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April 10, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Dana O'Neil

Dana O'Neil
  (2:01 PM)

Hello everyone. Prety great Final Four, no?

ryan (san diego)

removing all final four teams... what do you take away from this tournament?... and can it be November yet?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:02 PM)

Ryan: Haha. I'll take a week breather before I long for November but I thought the tournament had all the ingredients - unexpected winners, great players and a fantastic finish.

Lobofan (Illinois)

Dana: With pretty much everyone back (except the head coach) what can I expect from my Lobos next year? thanks

Dana O'Neil
  (2:02 PM)

Obviously keeping the coaching tree helps smooth the transition, so I think there shouldn't be much change for New Mexico.

Chris (Fredonia, NY)

Hi Dana, probably lots of final four talk today, but you're a Mihalich fan- what's up with him going to Hofstra and what's next for the Purple Eagles???

Dana O'Neil
  (2:03 PM)

Chris: Slightly surprised but it's also easier to get guys to Long Island than to Niagara. I like Joe a lot, so I know he made the move with a heavy heart.

Tim (San Francisco, California)

Hi Dana - thanks for your time! Can you give me some good news on Syracuse? CJ Fair is definitely returning right? Any chance that MCW stays another year? What do you expect from them next year? THANKS!!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:04 PM)

Tim: Impossible to predict. Can't imagine Michael Carter-Williams staying. The thing about Syracuse, they always have replacement players ready to go. Would never count them out regardless.

Aron (STL)

Dana, does Phil Pressey get drafted in the NBA? I just don't see!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:05 PM)

Aron: Me either to be honest. Ditto Russ Smith. I'm very surprised by both decisions, especially in a year where there are so many good point guards to choose from.

Sean (Tucson)

How good will AZ be next year? Title contender?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:05 PM)

Sean: Very well could be in the mix, yes.

Steve (Amherst)

What a game! There was this thing called ummm whats it callled.... oh yeah Offense yeah thats it. Really though I am sick and tired of watching these grind it out possession teams. The goal is to get Buckets.

Danny (Louisville)

Trey Burke proved he was a great scorer. But can I get some love for Siva being such a complete player in the title game?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:06 PM)

Steve: Very entertaining game. Great offense. Wonderful pace. Talent everywhere and unexpected stars. The first half left me dizzy and giddy.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:07 PM)

Danny: Sorry messed up there. I love, love, love Peyton Siva. One of my favorite players to deal with and one of my favorite to watch. He plays so hard. He's such a terrific leader. Great kid and he was the heart of that team all season, but especially in the second half.

Kevin (Washington D.C.)

What are your thoughts on the Hoyas for next year? What do they have to do to exorcise those tourney demons?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:07 PM)

Kevin: Well that will be a question, obviously. I'm not sure how to solve it. It's not it's the same guys every year. But until it's fixed, the question will dog them.

Jim (Louisville, KY)

Do you think Gorgui and Chane both leave the Cardinals?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:08 PM)

Jim: Gorgui yes and Chane probably will test. He's a strange one. Tweener position but played well in Final Four. Personally think he should stay.

Bausch (NYC)

Dana, just wanted to say Thank You for another great season of reporting. Thank you for all you do. Us, College Hoops Junkies truly appreciate it.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:08 PM)

Thanks. It's not really a job...

TrojanMan (LA)

Dana, Andy Enfield lost to Lipscomb twice, had 2 really great weekends and now got the USC job. Have you met him and your thoughts on his success at USC?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:09 PM)

I have met him, yes. Very impressed with him and his confidence. Seems to really develop players if you look at his FGCU roster before him and after but it's a huge, huge leap in a hurry.

dylan (florida)

will Kentucky be the best team next season Dana?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:10 PM)

Dylan: Well the Wildcats will certainly be ranked that way. The caveat, as we learned this year, is that having talented freshmen doesn't equate to automatic success. Think what happened w Kentucky and UCLA shows how extraordinary that last year UK team was.

Chris (CA)

How much do you think the refs affected the outcome of the championship game? There were bad calls both ways, but it seemed like Michigan got the worst of it. Missed goaltend, 2 bad foul calls on Burke and at least 2 shooting fouls that weren't called against Louisville. Although Michigan could have helped themselves more by actually making the free throws they got.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:11 PM)

Chris: I dunno. There were some mistakes, yes but I also don't think the refs allowed Luke Hancock to park in the exact same spot and drain 4 consecutive threes. I just don't think the officials decided that game.

