Chat with Dick Vitale
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Dick Vitale stops by to chat some college basketball.
Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style.
Send your questions now and join Vitale Thursday at 11 a.m. ET!
Dick Vitale (11:01 AM)
I have been very lucky to have had Connecticut-Texas and Duke-Florida State for my last two games. Don't tell my bosses but it is like stealing money, baby!
Scott (Charlottesville, VA)
Hey Dickie V! You were talking about the glory days of the ACC during the broadcast last night... When, and if so how long, do you think the conference will be considered one of the elite? How many ACC teams do you predict will make the big dance? We miss you in C'ville, you've got to come do a game from the best new arena in the land, JPJ baby!!!
Dick Vitale (11:03 AM)
The ACC runs n cycles and the league has suffered a few blows with kids leaving early like Favors at Georgia Tech, Davis at UNC, etc. They have such great visibility and tradition, so the league will be back. I think somehow, someway they will get at least three into the big dance.
Matthew (Madison, WI)
I'm annoyed that people are talking as though Duke's season is over or that FSU exposed something about Duke no one knew. Everyone knows that Duke shoots lots of three's and has trouble scoring in the low post. Thata??s not a secret. All these Duke haters need to realize that while their team may have won last night, they're going to lose, soon! And because Duke won't fall to more than 5 or 6 in the rankings, when all these other teams lose and they will lose, Duke will be #1 again! Make no mistake, Duke is still the best team in the nation, ita??s just now they actually need to prove it!
Dick Vitale (11:06 AM)
I think people knew they are limited on the interior and that they rely so much on the trifecta. Duke went from first in the nation to out of first in the ACC as BC is 3-0 in the league. All I can say is ouch for Virginia on Saturday.
How does Kansas State get back on track after losing consecutive conference games?
Dick Vitale (11:07 AM)
They have to get their full cast, when Kelly comes back that will help. They need to play with togetherness and get some leadership. Let me tell you, Colorado is putting something good together as Tad Boyle has done a nice job. Alec Burks is an underrated player who makes some noise.
Joe Enright (Rochester, NY)
How come everyone always hates on the 'Cuse for not playing a road game till late in the schedule when they played a true road game before ESPN's Team, Duke? Duke's first road game was last night and we all know the result of that.
Dick Vitale (11:09 AM)
I have a lot of respect for Syracuse, We tease them for not leaving but they are a legit contender to win it all and we have sungs Jim Boeheim's praises all season. That was an impressive performance against St. John's last night.
HCB (Washington, DC)
If the pool of 65 was being chosen today who would be your overall #1 and the other 3 #1s?
Dick Vitale (11:11 AM)
It is 68 this season. Ohio State is number one right now, and Kansas, Syracuse and Duke or Pittsburgh would be the other teams. It will change with so much time left and Monday's game between the 'Cuse and Pittsburgh will be a big one. It is too early to talk about number ones.
Chris (North Carolina)
Why isn't Barnes living up to the hype?
Dick Vitale (11:12 AM)
I think you have to be patient. He is averagign double figures. Everybody wants instant gratification and he is starting for one of the premier programs in America. He will eventually be a superstar.
First of all I just want to say I hope the Tampa Bay Rays are going to keep winning with all of the trades and free agents players we lost. Now to basketball, is FSU in the ncaa tourny projection after the Duke win?
Dick Vitale (11:13 AM)
That is the kinde of win you need. When you look at the resume, that was a major win. They are not going to get many more in the ACC because the league is a bit down. Baylor was the biggest win before last night. When it is all said and done, I believe the Noles will be in the big dance for the third straight season.
What do you think of Vandy's chances to challenge Kentucky for the SEC title, and what do you think of our potential to make a run into the second weekend of the NCAA tourney?
Dick Vitale (11:15 AM)
I think it is wide open. Vandy has quality players like Jeffrey Taylor and Jenkins. Kevin Stallings is one of the most underrated coaches in America and that was a good win over Georgia last night.
