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)
I am looking forward to calling the NC State-North Carolina game tonight. Chapel Hill is one of my favorite places. NC State is a surprise in the ACC at 4-1 in the league, but tonight will be a real test for Mark Gottfried's team. Size inside will be tough so CJ Leslie has to have a big game. Bullock will get more time with Strickland out and they will miss him on the defensive end. Then off to Cameron Indoor Stadium and St. John's got a big win last night, much needed. Duke got a good effort from Mason Plumlee at Maryland. Last night, Oklahoma State got a great win over Missouri. Congrats to Travis Ford on that W and LeBryan Nash had a super game with 27 points. I am also excited because there is a camera crew with me doing a reality show. That is exciting, baby! Let's get to your questions.
Rob (Charlottesville, VA)
How far can SU go without Fab Melo this year if he doesn't come back?
Dick Vitale (11:05 AM)
They are capable of beating anybody on a given night and they are a better team eith Melo, who gives them a different dimension in their zone with his size. They have enough talent to win without him, but they are much better with him.
Who do you think will win Big Ten freshman of the year, Trey Burke or Cody Zeller?
Dick Vitale (11:06 AM)
I would go with Zeller. I love Burke and Ohio State will see him fired up since he was not considered a big-time recruit coming out of Columbus. Burke is a key reason Michigan is ranked and he really replaced Darius Morris. Zeller is in a different class and he gave instant credibility to Tom Crean in recruiting.
Games seem to be getting longer and longer and I believe the NCAA needs to make some rule adjustments. Several I can think of that would be easy. 1) Team that calls TO before getting the ball across mid court does not get another 10secs. 2) Teams ahead by 15 points with less than two minutes get the option of taking ball out of bounce instead of shooting. Widen lane and again I say move 3 pt line out!!! What are your thoughts on these or any other.
Dick Vitale (11:08 AM)
I would like to see them widen the lane and get big guys away from the basket. Adopt the NBA rule with a minutes left, I think those would be positives.
kyle (st louis)
How damaging was Mizzou's loss yesterday? How do you see them come tourney time?
Dick Vitale (11:09 AM)
They are a threat and winning on the road is tough and Nash played up to his potential, those things happen and you cannot over-emphasize one game. You still have to go through Lawrence, baby! I have said that all year. Missouri has a lot of potential despite the loss last night.
Do you think the Pack is finally back notwithstanding tonight's game in Chapel Hill (probably a loss)?
Dick Vitale (11:11 AM)
You cannot assumer that is a loss tonight, you cannot tell that to the kids. What Gottfried has done is similar to what Steve Lavin did at St. John's last year. He has brought in discipline and an attitude at Raleigh. He learned a lot on the UCLA staff with Jim Harrick which had Lorenzo Romar and Lavin and won the title in 1995.
How far can Mike Scott take UVA in the tourney? Or does it rest on Harris and Zeglinsky because Scott will get his?
Dick Vitale (11:12 AM)
Zeglinski has to make shots. He had a tough night vs Virginia Tech. Losing Sene hurts as they were not deep and lacked size. Scott is one of the best players in the ACC and every game will be close. They will win their share but they will lose some, shooting 1-13 on 3's did not help.
If Mason Plumlee and Andre Dawkins can continue to be big contributors in the points category, does Duke instantly become a legitimate favorite for the national championship?
Dick Vitale (11:15 AM)
Dawkins has been up and down and must be more consistent. Krzyzewski is a great tournament coach and they will be a team that people want to stay away from. They need Dawkins and Seth Curry to shoot better than they did last night. Mason Plumlee was big last night hitting nine-of-13 from the floor. Duke will always come to play in the tournament.
Florida State has won their last 5 conference games, do they have what it takes to make a final four run?
Dick Vitale (11:16 AM)
They have to be consistent. They can't lose by 20 to Clemson and beat Duke and Carolina. They must play with the same intensity and emotion and utilize their toughness. Dulkys has to make some shots.
Will you be doing any book signings in the near future? I'd love to get a chance to meet you!
Dick Vitale (11:17 AM)
I do not have any planned in the near future, sorry.
Marquette is currently tied for 2nd in the BE with Gtown. Their two losses in conference were on the road to Gtown and Cuse, but have won 5 in a row since. Do you think they have what it takes to hang onto a second place finish and maybe challenge for regular season BEast title?
Dick Vitale (11:18 AM)
Marquette is a dangerous basketball team, very tough mentally with some experienced players like Johnson-Odom and Crowder. I like the job Buzz Williams has done.
Jimmy (Winston-Salem, NC)
The ACC is known for its basketball. The Big four (Duke, UNC, Wake Forest, and NC State) were once automatic contenders every year. Will we see this kind of dominance in the ACC again? WHAT HAPPENED TO THE ACC DICK!?
Dick Vitale (11:19 AM)
Talent level is not what it has been in the past but they have teams to think about up top with Carolina and Duke. Virgnia and Fliorida State are very good, recruiting is going to go up and the addition of Syracuse and Pittsburgh will help. It often goes in cycles.
Nils (Frankfurt, Germany)
Hi Dicky V! Please answer! I have never gotten to ask you a question before... What are the chances that my Gophers will make the NCAA tournament? Also what are the chances Mbakwe comes back next year? Thank you!
