Chat with Pat Forde
Send your questions now and join Forde in The Show Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (2:09 PM)
Pat is having home internet problems. But he's searching out a better spot to chat from. Hang on. He'll be here in a few minutes!
Pat Forde (2:14 PM)
I'm here! Sorry for the delay. Bring it on
What are your thoughts on Kentucky as of right now? Also would you call tonight against Miss State a must win for the Cats?
Pat Forde (2:16 PM)
Jordan: It's been a bad week for the Cats, losing two games most of us thought they'd win. I'd say this team is still too reliant on Jodie Meeks offensively and needs to develop that third offensive option -- and I think a guy like Darius Miller might need to get a longer look from Billy Gillispie. With an iffy RPI, Kentucky does need to pile up wins. And yes, I'd say tonight at home is a must win.
Hey Pat, Dayton is 20-2, and is only 1 of 2 teams to beat Marquette. Do you see them beating Xavier, winning the A-10 and Dancing come March?
Pat Forde (2:17 PM)
Cody: Hats off to Dayton for a great season so far -- the Flyers have figured out how to win the close ones, which is huge. Still don't have a ton of quality wins, and I don;t think they're as good as Xavier, but I think the Flyers have a very legit chance of making the Dance.
Doug (Westwood, KS)
How about some love for the defending national champs at 7-0 in the Big 12 and winners of 11 in a row?
Pat Forde (2:18 PM)
Doug: Love requested, love received. The Jayhawks are really rounding into form and rising near the top of a pretty uninspiring Big 12.
TheRealTO (Logan, UT)
What is your take on the 21-1 Utah State Aggies?
Pat Forde (2:19 PM)
TO: Love 'em so far. I wrote in Forde Minutes a couple of weeks ago that after Davidson, the Aggies might be the most dominant team in their conference in America -- then they made me look good by coming back to beat Nevada. Great offensive team, and well-coached.
Adam (Louisville, KY)
Hey Forde, long time Dash fan. Do you think more is going to be made of UConn's win over the Cards last night than should? I mean it was close game until the second half, and that was with only T-Will showing up to play.
Pat Forde (2:21 PM)
Adam: A lot is going to be made of UConn's win, and justifiably. That was really impressive -- probably the single most impressive performance of the season to me. It was only close for about 16 minutes, then UConn blew the lid off and kept it off the entire second half. And the reason why only TWill showed up for Louisville is because the other guys were outplayed by better players. Give UConn credit.
Pat you realize that Manny Harris' elbow came when Michigan was up with 19 minutes left on the road? It was not malicious or excessive, it was a normal basketball play. Don't be so critical of Beilein. Also tell Jay Bilas to cool it.
Pat Forde (2:23 PM)
Steve: I love John Beilein, but I still can't excuse that elbow. Regardless of tiime and score, it was not normal basketball -- it was excessive aggressiveness. And when excessive aggressiveness meets another player's nose, the elbow swinger has got a problem. It was nowhere near as bad as Zack Novak's elbow, but it was not clean play.
Pat, in looking at Kenpom stats I noticed he has completely droped RPI because he felt that it is a poor indicator of predicting the outcome of a game, why does ESPN continue to use it?
Pat Forde (2:24 PM)
John: We use it because we're not trying to predict game outcomes; we're trying to decide how to rank teams and who is most deserving of playing in the postseason. It may not suit Ken Pomeroy's interests, but it is a useful tool for the NCAA Selection Committee and everyone else with an interest in trying to project the field of 65 and beyond.
How much does Patty Mills injury affect the Bracketbuster matchup between St. Mary's and Utah State?
Pat Forde (2:26 PM)
That's a huge injury and very disappointing for college basketball fans -- especially those who haven't had the pleasure of watching Mills play in person. I saw him in the NCAA Tournament last year and he is amazingly quick. Now he's improved his outside shot, which makes him really hard to guard. I think he's a sure-fire pro and I hope he returns to full health this season. In the meantime, that Bracketbuster game has lost some luster.
Joshua (Carnesville, GA)
Opinion on UGA and Knight? Does UGA need to hurry up and get this done?