Chris (FL)

Do u think if FSU gets Andrew Wiggins they are National title Contenders?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:11 PM)

Chris: No. One player doesn't change things that dramatically.

Dom (Scranton, PA)

Thanks for the great year, Dana. Just wondering, did you end up winning your family bracket pool? haha

Dana O'Neil
  (2:11 PM)

Dom: Picked Louisville. Believe that's about all I got right.

Billy (Lynn, MA)

In wake of the Rutgers situation we've seen in the past week, do you think the NCAA tries to implement some system to watch practices more closely and make sure this type of thing isn't happening elsewhere?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:12 PM)

Billy: I'm not sure they can. Coaches have the discretion to run practices however they want - open, closed, etc. I think what you'll see is more universities paying closer attention to what happens behind closed doors.

Charles ((Kentucky))

What do you make of Gorgui telling a local celebrity after the championship that "he would see him next year in Louisville"?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:12 PM)

Charles: Who knows? He's an interesting kid. I'd love to see him back

Billy (Lynn, MA)

Do you think Billy Donovan can lead another Florida team to a high ranking again next year and to the later rounds of the tournament?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:13 PM)

Billy: Keeping Patric Young (smart choice) definitely helps. Have to replace some guards, obviously.

Chris (Newtown, PA)

Do u think The Catholic 7 or AAC is going to be a better conference next season?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:14 PM)

Chris: The ACC. Adding Syracuse and Pitt makes that league all the better. Virginia on the rise. Maryland should be decent. Not sure what to make of NC STate... but still ACC.

Tom (Albany)

Off topic-- but are you going to venture a guess as to who wins the masters this week?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:14 PM)

Tom: I have no real clue but why not say Tiger?

Brian (Pitt)

So what's next for Pitt? Seems like the team's back at square 1 except for Robinson. Only one big man, Patterson and D. Johnson can be good sometimes and invisible others; what should I expect?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:15 PM)

Brian: Yeah not really sure. They've got a lot of holes to replace, a new conference that will be an adjustment. I never count the Panthers out and the defense ought to drive ACC schools nuts.

Tom (Albany)

What do you think of those Adidas shirts about kevin ware? Company makes all this money off a kid who will get nothing from them and has to live through a horrific injury

Dana O'Neil
  (2:16 PM)

Tom: The idea to celebrate the kid was alright, so long as he was OK with it. But the fact that they profit off of him and his injury certainly is distasteful as all get out. Should have gone to a charity or something from the get go or bagged the idea.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Will Wiltjer, Polytress, and Cauley-Stein be able to provide the same type of experienced leadership Miller and Liggins did in 2012 to get the new freshmen over the hump, and make the Wildcats title contenders again?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:17 PM)

Tony: I think that's the idea and I think that makes sense. It did help that 2012 team. The only issue is that there are still only 40 minutes and one basketball. Going to have to figure out how to keep everyone happy.

Tyler (Laramie, Wyo)

Who/What was your biggest surprise this season?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:19 PM)

Tyler: Hmmm.. tough question. The immediate and easy answer is Wichita State. Didn't see the Shockers as a Final Four team. But plenty of otheres, too - Otto Porter's star turn, fiasco at UCLA, Miami definitely

John (Lansing)

Hi, Dana. Is next year the year, Alabama turns the corner? A possilbe sweet 16 team?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:19 PM)

John: I dunno. I'm still not sold altogether. Seems like we keep waiting and waiting on that corner.

Brad (Gadsden,Alabama)

Dana, Where is the AAC tourney going to be?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:20 PM)

Brad: Dunno yet. My guess is Hartford or Memphis.

Pat (Atlanta, GA)

Which conference do you think will be most dominant next year and why?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:21 PM)

Pat: That requires me to remember who is in what conference. It also requires us to know who is staying/going. Still think the Big Ten has some depth. Think the ACC, adding Pitt and Syracuse will be very good.