HCB (Washington, DC)
Is this sequence correct, in your mind, of the best 5 conferences in America right now: #1 Big East #2 Big 10 #3 Big 12 #4 SEC #5 ACC? Why or why not
Dick Vitale (11:16 AM)
That is the order I have. The Big East has had some teams play better than expected like Notre Dame, Cincinnati, etc. The Big Ten was supposed to be number one but Michigan State has been a bit disappointing, Purdue lost Robbie Hummel.
Whats up DickieV! Avid follower of your twitter feed here. I must say, i have been saying this entire year, Duke is OVERRATED. They were not the most talented team last year and returned virtually everyone so i understand the #1 ranking. But they have played NOBODY! As a Syracuse fan, it hurts for every analyst to say the Orange have played a cake schedule, while previously the only time duke played a road game was at Greensboro.
Dick Vitale (11:18 AM)
They played Michigan State, Kansas Satte, Marquette, Butler...give me a break. They lost one of the best players in the nation in Kyrie Irving. They are a different team without Irving. When you have Singler, Smith and Irving you can spread the court. Your comment is not valid in my book. Last night is indicative of the anti-Duke fans, who were waiting for a loss.
Can Jimmer Fredette win POY when practically noone gets to watch him? (Thank goodness BYU joins the WCC next year and gets away from the MTN. network!)
Dick Vitale (11:19 AM)
Yes, he can definitely win it. He is closing the gap on Kemba Walker of Connecticut, who was the early-season leader. You can't hide 47 and 39-point games against solid opponents.
Hey there mr. Vitale, When are the Illini going to get back to being elite? Ever?
Dick Vitale (11:21 AM)
They had great recruits coming in last year and they have been a little disappointing when losing to Penn State and Illinois-Chicago. I thought so much of them when I saw them in NY. They have to learn how to win away from Champaign. There is still time this season to make more noise.
What's your take on Villanova this year? They seemed to have really put it together the last month with Corey Stokes and Mouph stepping up big lately.
Dick Vitale (11:22 AM)
Jay Wright's team has lost one game, to Tennessee in the big apple. I like their play on the perimeter. Stokes and Fisher have been terrific and guard play is so essential in college hoops. They are a well-coached team and they will be in the hunt to make it to Houston. That was a quality win over Louisville last night, pulling away in the second half.
Pete (Madison, WI)
Dick, you called the first major college basketball game for ESPN back on December 5, 1979, Wisconsin at DePaul. What do you remember, if anything, about the first game you called?
Dick Vitale (11:24 AM)
I remember it well, Ray Meyer had a phenomenal team with Mark Aguirre and they were challenged by the Badgers and Wes Matthews, whose won Weskey is in the NBA now. I walked in at 630, about an houre before the game. I had no clue about production meetings and they were looking for me all day. Some people may still say I have no clue. I did not know how big ESPN would become.
Giag (Oakland, CA)
A year after losing Omar Samhan, Saint Mary's is averaging more points in the paint than last year. Their offense ranks in the top top in several categories. Dellavedova and McConnell both have an A/T ratio around 3/1. Do you think this team is poised for a Sweet 16 repeat this year? Does Saint Mary's have a chance at an at-large bid? or do they have to win the WCC Tournament to go dancing?
Dick Vitale (11:26 AM)
St, Mary;s is very underrated at this point and there is not enough talk about them. Randy Bennett is one terrific coach. Next year when BYU comes in the league will get more exposure. Certainly Gonzaga has received a lot of love. St. Mary's is capable of big things.
Divkie V is San Diego St. still being undefeated a fluke or are they the real deal
Dick Vitale (11:27 AM)
When we say real deal, I still look at them as a Sweet 16 team. They are talented and they will have an outstanding year. Sweet 16 is my gut feeling. Based on what I have observed, they find ways to win close games like last night.
