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 (11:03 AM)
First off, this is an exciting weekend for me because I'm holding my 6th annual Dick Vitale Gala this weekend. We hope to raise over $1 million for pediatric cancer. We have all the Final Four coaches and a couple of Heisman Trophy winners attending. We sold out so I know it's going to be a wonderful event. For the sixth straight year we are probably going to go over $1 million dollars.
Matthew (Madison, WI)
Hey Dickie V, which do you think is the bigger game next year, Duke/OSU or UNC/UK and who do think will win each?
Dick Vitale (11:05 AM)
Well UNC-Kentucky is going to be a major game because both teams should be ranks preseason No. 1 and No. 2. I would be surprised if UNC isn't ranked No. 1. Both Duke and OSU will be ranked preseason top 5. All I know is that we are going to see two really intense good basketball games.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Even though you cover College Basketball, Who do you think will be in the NBA Finals?
Dick Vitale (11:07 AM)
Before the conference finals started, I picked the Heat and the Mavs. LeBron and Dirk are amazing players and they've both showed it so far in their respective series. I see a seven game series between the Heat-Bulls and the Mavs winning in six.
do you think that VCU has a chip on their sholder now and will prove them selves once again?
Dick Vitale (11:09 AM)
Well they lost quit a bit but Shaka Smart is an incredable coach. You can't count them out because he wills his teams to win. But let me tell you this, we will have a mid-major school in the run for the title again this year.
Will the Hawkeyes ever be able to regain some relevance in college basketball?
Dick Vitale (11:10 AM)
They have to get the level of player that schools like Ohio State, Michigan State and other top schools get. It's all about talent level in college hoops. They already have talented players and they started to turn it on towards the end of last season but it's all about recruiting.
The outlook for ND this coming season. Thanks
Dick Vitale (11:12 AM)
I was really shocked that Carleton Scott decided to stay in the draft because I don't think he's a first-rounder. The Irish had a great season last year in a tough Big East conference. Mike Brey did a great job with this team. The Irish will have some challenges but somehow Mike Brey's kids find a way to win.
Jeremy (Chicago, IL)
What was your favorite NCAA basketball team growing up?
Dick Vitale (11:13 AM)
I was back in the east growing up as a young guy. As a kid back in the New Jersey/New York area, I was a fan of Seton Hall before I went there. But certainly St. John's was up there.
Cheesehead Sports Nut (Chicago, IL)
Marquette has been very effective at getting really talented junior college players to transfer to Marquette for their last few years of their eligibility. I like the strategy for an above average, but not quite elite program like Marquette. Do you like that recruiting strategy?
Dick Vitale (11:15 AM)
Getting junior college players that can come right in and be a major factor is always a plus. They've been in the college atmosphere and know college athletics so it won't take them long to get adjusted. But you have to be careful; you don't want to recruit a guy that will be sitting on the bench. You want a guy that can come right in and make a difference
How long before the DePaul Blue Demons start to at least compete to make the NIT from the Big East and eventually the Big Dance?
Dick Vitale (11:17 AM)
Right now Coach Purnell has to improve their talent level. Chicago is a great recruiting stomping ground and the good thing about basketball is that if you get one or two good recruits then things can change. Hopefully Coach Purnell can get some top tier guys in there over the next couple of seasons and get this turned around.
IronHogFan (Stuck at Desk)
How do you think the Razorbacks are going to fair this year with this top recruiting class and a new coach?
Dick Vitale (11:18 AM)
It was great that Mike Anderson was able to hold that class together. The fans should be excited out there in Razorback country. They are a very dangerous team in the SEC and their future is going to be bright.
What current NBA PG would you compare Kyrie Irving to? Think he lives up to his (assumed) #1 pick?
Dick Vitale (11:19 AM)
Players like Irving want their own identity. I know that if Cleveland doesn't pick him with the No. 1 pick, it would be a major mistake. He's going to be a major factor from the get go. He's a guy I see contributing on a high level for the next 10 years.
Hey any chance the Sooners make the tournament next year? Your the Best.
Dick Vitale (11:21 AM)
I think the Sooners made one positive move by bringing in coach Lon Kruger. The man knows how to win and he's a competitor. I think you will see Oklahoma get back to their glory days very soon.
Jeremy H (Minneapolis)
How good will the Tubby's Gophers be next year? They have nowhere to go but up!
Dick Vitale (11:22 AM)
I think you will see big time improvement. They were 16-4 before the injuries and suspensions hit. They have size returning and a good recruiting class coming in. BTW Tubby is a cancer survivor and he will be with us this weekend at my 6th Annual Dick Vitale Gala.
How do you see this year playing out for Coach Pitino and the Cardinals?
Dick Vitale (11:23 AM)
Oh I think they will have a fantastic year. I think they overachieved a bit last season before getting knocked out in the first round by Morehead State. I think Louisville will be at the top of the Big East this season.
Jeremy H (Minneapolis)
Is this years draft class as weak as most "experts" are saying?
Dick Vitale (11:25 AM)
I would agree. I tweeted yesterday that of my 30 years at ESPN this just might be the weakest class I've seen. You know who the top 3 picks are but what comes after that? But I also think it helps college basketball with top names coming back like Harrison Barnes, Terrence Jones and Perry Jones.
If you had to pick the final four right now, who would you pick?
Dick Vitale (11:26 AM)
Oh wow! You have to look at the four major teams ...UNC, Ohio State, Duke and Kentucky. But we all know that they are all capable of going down.
Will growth from Okwandu and Oriahki and continued breakout from Jeremy Lamb be enough to keep the Conn. Huskies relevant? Where do you see us ranked preseason?
Dick Vitale (11:32 AM)
I think UConn is a top 10 team along with Syracuse. UConn has a real nice nucleus returning and we all know UConn teams always have toughness. They will put themselves in position to win a lot of games next season by taking good shots and playing defense. I do think that Jim Calhoun will be back on the sideline next season for the Huskies. BTW ...Coach Calhoun will be here with us this weekend for my Gala.
Dick Vitale (11:34 AM)
Sorry I have to cut this chat short but right now I have phone calls galore. May gala this weekend is sold out and can not take in a another person but mark your calender for May 18 next year for our 2012 Gala. For more information go to www.dickvitaleonlinie.com. To make a donation, call 1-800-4-JimmyV or visit my website. Follow me on Twitter @DickieV.