It's been the most fantastic regular season that I've been part of in my 34 years at ESPN. We've had one fabulous game after another. Some of the highlights for me and some of the best games I've been a part of: Louisville-ND, Butler-Gonzaga, Indiana-MSU, Indiana-Michigan.
Dickie V,Do you think Notre Dame can be a sleeper in the tourney?
I think they're a potential Sweet 16 team. After that, some of the upper echelon teams will get them, I think.
With Georgetown and Miami losing recently, is Duke now a lock for a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament? And if so, how far do they go?
They're a pretty tough team to beat. I've been very impressed with them.
If Kentucky splits their last two games do they make the tourney?
They must win tonight. Tonight's game against Georgia. If they're going to have a shot, they must beat Georgia. They're playing better now and this is a game that Kentucky has to win. They've been so up and down.
YOUR PRESEASON PICK OF LOUISVILLE IS STARTING TO COME TO FRUTITION. YOU STILL STANDING BY THE CARDS TO CUT DOWN THE NETS?
I think they're peaking at the right now. Rick Pitino has had tremendous success in the postseason. He's a rarity in having the ability to getting people to play to their potential in this one and done atmosphere. Teams like Louisville and Michigan State will be major major players in the postseason because of their talent and coaching.
do you think that iu has a locked up a number one seed
No, not yet. I think they have to keep winning. The one thing that's saving them is the fact that everybody else is getting beat. Duke has lost some games. Miami has lost three of four. All of that keeps them alive. They still have to win a game or two in the Big 10 tournament.
What are your thoughts on Ohio State's chances in the tournament?
Ohio State, they're getting better and better. I'm a big lover of their guards. That kid is a winner. Thomas can score. There are five teams in the Big 10 that I think can win six games in a row.
Dickie V, if Maryland loses Len to the NBA and doesn't bring in a star recruit, do you think the Terps can do anything next year?
He's a quality player. He'd be drafted on potential. No way physically is he reaady for the NBA. He hasn't been able to dominate in college. But his size and skills and potential makes him an NBA prospect. Maryland lost a big game last night. They needed to win if they wanted to make the tournament. To lose a 7-footer, it's hard.
Arizona will be a sweetsixteen team? over or under? i would also like to read your thoughts on Arizona. if they play to their potential, can they win the NC? Love your work Mr. Vitale.
Yeah, they have a chance at the Sweet 16. After that, they run into trouble. They have some up and down play. They've been inconsistent, especially in some big games in the conference.
When you're a program like Arizona, you're not playing for a goal of being in the Sweet 16. Your goal is to cut the nets down. You're goal is to be the national champ. You talk to Coach K, Roy Williams, Bill Self, Rick Pitino, it's not about Sweet 16s.
Hi Dick, much has been made of UNC's smaller lineup, and rightfully so. How far do you think their new found offensive potency can take them in the tournament? I was also very pleasantly surprised at their defensive intensity last night at College Park.
They've been scoring. They were aggressive last night against Maryland. They put pressure on people, they create mismatches. They are a very dangerous team. They have momentum now.
The most consistent team in all of college ball? love your work on cancer support btw
Duke has been consistent, with Ryan Kelly in the lineup, 17-0. The game he had the other night was one of the top performances of all time. He scored 36 points. He did not play for 2 months and then come out and play 32 minutes and put up 36 points, it's as rare as can be. They've been consistent with him in the lineup.
If florida is to win in Kentucky on Saturday, could they possibly make a #1 seed?
I think Florida is on the No. 2 line. Beating Kentucky won't get them on the No. 1 line. Sometimes we make too much of where someone is seeded. You still have to win 6 in a row.
WHO WINS SATURDAY? CAROLINA OR DUKE
I never like to project games that I do and pick a winner. Carolina played Duke tough in the first matchup. It was the first game with that small lineup. They're playing their best five players right now, rather than worrying about size and positions. They can explode offensively, they're playing with so much confidence. They have a chance to beat anybody, especially at the Dean Dome. I can't wait! I'm like a little kid.
I told the Wall Street Journal, you can talk about Michigan-Ohio State football, Auburn-Alabama, USC-ND football, but there is no rivalry in college sports that can match the Duke-UNC in college basketball.
So are we all witnessing Boeheim's swan song? He sure seems ready to retire and is no fan of going to the ACC.
To me, he's got much energy and enthusiasm for basketball. But he's no fan of going to the ACC, and neither am I about what's going on in the landscape of college athletics. I can't even tell you who's in the Big East any more. My feeling is geographically some of these matchups make no sense. I can't tell you who's there for football, for basketball. But Jim, the pro that he is, he'll move on and the ACC in basketball will be unbelieveable.
What effect do you see on Georgetown's NCAA prospects in light of the loss to Villanova?
Georgetown is a team that's been good. Porter is a guy that's a potential player of the year. I look at them as a No. 2 seed.
do u think that tom crean is in running for national coach of year?
No, because expectations were so high. Any time you look at national coach of the year, guys we expect to have great years over the years, get taken for granted. We don't give enough credit to the fact that you're taking everybody's best shot and winning. I would give the edge to Jim Larranaga.
Before Ryan Kelly got injured and after his return, Duke has been undefeated. What does that do for confidence heading into the ACC tourney then the NCAA tourney?? You think they're ready?
Any time you get a kid like Kelly back to the lineup, he makes the team that much more effective. His ability to shoot the 3 gives more spacing and opens up the court. He makes them a legit threat for the national title.
What are your thoughts on Marcus Smart at OSU? Watched him for the first time last night and shoot horrible, but made some really "smart" plays.
He's a multi talented player. McLemore is my player of the year in the Big 12 and Smart is my diaper dandy of the year.
My coach of the year in the Big 12 is Bruce Weber. He's done a great job in his rookie year at KSU. Go to my website to see all of my awards coming up: ESPN.com/dickvitale or dickvitaleonline.com.
With virtually the whole team returning, can FSU bounce back and be a contender in the ACC next season?
FSU is one of my disappointments this year. I thought they could do a lot better. I think it's been their concentration. They have to elevate their talent level.
pitt has been up and down like the rest of college basketball, do the panthers have a shot of doing some major damage in the ncaa tournament, i know its all about gaurd play and defense
Pitt, because they defend so well, they'll get some good guard play, they have a chance. Tournament time becomes a little more conservative, so you give an edge to teams that can defend. But scoring has been an issue.
I'm so excited about this regular season. I've often said that the season is broken down into a few parts, pre-conference season, the conference season, the conference tournaments and the postseason tournaments. Nothing means more to me now than raising money for cancer. Take a moment, it might effect someone you love. No child should be doing chemo and radiation. I'm trying to raise $1 million or more. Help us. We're raffling off a beautiful red Mercedes. Go to DickVitaleOnline.com and click on the picture of the car to get your ticket. We're selling 1,500 of them. Go there.
And tune in Saturday night, it will be electric, enthusiastic and fun city taking on North Carolina and Duke. 9 p.m. ET, ESPN, Saturday night. We'll be there having a blast!