Dick Vitale (11:28 AM)
Steve Fisher should be commended for creating a great basketball climate. There was no interest there a few yeas back., He has done a solid job. San Diego is one of my favorite places.
Mike B (NYC)
How bout some love for those Fairfield Stags? Sporting an 11 game win streak and the nation's second best scoring defense should put them in good shape for making the Tourney in March, right?
Dick Vitale (11:32 AM)
The MAAC doesn't always get respect until tourney time...I can remember when Siena made some noise. Fairfield has a good leader in Ed Cooley, the former BC assistant and this team can make some noise. First it has to get in as I feel the league will probably only get one bid.
We are seeing a prety good Buckeye team each game...but how far do you think they can go into the tournament?
Dick Vitale (11:34 AM)
Ohio State has had some close calls lately. Thad Matta has all the pieces in place. He has veterans like Jon Diebler, William Buford and David Lighty. He has the premier diaper dandy in Jared Sullinger, who has been a real force inside. I think the Buckeyes have a legit shot to make it to the Final Four and maybe even cut down the nets.
Cameron (Atlanta, GA)
Where does Jimmer Fredette rank on your top players in the country right now?
Dick Vitale (11:36 AM)
Absolutely. When I do my Super Seven midseason All-Solid Gold team, Fredette, Kemba Walker, Kyle Singler, Sullinger, Ja Juan Johnson, Nolan Smith are among the creme de la creme.
What is your take on Mark Emmert, an the way he commented on kanter to seeth
Dick Vitale (11:38 AM)
I just wish the NCAA would be more consistent with its rulings. I have talked about the Kanter situation many times. We are in the business of helping kids who want to be student-athletes and Kanter wanted to be in school. His father was willing to repay the $33,000 that was deemed the extra benefit when he played in Turkey. This was not like Cam Newton's dad shopping his son around.
Hannah (Berkeley, CA)
What is the deal with all of the violations and suspensions this year in college sports (basketball and football)?!?! Is there something the NCAA can do? Stricter punishments?
Dick Vitale (11:39 AM)
I am disapointed when I read these negative stories. They clearly hurt the sport and athletes have to take responsibiity for their actions.
Jonathan (Houston, TX)
Why is Texas A&M being basically ignored by the national media and ESPN? Mark Turgeon is one of the nation's best coaches with the job he does with average level talent.
Dick Vitale (11:41 AM)
Turgeon has done an outstanding job and the Aggies do deserve more love. The game against Missouri this weekend should be very interesting. I like Kris Middleton, who has been unsung and deserves some more ink, baby! When you say A&M is ignored by the media, the team is ranked in the polls, so I am not so sure they are totally ignored.
what do you think the out come of the duke vs. Virginia game will be since duke has just suffered this pretty large upset in the ACC?
Dick Vitale (11:41 AM)
I wish Virginia good luck. Ouch. Tony Bennett will face an angry Duke team.
Coach Vitale what do you think of the rebuilding job Mick Cronin has done at Cincinnati?
Dick Vitale (11:43 AM)
The Bearcats stumbled at Villanova but this is a team that has fared well this season and Yancy Gates is a big man worth watching. Cronin's club will win some games and surprise some people in the Big East. Because the league is so strong they will also lose some games too.
scott hoffman (janesville ,wi)
how many teams will the big ten get in the big dance in march?
Dick Vitale (11:44 AM)
I think the Big Ten will probably get six in. Ohio State, Purdue, Michigan State, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota. Northwestern has a shot to make it seven. By the way, congratulations to Bill Carmody on his contract extension.
Dick Vitale (11:48 AM)
Thanks to all of the fans for tweeting to me, congratulating me on my contract extension. ESPN has been a second family to me. Games like last night keep me young and energized, walking into a building with that atmosphere which was so special. I have a love affair with the college hoop fans baby! I have been married for 40 years and my life at ESPN has been like a mistress for 32. I have to take a TO, baby! See you next week. I hope you catch the Vandy-Tennessee game on Saturday as Gameday will be there.