Chat with Jason King
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, men's college basketball writer Jason King stops by to chat about the season.
King joined ESPN.com in 2011 after four years at Yahoo! Sports, where he covered college basketball and football. He also spent seven years covering the University of Kansas for the Kansas City Star and has written two books on the Jayhawks basketball program.
Send your questions now and join King Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Jason King (3:01 PM)
Time for the chat. Already a bunch of questions lined up.
Nate. (Florida) [via mobile]
Jason, Duke at Florida State Thursday. Who Wins?
Jason King (3:02 PM)
I'm going to go with Florida State. The Seminoles will be full of confidence after already beating the Blue Devils in Durham. Quite a bit on the line for both teams.
Is Washington in failing a collapse?
Jason King (3:04 PM)
I don't think they're about to collapse. Washington's final three games are on the road but each is against a team the Huskies should beat: USC, Washington State and Arizona State. Lorenzo Romar's squad is tied for first in the Pac-12 with Cal. I think they've been a bit of a disappointment overall but I wouldn't call it a collapse
hey jason, how come everyone is jumping on the witchita state bandwagon, while ignoring temple? last time I checked temple is on a 10 game win streak and also beat witchita state on a neutral court this season.
Jason King (3:06 PM)
I just think it's because Wichita State has been involved in more high profile games as of late and is clearly a different/better team than it was when it lost to Temple back in November. At No. 21, Temple is only ranked two spots behind the No. 19 Shocker, though, so they're not completely getting the shaft.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Should the Tar Heels be weary of another ambush from a desperate team in Raleigh? The Pack was struggling just like FSU prior to the UNC game?
Jason King (3:07 PM)
Good question, but I think UNC will be OK in this one - especially since it's at home. I think NC State may be mentally spent.
Cuse fan here -definitely think we deserve a 1-seed based on our record and accomplishments this year, but I can't be the only one out there that thinks this team is capable of either losing in the 2nd (3rd) round or winning the whole thing, right?
Jason King (3:09 PM)
Oh there's no question Cuse will be a NO. 1 seed. Some people think they may deserve the top overall seed, which will likely go to Kentucky. And sure, I could see Syracuse losing in the Sweet 16 or the Elite Eight. They're obviously very, very good. But other than Kentucky, are there truly any elite/dominant teams out there this year? I think the teams ranked 2-10 are all about the same
Do you see any team out of the Pac-12 winning a tournament game?
Jason King (3:10 PM)
Absolutely. Washington is incredibly talented and could win a game or two. Cal is a veteran team that is very well-coached. I can't see either of them advancing to the Sweet 16, though.
maybe this isn't your area, but what was the point in even getting our hopes up here in lawrence by dangling the idea of a gameday in lawrence this year when they were going to have it in north carolina anyway?? a 3 vs. 5 matchup, maybe the last meeting in lawrence for a while, and a game that decides the winner of the big 12?!?!? while i realize that because kansas vs. missouri has already had a gameday, why even say there could be a second when everything that needed to happen for that to come true did happen and they still decide on duke vs. unc?
Jason King (3:11 PM)
Alex, you're right. This isn't my area and I don't know the answer. I'll ask around. In the meantime, I thought I'd post your question because it makes for an interesting discussion. Thanks for writing.
raymond buffalo ny [via mobile]
Hey Jason. How good you think are the chances of UNC winning a national championship this year. Especially after all the hype in the begining of year as they have not produced?
Jason King (3:13 PM)
Oh I think the Tar Heels have as good of a chance as anyone to win the NCAA title. I've got them in my Final Four (granted, that may change after i see the bracket). And remember, just because a team has lost a few games doesn't make it a disappointment. This is still an excellent basketball team. The question is whether it can reach its ceiling
steve (my office)
what is marquette's ceiling???
Jason King (3:14 PM)
Wouldn't shock me to see Marquette in the Elite Eight - or even the Final Four as long as it avoids Kentucky beforehand. The Golden Eagles have a pair of special players in DJO and Crowder. Love what Todd Mayo is giving them off the bench as a freshman.
Cincinnati [via mobile]
Who do you like better, Murray state or Wichita state?
Jason King (3:15 PM)
I like Wichita State better. Canaan is the best player from both teams, but Wichita State has more talent from players 2-7. Plus, I just think the Shockers are playing better right now. They have an edge about them, a swagger.
Sam (Chicago) [via mobile]
How much longer will Bruce Webber last?