Chris (Newtown, PA)

Do u see Colorado being a sleeper to win the Pac-12 next year, why?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:22 PM)

Chris: Definitely. Everyone back. Good recruits. Turnover at UCLA and USC. Think that Arizona will get the edge but Colorado definitely good sleeper.

Ned (Toronto)

If you had to choose which will have a more successful tenure, would you choose Enfield at USC or Alford at UCLA? Also, do you think either staff is able to realistically loosen Sean Miller's choke-hold on California recruiting?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:23 PM)

Ned: It's hard because the definition of successful is different at each school. Much higher bar for Alford. Think the Bruins might have an easier time. As much as we all fell in love w/ the Enfield story, will it resonate with recruits?

Tyler (Laramie, Wyo)

Can Tubby Smith win at Texas Tech?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:24 PM)

Tyler: Sure. The man can coach.

Bubba (B'ham Alabama)

will the big 10 ever win a championship in anything?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:24 PM)

I believe Penn State won the wrestling championship this year.

Chris (CA)

If Burke and Hardaway leave Michigan, they have two top recruits coming in to fill their spots - Zak Irvin (Indiana's Mr. Basketball) and Derrick Walton (Gatorade's Michigan POY). If McGary and Robinson stay, do you see them as a top five team next season that can make another deep tourney run?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:25 PM)

Chris: Yep. but not sure if McGary will stay. Robinson should. Frankly, I think Hardaway should but he won't.

John (Lansing)

Dana. Should I take your previous statement as you are not sold that Coach Grant is the correct coach for that program or does football casts too big of a shadow at Alabama?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:26 PM)

John: No it's not Anthony Grant. It's just such a stinking hard sell there - to make people, recruits etc care. I think he's done a good job but just not sure how high he can ever go.

Matt (NYC)

What you hear about Chris Jones? Can he fill the shoes for Peyton or Russ?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:27 PM)

Matt: Very good things but to ask him to fill the shoes of a guy like Peyton is a big ask. He's going to have to get some help. Not sure about Russ' decision to leave.

Erik (Memphis)

Hey Dana, love your work! Do you think Josh Pastner has underachieved as head coach of Memhis to this point? Do you think he is the right man for the job going forward? How good SHOULD this team be next season??!!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:28 PM)

Erik: I dunno. I know that's the common theme and I get it based on some of the talent he's had. I wish he could add an older, really good x and o assistant to sort of shepherd him a long because I think it would help.

Chris (Fredonia, NY)

Right now, where do you think the new Big East and the American AC rank among the big conferences? I think at the top the Big East can hang with anyone.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:30 PM)

Chris: Ok, let me think who is where. Definitely think Marquette, Georgetown, Villanova, Butler will be good. Need Providence to take the next step. As for AAC? It's up to Louisville and Connecticut. The rest? Eh.

Phillip Dow (Louisville, KY)

What do you think Richard Pitino will do in his first year in Minnesota? Do you think he makes the tourney?

Bubba (B'ham Alabama)

If John Cena ain't in it, it ain't wrasslin

Dana O'Neil
  (2:31 PM)

Haha, John. As to Phillip's question about Richard: he's got some work to do to change the mindset a bit at Minnesota. I know people question the hire but I also know that Norwood Teague really works hard to find young coaches. That's how he found Shaka Smart.

Dave (Cleveland)

what are your thoughts on Villanova next season? Will the new conference give them enough tests to be ready for the tournament?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:32 PM)

Dave: Sure. There's plenty of good basketball in that new conference and Villanova isn't quite back to the point where it's going to roll through everyone or anyone.

Matt (NYC)

Correction- Dana Louisville is going to the ACC..

Dana O'Neil
  (2:33 PM)

Matt: Not next year. Have to fulfill the football obligation.

Tyler (Laramie, Wyo)

How badly did the NCAA need the NC game to be the game we got on Monday night?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:33 PM)

Tyler: Well it certainly helped deflect the bad attention at the organization but I'm not among the group kvetching about this season. There were tons of upsets, drama, etc.

sad but (Go Blue)

what would you tell the kids at Michigan to convince them to stay together for another year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:34 PM)

To come back and finish what they couldn't this season but that's also a hard sell. If you know a kid has a shot to go, how do you hold him back? I'd admire and adore the ones who hold off but I also undertand why it's so hard.