Pat Forde (2:27 PM)
Joshua: Bob Knight's people are calling. Georgia isn't answering. At least that's my sense of it right now, and I don't blame UGA. Great coach, but his last Final Four was 17 years ago and last national title was 22 years ago. His race is run.
Jimmy (chicago Illinois)
I know this a tough question to ask but as of today who is your final four?
Pat Forde (2:30 PM)
Jimmy: That IS a tough question to ask. I can tell you this -- as of right now my top four seeds are UConn, UNC, OU and Duke. So in a tournament without upsets, I'd take them as my Final Four. The other teams I think are capable include: Pitt, Louisville, Wake, Marquette, Michigan State (maybe) and Memphis (maybe). But nobody win's any titles on Feb. 3rd.
Jonathan: (Memphis, Tn)
Do the Memphis Tigers have a legitimate shot at the national title this season?
Pat Forde (2:31 PM)
Jonathan: National title might be a bit much. But a shot at a Final Four? Not out of the question.
Do you want to admit now that you were wrong and Penn State is for real?
Pat Forde (2:31 PM)
Tim: Getting closer to it, yes.
Why hasn't UCLA performed to expectations this season?
Pat Forde (2:33 PM)
Keith: For one thing because expectations were really high. For another, I think the Bruins obviously miss everything Kevin Love game them last season, and Jrue Holiday hasn't played great yet -- good, but not great. I still watch UCLA play that plodding pick-and-roll offense and sometimes wonder where the points are going to come from. But the defense remains excellent.
Mac (Woodside, CA)
Who do you think has been the most impressive freshman to date?
Pat Forde (2:34 PM)
Mac: I am very impressed by Isaiah Thomas of Washington. And Willie Warren of OU. And, after a slow start, Tyreke Evans. But the most impressive freshman to me is Seth Curry, averaging 21 per game at Liberty and continuing the family tradition (big bro is Steph) of being criminally under-recruited.
If you had to pick one player from each of the big six conferences that you found most entertaining to watch, who would those six be?
Pat Forde (2:38 PM)
Tom: Now that's a great question. If entertaining is different than "best player," I guess I'd go with the following -- Big East Terrence Williams (SportsCenter dunks almost every game); ACC Gerald Henderson (see above); SEC Jodie Meeks (great shooters are fun to watch); Big 12 Blake Griffin (though only because AJ Abrams is in a shooting slump); Big Ten Robbie Hummel (when healthy); and Pac-10 James Harden.
If Missouri gets in to the tourney can't they win a game or even two? These team is really athletic, well coached, and can shoot the 3...
Pat Forde (2:40 PM)
Will: I've watched Mizzou enough this year to know the Tigers can win any game or lose any game, can come from 20 down or from 20 ahead, and are amazingly adept at keeping both teams in the game. The pressure and unorthodox style would make them a tough out for teams unused to facing that style. But I think Missouri is a very difficult team to predict from game to game or even moment to moment.
At selection and seeding time, will the committee consider that MSU hasn't played much of the season with their starting five and are considerable stronger team when healthy?
Pat Forde (2:42 PM)
Tom: Injuries and illnesses are taken into consideration by the committee -- if the team is 100 percent or close to it at tournament time. Fortunately for the Spartans, Raymar Morgan has a month to recuperate from walking pneumonia, and we know about some of the early-season injuries.
Do you think Marquette is for real? When I say for real I mean a final four contender? I think overlooking three senior guards this day and age is a mistake.
Pat Forde (2:44 PM)
Pat: I agree with most of your premise -- three senior guards is a wonderful place to start. And remember, Marquette was one basket away from the Sweet Sixteen last year. But I also remember Marquette being mauled inside by some teams capable of exploiting it there, so I can't quite get fully onboard for a Final Four run. At least not yet. Let's see how the Eagles do against UConn and Louisville first.
Adam: (Raleigh, NC)
Hey Pat do you think the ncsu wolfpack can turn it around and win enough games to make the ncaa tournament? And if the season is a disappointment do you see Sidney Lowe lasting much longer as the head coach?
