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!
Buzzmaster (11:01 AM)
We've got Dick Vitale!
Dick Vitale (11:02 AM)
I had a very exciting game last night with FSU and UNC. Anyone that doesn't believe that the games aren't important during the regular season are wacky. Some of these games are the difference between whether you get in or not. The regular season does count.
Eric (Norfolk, VA)
Who do you think should be ACC COY? Does Roy Williams have any shot? What he has been able to do with this young team is remarkable!
Dick Vitale (11:03 AM)
Roy has done a phenomenal job. I think a guy that that you have to look at deeply is Clemson's Brad Brownell. He's done a great job.
Mark (Erie, PA)
What has happened to Texas? Have they hit a wall? Does it look anything like the collapse from last year?
Dick Vitale (11:04 AM)
Mark, you go through little periods of little slumps. They'll bounce back. They have a game with Baylor on Saturday. They have to come back and get a win. Baylor is one of the disappointments this year. They need to find a way to win it.
Ray A. (San Francisco, CA)
After last nights thrashing at the hands of New Mexico, how much trouble is BYU in without Brandon Davies?
Dick Vitale (11:05 AM)
I talked about it on SportsCenter last night that I think it can cost them a No. 1 seed. They were headed for a No. 1 seed if they ran the table. But any time you lose a guy like that, it effects rhythm, timing. Especially this late in the season and someone that contributes like he does.
Is Notre Dame a championship caliber team this year?
Dick Vitale (11:06 AM)
Absolutely. Mike Brey would by my national coach of the year. Any time you have kids like Abromaitis and Hansbrough, they have a great feel on how to play. I think they can beat anybody in America on any night. I think they're one of the teams that can win 6 in a row.
JC (North Carolina)
Are you excited at all about the Duke-UNC game Saturday? Just a little bit??
Dick Vitale (11:07 AM)
I'm not excited at all, because we're not going to be there! Just kidding. It's a great game. It's the best rivalry in any sport. I don't care what anyone else says. It's great. If you look at what's at stake now, it will be a great game. I don't think UNC would have ever dreamed with the way they started that they control their destiny about if they win the ACC regular season. But never, never, underestimate Duke and Coach K.
Jason (Flint, MI)
Hi Dickie V! Prediction for the huge Michigan-MSU matchup in Ann Arbor this Saturday? Is the winner in the NCAA Tournament?
Dick Vitale (11:08 AM)
I think they're both going to get in. I think Michigan has played itself in. MSU has been one of the mystery teams this year. But Izzo has talent on the floor. This time of the year, you really want to have a positive win on your resume. I talked to Tim Hardaway Sr about his son and he's really proud of his son.
What are your thoughts on the job Mick Cronin has done at Cincinnati?
Dick Vitale (11:09 AM)
I think he's done a phenomenal job. He's a workaholic, a gym rat. The win over Marquette, how big was that? The win over Georgetown. Great wins. If you take the best 37 at large teams, there's no way you can deny the Big East champ and 10 others. I think we'll see 11 in the NCAA tournament.
Matt (Morgantown, WV)
Do you see the Mountaineers starting to gain momentum and maybe winning the Big East Championship. Also how far do you see the Mountaineers going in the NCAA's? Big EAST IS BEAST!
Dick Vitale (11:11 AM)
I think any of those 11 teams can win the Big East championship. It's probably a tougher road to win that than the NCAA tournament. But the pressure's not the same, because all 11 of those teams know that one loss won't crush them. It's a different kind of pressure. Who can count out any of those teams? A lot of emotion. A lot of talent. Bob Huggins knows how to get the most out of his team.
If UNC beats Duke on Saturday, would that make them a solid #2 or will they have a shot for a #1 seed? Thanks!
Dick Vitale (11:12 AM)
I don't think they have a shot at No. 1, because the early losses hurt them. But as a No. 2, they have a shot. Pitt, OSU, Kansas and I would go Duke as the four No. 1 seeds, if you're looking at the total body of work for the entire year. Conference tournament play will play a major factor in the seeding.
Jon (Fairfield, CT)
Dick, another year, another Bo Ryan led team that has exceeded expectations in the regular season. How far do you see the Badgers going in the NCAA tourney?
Dick Vitale (11:13 AM)
They're a team that you don't want to get them. You're in for a dog fight. It will be in the 60s and it will be tough. You have two of the most underrated players nationally. They form a great tandem together.
Dickie, do you think BYU will still win the MWC tourney? If so where do they end up in the field of 64?
Dick Vitale (11:14 AM)
I think they can regroup and win the conference tournament, but it won't be easy. The MWC is one of the toughest conferences in the country. But isn't it great that a university put rules and regulations and integrity above winning? I think they should be saluted for that.
kevin doyle (long island ny)
How about Lanvin for coach of the year?
Dick Vitale (11:15 AM)
He's in the conversation. But in the Big East, there are several guys that are in the hunt. Mike Brey, like I said. Steve has done a good job. What he's done in recruiting and has gotten the buzz back for St. John's basketball. He's been a major factor in creating that excitement.
How did 'Nova fall apart so completely?
Dick Vitale (11:16 AM)
The toughness of the conference. They're losing to nationally ranked teams. Highly rated clubs. Not playing up to the level of defense they played earlier. They relied on perimeter players. But Jay Wright is a terrific coach and should be able to get his team ready for the tournament.
Mark (Erie, PA)
Do you see anyone in the country beating Ohio State if the Buckeyes played the way they did start to finish in Happy Valley?
Dick Vitale (11:17 AM)
No. Right now they're my pick to win it all. They have all of the parts. They have great coaching. Inside. Outside. Wing players. Biebler puts on the show hitting threes. Any time you have those components, they're a tough team.