Ben (Charlotte)

Trey Burke's block on Siva ... foul or clean?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:34 PM)

Ben: Clean from my view.

Tim (LA)

Who do you see making the NCAA tourney next year from the new Big East? 4/5 bid league?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:35 PM)

Tim: Hmm... Villanova, Marquette, Georgetown, Butler. After that... the rest have some work to do, I'd argue.

Brian (Pitt)

Louisville isnt, but ND is going to ACC next year right?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:35 PM)

Brian: Correct. It's football. The Irish didn't have a football obligation so they could get out. Louisville does.

Scott (Washington DC)

Did you watch the McDonald's game? Wiggins and Gordon are freaks of nature. They're going to carry whatever teams they play for next year.

Tom (NM)

Your thoughts on Tark making the HOF, especially this year when the NCAA is getting so much heat.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:37 PM)

Scott: I did not but I've heard that, for sure.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:37 PM)

Tom: Delicous irony, isn't it? I think he deserved to be in the Hall of Fame and I'm glad he finally made it. Hard to see him though. He's such a shell of his once vibrant self.

Tyler (Laramie, Wyo)

Have you met Gorgui Dieng?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:37 PM)

Yes

Coach Calipari (UK)

Will my great Freshman class lead us to the title again next season like the 2012 season?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:38 PM)

THat's the largely held theory, John.

Greg (CT)

Hi Dana:No breaks for the Friars. Now that Ledo has decided to go pro, where do you have them in the BE? They should still be pretty good.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:39 PM)

Greg: Yeah that's not ideal but I still think Ed Cooley has things headed in the right direction. Young team this season. Did pretty well.

Dylan (Florida)

Will Nerlens Noel enter the NBA draft?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:39 PM)

Dylan; Uh yeah.

Michael (Bears)

How good will baylor be next year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:41 PM)

Michael: Well the NIT run is a good one to build on. Obviously losing Jackson hurts, so a bit undeterminted.

Tyler (Laramie, Wyo)

Obvious follow-up. What do you think of Mr. Dieng? ha ha

Dana O'Neil
  (2:41 PM)

I like Gorgui a lot. Smart, thoughtful kid. Has improved his game immensely. A lot to respect.

kristen (philly)

who is getting the better end of the deal- Catholic 7 or the new AAC?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:42 PM)

Kristen: The new Big East will be much better. Stronger teams, more tradition to build on. The new AAC is UConn, Louisville (for a year), Cincinnati and a bunch of others. And UConn and Cincy will leave in 5 seconds if asked.

George (Juarez MX)

What is your honest opinion on Arizona for next year? are they a top 3 team in the country? they have all the pieces to win the NC.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:44 PM)

George: Think they'll be very good and will start top 7 or 8, for sure. Obviously a lot riding on some freshmen to perform but there's enough back to let them mature slowly. Should be very good.

Jon (CT)

Hi Dana, How would you evaluate Ollie's first year on the job? I have to admit, it's quite refreshing and unique to hear a coach claim he's in his dream job. Do you think the Huskies can cause some damage next year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:45 PM)

Jon: Think he did a very good job in an incredibly difficult situation. Would expect UConn to be, after Louisville, the best in the AAC.

Collins (Wichita)

Should Wichita State be exploring it's options to jump to a better conference? The MVC isn't what it used to be...

Dana O'Neil
  (2:46 PM)

Collins: To go where, though? it's got to fit. Besides the program is rock solid. Can pad the schedule with good non conference games if need be.

Brian (Greensboro, NC)

Ron Wellman now head of the selection committee. what do you think of his decisions at Wake for basketball? Good decision or bad decision to keep Bzdelik?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:47 PM)

Brian: Well I'm not a fan of kneejerk reaction and I'm not sure he's had enough time to turn things around. That said, they were awful. Like really awful. And worse, irrelevant. So there's got to be immense progress this year.

Keith (Seattle, WA)

Who is your Preseason Top 5?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:49 PM)

Keith: Well I wish I knew who was/wasn't back... But 1. Kentucky (though w/ reservations since the team is so young), 2. Louisville 3. Michigan State 4. Arizona 5. Duke (but I'll add I could bump Michigan to the top depending on NBA decisions)

Jill (Kansas)

What was your favorite game of this past season? Most memorable?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:50 PM)

Jill: Wow. Tough question. Butler-Gonzaga was awesome. But I'll lean the title game. I thought it was such high caliber play, dramatic, wild stars. had everything.