Pat Forde (2:46 PM)
Adam: I know NCSU is playing better and really has no bad losses, but it's awfully tough to overcome a 2-5 start in a league as good as the ACC. As for Lowe's future: I don't know. NCSU fans didn't think Herb Sendek was good enough (how's that working out?). So they probably think that doubly about Lowe.
Weird season for the Zags. Pre-Season Top 10, as high as #4, and looked liked they belonged as a National Championship contender in an OT loss to Uconn. Then the Wheels came off for a 5 game stretch. Now they are back to playing well and could conceivably head into the tourney as a 3-4 seed. What do you make of the Zags?
Pat Forde (2:49 PM)
Brian: That's a very accurate summation of Gonzaga's season to date. I've been high on them, given up on them and now trying to decide whether they deserve renewed respect. I love the talent on that team but question the recent March track record and wonder whether the Zags play tight at times. Remember, until Patty Mills got hurt they were being handled in their own gym by St. Mary's.
How long will it take Indiana to become a contender again?
Pat Forde (2:50 PM)
Dustin: Right now the Hoosiers appear to be light years away. But if anyone can get it turned around it will be Tom Crean. He just needs better players. A lot of them. I'm guessing IU can be back in the NCAAs in 2011.
Illinois is having a great bounce back year, but they have struggled on offense at times. Do you see them making a run in the Tourny?
Pat Forde (2:52 PM)
Brian: That 36-point performance against Minnesota was horrific. Even if it was primarily a bad night at the office against a very good defense, I have a hard time seeing a team that offensively deficient making a run. But I salute the Illini for surprising us this year.
Arizona just came off some impressive wins, do you think they have enough gas to make a run and make the ncaa tourney as a contender?
Pat Forde (2:54 PM)
Keith: Ever since Budinger got his mug stepped on, Arizona has been playing with passion and purpose. But the Wildcats still need to do some work on the road to get into the NCAAs.
Apart from the almighty Big East, the power conference seems to bee the ACC. Even with UNC being arguably the most talented team in the nation, do you see a Duke or Wake possibly coming out of the ACC as champs and even possibly going further than the Tar Heels in the tournament?
Pat Forde (2:56 PM)
Lawrence: The ACC has three really good teams and maybe four, if Clemson can keep playing at a high level -- the game vs. Duke tomorrow will be very telling, I think. I still think UNC is the class of the league, but I think there are three teams from the ACC that could go into Atlanta for the league tourney thinking about winning it, and then into the NCAAs thinking Final Four.
Pat, was just reading the Forde Minutes about the michigan flailing elbows. What are your thoughts on the Krabbenhoft knock down screen of Lewis Jackson? In my book, he was just lucky the ref's didn't see that the way the replays showed it. I would have thrown him out and not just because I'm a Purdue fan.
Pat Forde (2:57 PM)
Alan: I agree completely. In fact, I meant to mention that and forgot. Information overload. But that was a cheap play by Krabbenhoft -- a guy I normally like to watch.
UConn dismantled Louisville last night, if they beat Marquette at Marquette can anyone else beat them on their remaining schedule?
Pat Forde (2:58 PM)
Seamus: Pittsburgh will give the Huskies a battle as well, and UConn still has to play the Panthers twice.
Dave (Flagstaff, AZ)
Pat, can you endorse or eliminate the rumor or Mark Few coming to Tucson? It just seems too perfect for it to be true.
Pat Forde (2:59 PM)
Dave: I can neither endorse nor eliminate. I think he'd be a very attractive candidate but don't know the interest level on either side. The rumors have been churning for weeks on that job: Izzo, Tubby, Few, Jamie Dixon, etc., etc. We won't know anything substantive for a while.
Hey Pat! What are your thoughts on the MVC? If Northern Iowa can finish the regular season with a 3 or 4 game lead over the rest of the conference, can they get an at large bid? Or is the MVC going to strictly be a 1 bid league this year?
Pat Forde (3:02 PM)
Jason: The Panthers have been great in league play, but I'd feel a lot better about their at-large chances if they'd had some better wins out of conference. Losing to Wyoming and both Iowa schools didn't help. This still looks like a one-bid league to me, which should make the conference tourney really intense.