Dick Vitale (11:20 AM)
Minnesota is a potential bubble team. Right now they are close but they need to win some more games and they will have a chance to impress in the Big Ten, which to me is the best conference in America this season from top to bottom.
How do UConn's chances look? They cant seem to get over the loss of Kemba
Dick Vitale (11:23 AM)
Kemba Walker was a rare and special player, he carried them to a national title. The absence of Boatwright is a major blow for them and the team really misses him. I think Jim Calhoun has been disappointed with the team's lack of chemistry.
Brandon (Chapel Hill, NC)
With Dexter Strickland out for the season, is UNC still a national title contender?
Dick Vitale (11:25 AM)
Carolina has the talent to adjust and a lot will depend on the defense of Bullock and Hairston. Tonight will be the first game without Strickland and it will be interesting to watch against NC State.
Ian (Indiana )
What happened to Kansas?
Dick Vitale (11:26 AM)
I think Bill Self has done a great job this season. Thomas Robinson has developed into one of the best players in the nation and I feel he would be national Player of the Year if the season ended now. Tyshawn Taylor has been playing well as I have said, the Big 12 goes through Lawrence...go ask Baylor about that. The Jayhawks have been very impressive.
Do you think my Tigers can still make the NCAA tourney? I'm going to do all I can!
Dick Vitale (11:28 AM)
Clemson has been up and down too. The loss to UTEP in Hawaii, the win pver Florida State by 20...on any given night, anythign can happen. I like Brad Brownell but the team has been inconsistent. There is talent, but there is a lot of work to do to make the big dance. They could get hot and make a run, there is some potential. Right now, I would say no.
Jason (Asheville, NC)
Was the UNC vs. FSU game one of the most suprising games you've ever called?
Dick Vitale (11:30 AM)
To be honest, yes. I have never seen Carolina have a rougher game and the fans in Tallahasse were fired up. That was one that Roy Williams, the Hall of Famer threw away. The Tar Heels came back and beat Virginia Tech after that and we will see how they respond tonight against NC State. It will be a good challenge for both teams.
Which mid major do you think has a better chance of making it to the Elite Eight or even Final Four, Murray State or Creighton?
Dick Vitale (11:33 AM)
After seeing what Butler did the past two years, I think there will be a lot of attention paid to the likes of Creighton, Wichita State and murray State. With some of the bigger conferences not producing as many tourney teams as in the past, it will give some of the mid-majors more of a chance to get into the big dance. Doug McDermott is one of the best players in America and Creighton can be heard from. If you consider San Diego State and UNLV as mid-majors, they will be up there too.
Samuel Ginaven (Iowa)
Who is the better player? Royce White from Iowa State or Draymond Green from Michigan State?
Dick Vitale (11:34 AM)
Both players are contenders for All-Big 10. Both are very important to their teams. Hard to say. Green is so versatile.
Dick - what is your opinion on the Atlantic 10? Mediocre teams or tough competition beating up on each other. Do you think 4 bids could be attainable for the conference?
Dick Vitale (11:36 AM)
I think the league has been better than expected. I look at a team like St. Joe's beating Creighton. Dayton has had some quality wins. Xavier and Temple were expected to be at the top. Saint Louis has had some good moments too. I think they will scrap and claw and get several teams into the tournament this year. That was a good win at Xavier for the Billikens last night.
Dusty (St. Louis)
Royce White plays in the Big 12
Dick Vitale (11:37 AM)
My turnover. I meant to say both are valuable in their respective leagues and should be on their all-conference teams. Both are vital to their squads.
Sarah (NYC, NY)
DUKE hasn't lost a non-conference game at Cameron in 13 years. Last such loss? To St. John's. St. John's comes into Cameron on Saturday. We all remember what happened between these two last year at the Garden. Does the streak continue or does the last remaining streak at Cameron end tomorrow?
Dick Vitale (11:38 AM)
St. John's got a big win over West Virginia last night and also won at Cincinnati. It will be tough to win at Cameron Indoor Stadium because of Duke's size and the lack of depth for the Red Storm.
Dickie V-I really like the depth Ohio State is developing, unlike past years. I think this will help them make a run in the tourney.
Dick Vitale (11:40 AM)
As I have said before, any time you have a big three with Aaron Craft at the point, William Buford on the perimeter and Jared Sullinger in the paint, you have a chance to win. Then add some of the others who have developed, like Lenzelle Smith Jr., Thad Matta has to be considered as a legit contender to cut down the nets in New Orleans.
Who's better: Top 4 teams from CUSA (UCF, Southern Miss, Memphis, and Marshall) or top 4 teams from Pac-12 (Cal, Oregon, Colorado, and Washington).
Dick Vitale (11:42 AM)
I think you have to respect Conference USA. Southern Mississippi has done a nice job and I still feel Memphis has a lot of talent. Look at what Will Barton has done this season. The Pac-12 has been wide open and no team has really broken away yet.
Dick Vitale (11:44 AM)
I am excited about the ACC showdown tonight in Chapel Hill. I have also had a lot of fun with a group given full access the last few days and following me around for this reality show. We walked on the bach this morning, went to the Broken Egg where I am doing this right now. It is a lot of fun for me. Enjoy the game tonighg and Saturday at Duke, we will chat again next week. Don't forget, follow me on Twitter, baby!