Jason King (3:16 PM)
He won't make it beyond this season, obviously. No sense making a change before then.
What does Illinois have to do to get in the tournament?
Jason King (3:16 PM)
Win out and get to the Big Ten title game. That's obviously not going to happen.
Huge Shocker fan here, but always confused as to why certain news publications include the MVC in the "mid-major" group, but don't include the A-10, MWC, Conf USA. These are the conferences that I most compare the MVC to. I don't see the comparisons made between the MVC and the Sun Belt, SOCO, Horizon, etc.
Jason King (3:17 PM)
I'm not sure i understand it, either, John. We need to have a book of rules/guidelines that all media outlets follow, I guess.
phillip wv [via mobile]
Will wvu make the dance and what seed could they be
Jason King (3:20 PM)
Winning at Notre Dame tomorrow or at home against Marquette on Friday - yes, Friday - would certainly help. They're 7-7 in the Big East. They need to go 9-9. Even if they lose the next two, the Mountaineers finished with South Florida and DePaul, so it could still be doable. If it happens I see WVU as a 10 seed. But Lunardi is the better source on that.
Josiah Blevins (Bowling Green, OH)
Hey Jason, what are your surprise teams that could make it to the final four? And why?
Jason King (3:21 PM)
In my column listed today i picked Wichita State (depth, experience with four senior starters and swagger), Indiana (wins over Ohio State and UK prove they can play with anyone) and Florida (great backcourt). I would also throw Baylor in the mix (as long it can avoid KU and MU. haha)
Nick (Saint Louis)
82-68? Wow, bold prediction with the Missouri has been playing lately.
Jason King (3:23 PM)
I promise, that prediction has nothing to do with Missouri and everything to do with Allen Fieldhouse. Even the best teams wilt when the visit Lawrence. Kansas has won 89 of its last 90 games in that building. Think about that for a minute and my prediction may not seem so bold. Even if MU loses by 14 it won't have any effect on highly I think of the Tigers.
Aaron Philadelphia [via mobile]
What do you think is the major setback for villanovas poor record considering how well they played last season
Jason King (3:24 PM)
Villanova lost eight of its last 10 games last season, so I wasn't very impressed with them then, either. They have good players but not great ones. Maybe coaching is an issue, too.
Are the Hurricanes in?
Jason King (3:26 PM)
Not quite yet. But I think they would be if they won three of their last four. Nice late surge here by the Fighting Larranagas
Jeff (va beach) [via mobile]
Mike Scott acc poy?
Jason King (3:27 PM)
No. Virginia fans need to worry about beating VTech, Clemson and TCU instead of being so focused on Scott winning ACC POY. There are a lot of guys on mediocre teams averaging 17 points.
is austin rivers play been good enough to go pro
Jason King (3:29 PM)
He hasn't progressed as quickly as people thought he would, but that's probably because expectations were out of whack considering he's only a freshman. I think he's shown enough to make people believe he'd be an excellent pro. I still think he'd be a first round pick this season, although certainly not as high as initially projected.
Barry (Mount Vernon NY)
Jason. Ole Miss fan here. Is Andy Kennedy under some pressure to get this team to the NIT or is it just me?
Jason King (3:30 PM)
Im surprised we're not hearing more about Kennedy's job status. He has underachieved. Losing at home by 30 points to unranked Vanderbilt is unacceptable
Brett (Tac-Town, WA)
Is UNC in your final four? What about Duke?
Jason King (3:31 PM)
UNC is in there. Duke is not. But i like the direction/future of Duke's program.
Ben (Wethersfield, CT)
Who is favored on Saturday night, UConn or Syracuse?
Jason King (3:31 PM)
Syracuse, without question
Walter (Kansas) [via mobile]
Jason, thanks for taking my question. Clearly Wichita State is finally getting some well deserved pub. However, I am curious what top 5-6 team you think they could match up favorably with as well as what team (same top 5-6) would absolutely be a matchup problem and why. Thanks so much, go Shocks!
Jason King (3:33 PM)
I think they would match up well with Kansas. They obviously don't have players as talented as Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor. But Stutz wouldn't back down from Withey, and I think the Shockers are just as good if not better at every other position - and also deeper. Remember the Davidson team that beat KU in Kansas City? Wichita State just embarrassed that same team by 19 points. And th game was at Davidson. I think UNC would be a tuff matchup for WSU
Jaime (Lexington, Ky)
Our game vs Miss State tonight should be a good one. Can Miss State gives us another loss or do my Cats walk away with another win tonight??