Are there any SEC teams that can compete with the "Big Boys"
Pat Forde (3:03 PM)
Bill: So far my answer is no. Haven't seen anyone consistently demonstrate an ability to play high-level basketball this season. The league is way, way down this year.
Anthony Grant (Richmond)
How long until I'm coaching the Terps?
Pat Forde (3:03 PM)
Anthony: What if you're coaching the Bulldogs or Crimson Tide instead?
Pat, Is there anything the NCAA can do to prevent early firings like at Alabama and Georgia? It doesn't help the players and it's not like it helps recruiting, as the new coach won't be hired until April anyway. Dave from Flagstaff's question about Few brought this up, as I can't stand hearing coaching rumors in early February. I just think they're hollow topics.
Pat Forde (3:06 PM)
Bous: Good points. The Arizona thing is a legit topic because that job IS open now, as are Georgia's and Alabama's. I agree that mid-season firings are a bad thing. I wonder if there were exacerbating off-court factors at Alabama. As for Georgia, my guess is one of two things spurred the timing: 1) Damon Evans was sure he wanted Felton gone and didn't want another fluke SEC tourney run to cloud the issue; 2) Georgia and Bama might both be interested in the same coach and the Bulldogs didn't want to give Bama a six-week head start on him (i.e., Anthony Grant, perhaps?).
Sitting in Class but Paying Attention to the Correct Professor
Forde...How about some Ivy love? With a healthy team can Cornell shoot itself a first round upset come tourney time?
Pat Forde (3:08 PM)
I like your priorities, son. But don't blame me at report card time. As for Cornell: the Big Red clearly are the class of a weak league and have been playing great since Christmas. A first-round upset would depend on matchups, so I don't know.
Jay Wright (Philly)
How am I doing with this group?
Pat Forde (3:10 PM)
Jay: Getting better all the time. I thought your team was way overrated most of the year, but beating Pitt made a statement. The next four will be key -- Providence, Cuse, WVU and Marquette. Win two and I'll be impressed.
Jay (Oakland, CA)
Hey Pat, just read your Forde Minutes column, and I take a little issue with your top Freshmen section. You left out Washington's Isaiah Thomas, who has been blowing out the more hyped Pac-10 Freshmen both in statistical productivity and more importantly, W's! What's your take on him?
Pat Forde (3:11 PM)
Jay: He's been terrific. Now go back and re-read that section: I was updating my preseason top 10 freshmen. I probably should have included him then, but since I didn't I couldn't insert him now.
HI Pat the Canes play has seemed to slip a bit lately are they still in the NCAA tournament do you think?
Pat Forde (3:13 PM)
Tony: The Canes have played their way onto the bubble the past three games, no doubt. Winning at Kentucky and BC will help, but there are a lot of weak opponents early and those don't help. I'd say Miami needs to rally in the final month to reassert itself.
Dash (Duluth MN)
Could UWGB get an at large bid with wins over UMass and Butler... also don't you think GB deserved a better team in bracketbuster than Long Beach St?
Pat Forde (3:15 PM)
Dash: I think Green Bay could have a case if it finishes strong. The remaining games are winnable, but five of the last seven are on the road. Still, if it can end the regular season on an 11-game winning streak that would at least command some attention.
Lou (Bethesda, MD)
Pat, do you think PSU's win at MSU could end up being a progam-defining W? PSU always found ways to lose those games previously (almost did this one too, with FT's), but they finally willed themselves to win.
Pat Forde (3:17 PM)
Lou: It was a huge one, no doubt about it. It's taken Ed DeChellis a while to get to this point (this is year six I believe) but Penn State is in position to break through.
Ashley Judd (lexington/hollywood)
If the Cats are knocked out of the 1st round of the tournament this year do you think Billy Clyde goes to the hot seat? Also, will you go on a date with me?
Pat Forde (3:19 PM)
Ashley: I thought you'd never ask. As for Billy Clyde: It's too early to speculate on when the seat starts heating. Let's see what happens over the next 7-8 weeks first. And I'd say a date request from Ashley Judd is a fine place to call it a day. Thanks for all the questions (more than a thousand today!) and talk to you all next week.