Dusty (St. Louis)
What would be something that would keep Kansas from winning a national championship?
Dick Vitale (11:19 AM)
When you look at Kansas right now, I love the way the Morris guys are playing. A little more consistency in the level of perimeter play. Depth is a concern. When you start getting teams into the Sweet 16 and Elite 8, those kinds of things really become important.
Dusty (St. Louis)
7 straight conference titles for Bill Self and the Jayhawks. Last coach to do this in a major conference was John Wooden. How impressive is this?
Dick Vitale (11:20 AM)
It's very impressive. Any time you play at a high level like that and be that consistent.
who do you feel is the deepest team in the country?
Dick Vitale (11:21 AM)
Wow. Good question. That's a really good question. When you look at Duke, Carolina, Kansas, OSU, they really don't use their bench. You know Pitt is a good deep team. Keep an eye on UCLA too. They're starting to play well defensively. Nobody's talking about them.
How fun is it to watch Jimmer Fredette? Think he's POY?
Dick Vitale (11:22 AM)
I really do think he is, even though he had a poor game last night in the loss. If I'm voting today, it's him. Nolan Smith is No. 2. But I give the edge to Jimmer Fredette.
kevin doyle (long island ny)
Don't you love the intensity that Seth Greenberg's tems play with?
Dick Vitale (11:23 AM)
He has a passion and intensity. That place was in bedlam after they beat Duke. But then they laid a bomb against Boston College. You have to learn how to win. You can celebrate, but you have to come back and win.
Kevin O (Manhattan, KS)
How do you feel about Kansas State's chances of going deep in the tournament as a pretty low seed?
Dick Vitale (11:25 AM)
They came out of the gate and everyone had them projected top 3 in the country, but they were a disappointment. But then all of a sudden, they've been a completely different team. Frank Martin deserves a lot of credit for what he's done. And Jacob Pullen since about the mid season has been the player we thought he was. I would not want to play them in the tournament. If they get a 7-8 seed and play one of the top seeds in the second round, they'll be a tough tough out.
More disapointing season for teams heading to the NIT? Mizzou, Michigan, MSU, or someone else?
Dick Vitale (11:26 AM)
MSU. The other two aren't really major disappointments. But Michigan State had some turmoil and really hurt this club. They don't have the same personnel that they did when they were a top 2 team going into the season.
Ryan (San Diego)
If SDSU matches up with BYU again dont you think the SDSU bigs would dominate the paint? BYU has no presence down there anymore
Dick Vitale (11:27 AM)
Having SDSU being beaten by them twice and now BYU not having Davies, that would be a tough game for BYU.
Jeries (West Lafayette, IN)
How deep can Purdue make it in the tourney with the their brand of great D?
Dick Vitale (11:28 AM)
Not only great defense, but their overall play is great as well. Matt Painter's kids have a great cerebral understanding of what a great shot is. And you think of, wow, what could have been with Robbie Hummel. You could be talking about a national championship. But they still could.
If Florida State plays like they did last night can they be a bracket buster vs a 1 or 2 seed in Round 2 of the NCAAT?
Dick Vitale (11:29 AM)
I was so impressed last night. We talked flying back after the game, about the passion. But they need the same consistency when they play Virginia, Virginia Tech. It was such a clutch, clutch performance by them.
Johnny (Las vegas)
Dick is it just me or is the sec one of the weakest major confrence ever i dont see any of them making the round of 16 including florida who lost to jacksonville on there home floor thoughts on the sec?
Dick Vitale (11:30 AM)
I disagree with that. Florida. Don't underestimate Kentucky on a neutral floor. Vanderbilt is a very good basketball team. If you're talking ACC, I would agree.
kevin doyle (long island ny)
Can you give us a sleeper pick for the upcoming tournament?
Dick Vitale (11:31 AM)
When you talk about sleepers, I would take one of those teams from the Big East. Cincinnati, Marquette, Georgetown. Those middle teams in the major conferences. Or a team like George Mason. They're a quality basketball team.
jackson (Salt Lake City)
Dickie, what does Nebraska have to do to go dancing?
Dick Vitale (11:33 AM)
Very simple. Win. Win some more games. That's the simplest answer. It would be a nice way to close out their era in the Big 12. It's a tough situation, it's a football school and they're trying to build up their basketball. But Texas was a big win. I've seen some good things happening with Colorado and Nebraska. They're building teams for the future.
Dick you mentioned something about a fund raiser would you reminds again?
Dick Vitale (11:34 AM)
Very simple. I have the annual Dick Vitale Gala. Go to DickVitaleOnline.com. We're going to be honoring two of the winningest programs - Kentucky and UNC. John Calipari and Roy Williams. We're raising $1 million for pediatric cancer. Go to my website for the details. There is a competition between Kentucky and UNC to raise the most money through their fans. Go to ESPN.com/DickVitale and you can see the contest.
Dick Vitale (11:36 AM)
Nothing means more to me than bringing a smile to a childs face. They should be playing, not getting chemo. These kids are battling brain cancer and everything else and their parents are praying for a miracle. I've met so many courageous youngsters. Beautiful kids and they have such challenges.
Dick Vitale (11:38 AM)
Thank you for that question. That means so much to me. Now we're entering the best month of all in March Madness. There are no three weeks in sports that captures America like that. These kids are playing for the name on the front of the jersey. I'm like a little kid in the candy store, even with this my 32nd year at ESPN. I go to spring training baseball games and I have players and fans coming up to me to talk about basketball. I'm so blessed and thankful to be a part of it all of these years. Some of the great regular season games I've seen - Duke-FSU, Texas-UConn, UNC-FSU. I think about all of those games. People ask me if I get tired of it? Never. The enthusiasm and energy. I still have the spirit inside me.
Buzzmaster (11:38 AM)