Jason King (3:36 PM)
If Renardo Sidney plays there's a CHANCE this could be a good game. But I wouldn't count on it. Moultrie and Sidney have the size and skill to give Kentucky problems down low. Dee Bost is better than Teague (for now, at least) and Rodney Hood is a good player, too. This game will be good for Kentucky. They need to face a physical, talented team in a raucous environment. I still think UK wins by double digits - Mississippi State plays no defense - but a close game wouldn't surprise me either. Again, a lot of it depends on if Sidney (back spasms) plays.
Tommy (lexington) [via mobile]
Is there any chance of an upset for mississippi st tonight against kentucky?
Jason King (3:37 PM)
I think I accidentally posted the answer before the question on that previous one. Sorry
Matt (South Orange NJ)
If Seton Hall goes at least 2-2 to close out the season do they have a good chance on making the NCAA tournament
Jason King (3:39 PM)
Seton Hall has three games left: at home against Georgetown and Rutgers and on the road against DePaul. I think wins in two of those games will do it - especially if one of the wins comes against Georgetown
The Other Jason King (Kansas)
If Kansas beats Missouri on Saturday and wins the Big 12 outright, are they a lock for a #1 seed? I believe so.
Jason King (3:40 PM)
No, because there's a good chance that those teams will meet in the Big 12 tournament title game. If that happens and MU wins, then MU would get the No. 1 seed.
Jason King (3:40 PM)
Stepping away for 60 seconds. I'll be right back
Ron Arena (Rochester NY)
Could Wichita State make the final four?
Jason King (3:42 PM)
Orangefan22 (North Carolina)
I have been hearing some talk that Syracuse might have some trouble come tourney time due to the lack of a true leader. Do you think they have what it takes to get to New Orleans?
Jason King (3:43 PM)
That's just because people like to nitpick. If leadership were a problem this team wouldn't be 26-1. Not a flaws with this group.
Does Virginia avenge the loss to VT earlier in the season with a win tonight? And would you put Mike Scott back in the ACC POY race after his 25 point game vs Maryland this past Saturday?
Jason King (3:43 PM)
Yes, I think they'll win the game. They better if they want to avoid the bubble. The ACC POY will come from UNC
Jason, thanks for your hard work. How far do you see my Lobos going in March: 1st, 2nd or 3rd weekend?
Jason King (3:45 PM)
As I mentioned in King's Court, I feel like I missed the boat on New Mexico. A lot of people probably feel the same way. Any team that beats UNLV by 20 points should be taken seriously. A Sweet 16 or Elite Eight certainly isn't out of the question.
David King Wilmington NC [via mobile]
Do you see one or more mid majors making it to final four or is this the year we return to college basketball elite show casing the final four?
Jason King (3:46 PM)
I'm predicting that one of them will make it, just because the odds seem to be in my favor. There is just so much parity this season.
Hi, Jason. Iowa State has a tough finish to their regular season playing @ K-State, @ Mizzou and finishing up at home against Baylor. Assuming they win against Texas Tech at home tomorrow night, and assuming they pick up a win in the Big XII tournament. Does a 21-12 Iowa State team get into the tournament? Or, do they have to pull a win out of one of those final 3 regular season games?
Jason King (3:47 PM)
I'm not a bracketologist, but I think they'll be fine as long as they beat Texas Tech and then win a Big 12 Tournament game. A win against KState, Baylor or Missouri would obviously cement it.
I realize that UNC has a better record and better stats, but why should one of their players get ACC POY when Mike Scott is infinitely more important to his team than any individual UNC player? It is the same situation as Kevin Jones and you think he will win Big East POY...
Jason King (3:50 PM)
Last Mike Scott question I'm taking. The reason Mike Scott is more important to his team is because the rest of his team isn't very good. Why should voters penalize someone like Zeller or Henson for having a good supporting cast? It's not their fault UNC is out-recruiting Virginia. You can go to lots of mediocre teams, find a player who is averaging 15-17 points a game and say, "Hey, he's the most important player on his team." That doesn't mean they're the best player in the league.
Do you think Withey will be able to exorcise the demons from the game in Columbia when Mizzou comes to Allen Fieldhouse?