Charlie (Turlock, Ca)

Iowa is going to win the national championship next season. Not a question. Just thought you might want to know.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:50 PM)

Charlie: Gotcha.

Caitlin (Chicago)

Assuming Payne and Harris stay, Michigan State wins the Big Ten and hang another Final Four banner...possibly a National Championship one as well. Agree?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:51 PM)

Caitlin: Presuming they stay, they will definitley be in the mix for all of the above, absolutely.

Derrin (Plano, TX)

What does it say about the state of Texas basketball when top state recruits like Kaviar Shepher and Keith Frazier would rather play at TCU and SMU, than UT? Is it Sweet 16 or bust for Barnes in 2013-14?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:52 PM)

Derrin: Yeah it's not good. Impossible as it to believe, there is just no juice surrounding Texas. I'm not sure how that happens with a school with that budget, name branding, Kevin Durant... But it has.

rob (los angeles)

What is your gut feeling on whether or not Alex Len enters this years draft? Consensus is that he's a lottery pick, but after watching him all season, I don't think he's ready to face NBA competition. Your thoughts?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:52 PM)

Rob: I agree that he doesn't seem ready but the NBA drafts as much on potential as readiness, so that's what complicates things.

Brad (Gadsden,Alabama)

Dan, Why is a team that lost to Robert Morris in the first round of NIT #1?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:53 PM)

Brad: Because of the freshmen, but I agree with you. Such unproven commodities. I like the fact that at least with this team, there is some experience coming back. But I just can't get all in with Kentucky yet because of the unknown and also because of the amount of guys who are going to want the ball

Garrett (Kansas City)

Should KU be concerned at all with losing their starting lineup? It's the third time it's happened to Bill Self but he never seems to let it trip him up.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:54 PM)

Garrett: I have ceased counting Kansas out forever and always. Every time I think this is the year KU won't be as good, they are. Credit to Bill Self.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Which traditional ACC power will become nationally relevant again first, Maryland or Georgia Tech?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:54 PM)

Tony: Maryland.

Mike (Philly)

Do you think this year and next year we'll see more kids declare for the draft early? It's always a risk, but with seeing the Ware injury does it turn the potential for injury from something in the back of their minds into an overwhelming factor for a lot of college players? It seems like a lot of players will see the injury and the NCAA will be stuck with even abocve average players fearing what happened to Ware.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:55 PM)

MIke: I would hope not, though maybe the injury to Noel would be more likely to trigger such thought. Injuries can happen. It's a huge risk but that doesnt' mean you should bolt before you're ready.

mike (greensboro)

unc is 2nd with dick vitale but 8th in JK article, which side of the top ten would you say they will be.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:55 PM)

Mike: I lean more toward Jason's ranking, mostly because of what else is out there, not to discredit UNC.

Chitownnov23 (Tampa, Florida)

Why is Florida being sold short already for 2013 season. I'm big time Floria fan and I believe preseason or post 2012-13 season people are selling short the Florida Gators. The 2013-14 versions on paper will be the most athletic quickest longest defensive and deepest team top to bottom Billy Donovan has had at Florida. Everybody is just handing the SEC to Kentucky. The SEC overall will be much better and I can see at least 5 if not 6 teams making it to the tournament.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:56 PM)

Simmer down! We haven't even put away the One Shining Moment tape yet. Too early to say a team is being disrespected for 2013-14. Besides think most people have Florida in top 10.

Jill (Kansas)

Dana, how can an elevated court cause an injury like Ware's?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:57 PM)

Jill: It can't. I know he said he jumped so high he was slightly worried about falling off the court, but I don't think that's why it happened. That said, I do worry about someone diving head first off the court and really getting hurt.

Larry (Chapel Hill)

How many more seasons do you believe we'll get to see these guys on the sidelines:Coach K? Jim Boeheim? Roy Williams?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:58 PM)

Larry:Good question. I hope a long time but who knows? I know I'm not asking Boeheim.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:58 PM)

Alright folks. I have to run. Thanks for the questions today and all season. Off to the off season we go...