.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:38 PM)

Ok folks, apologies but I have to cut this short. I've got to get cracking on a column about Nerlens Noel. I owe you 15 minutes next week.