Jason King (3:51 PM)
He laid a goose eggs the last time these two teams played, so it can't get any worse, right?
glen (Lansing,Mi) [via mobile]
What are Michigan States chances of cutting down the nets this year?
Jason King (3:52 PM)
Wouldn't surprise me if Michigan State made the Final Four, but I just can't see the Spartans beating a team like Kentucky or UNC. That's certainly not a knock on MSU. It's just that, against those teams, you've got to have some horses. Remember what happened in 2009?
Patrick (Long Island)
Can Big East still get 10 teams into the big dance? South Florida is 10-4 in conference!
Jason King (3:54 PM)
Maybe. Seton hall and WVU need to take care of business these next few weeks. South Florida has 10 league wins, but it needs to beat a few upper echelon teams to be considered. Syracuse, WVU, Cincy and Louisville are still on the schedule so the opportunities are definitely there.
Jason, Can you see Long Beach St making a run to the sweet16 or the elite 8?
Jason King (3:56 PM)
yes, I can. I actually think Long Beach State is the second-best mid-major team in the country behind Wichita State. And yes, I realize that LB State lost at Creighton last weekend. But that was a 2-point losses at the buzzer in front of a road crowd of 18,000 people. I'd take the 49ers on a neutral court.
Donnell (Ashburn, VA)
Funny as it sounds, do the Heels need Duke to win tonight in Tallahassee given they have another shot at the Devils and only play FSU once in the regular reason?
Jason King (3:57 PM)
It would certainly help them in the ACC race.
I'm a dieharf Cuse fan...should i book a hotel room in New Orlea
Jason, I'm a die hard Cuse fan, should i book a hotel room in New Orleans??!
Jason King (3:58 PM)
Absolutely. Shoot, you can always cancel
Maheer (Syracuse) [via mobile]
Hey Jason! Do you think Syracuse can still claim the top overall #1 seed on Selection Sunday? Thanks!!
Jason King (3:58 PM)
I think they'll be the No 2 overall seed behind Kentucky. Granted, my opinion will change if UK loses tonight.
What does Missouri have to do in order to overcome the odds at Phog Allen on Saturday?
Jason King (4:00 PM)
Hold it ground early. Kansas opens games there with so much emotion. i can't tell you how many times I've seen the score 20-6 or 28-14 early. If KU punches MU in the mouth early, MU needs to punch right back. That'll quiet the crowd a bit and help MU establish some confidence
At this point I think we pretty much all agree that Bruce Weber is done at the end of the season. My question is what type of coach can fans expect? There seems to be two schools of thought, Illinois will be able get a Brad Stevens calaiber coach; or will only be able to land a high school coach. Will the next coach be able to excite the fans by name alone or are we getting into an "up and coming" situation?
Jason King (4:01 PM)
I think Shaka Smart would be a nice hire at Illinois. I can't see how the fans wouldn't be excited for that. And no, this isn't a situation where you hire an "up-and-coming" assistant. This is too good of a job. It should attract some top candidates.
Is west virginia's kevin jones guaranted big east player of the year?
Jason King (4:02 PM)
"Guaranteed" may be a strong word, but it' d be a shame if he didn't win it. Darius Johnson Odom is making a late push, though. And he's on a top 10 team, whereas West Virginia is struggling
Jason King (Kansas)
Mizzou or Kansas State. Who do I got?
Jason King (4:03 PM)
Alex M. (Dallas)
Who wins this weekend between KU and Mizzou? How did you celebrate Coach's Day?
Jason King (4:04 PM)
KU wins this weekend. Celebrated Coach's Day on my front lawn with an O.E. and a piece of Velveeta. (sorry for the inside joke)
It's at NC State tonight. Change your mind at all?
Jason King (4:04 PM)
Man ... my bad. I still say UNC wins by 6-8.
Colin (Morristown, NJ)
what do you think abut Notre Dames win streak
Jason King (4:05 PM)
I think Mike Brey has done one of the finest coaching jobs in all of college basketball. Anyone who saw this team play in late November/early December knows what I mean. I thought they'd' be lucky to go .500
Jason, What's more likely with Baylor:Losing to a 13 seed or going to New Orleans?
Jason King (4:07 PM)
Option A, sir. And I'll say this - there are going to be some darn good No. 13 seeds this year. I think the Bears still have a chance at a No. 3 seed, which means they'd open with a No. 14 seed. Baylor showed me something last night. that was impressive.
Jason King (4:07 PM)
Thanks for all of the questions. See you next week.