Chat with Myron Medcalf
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, college basketball writer Myron Medcalf stops by to chat about the hardcourt.
Medcalf joined ESPN.com in 2011 after a four-year stint covering colllege basketball for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. His relationship with ESPN began in 2004, when he was an intern for ESPN the Magazine in New York City.
Send your questions now and join Medcalf Monday at 2 p.m. ET!
Myron Medcalf (2:00 PM)
Here we go. As always, thanks for joining me.
Tony Boombats (NYC)
Myron, are you buying or selling Nova after this past week?
Myron Medcalf (2:01 PM)
I'm going to tell my broker to give it a week. Very impressive two-game stretch for Nova. But I don't know if that's really Nova or not. A week ago, they were just a Big East team on a three-game losing streak. Let's see what happens against Notre Dame.
Chris (Newtown, PA)
Temple, La Salle, Villanova, Wyoming, Illnois, Saint Mary's:which 3 teams would u pick? why?
Myron Medcalf (2:03 PM)
I'm taking Saint Mary's because I believe in Matthew Dellavedova's game and leadership. Then, Temple because I think they can play up when they want. And after that, I'll take La Salle. Veteran group that could be a force in the A10 all year. ...I don't trust Illinois. You shouldn't either. Wyoming missing best player. Nova ... I need more evidence.
Kirk (Grand Rapids, Michigan)
Does Iowa State's win over Kansas State on Saturday take away the awful stench of their earlier loss at Texas Tech when it comes to NCAA tournament discussion?
Myron Medcalf (2:04 PM)
It's probably a neutralizer. I still think Cyclones have work to do to feel "comfortable" about NCAA tourney positioning.
Despite the loss, I'm still pretty impressed with the Spartans and their growth from their opening season loss to UCONN in Germany. I still think they can compete with IU and UM for the Big Ten crown, what do you think?
Myron Medcalf (2:05 PM)
The Spartans were impressive against the Hoosiers and it looks like the light in finally on for Adreian Payne, which is a good sign. I don't see them surpassing Indiana or Michigan right now. But could be a dangerous team come March.
Hi Myron, Is Northeastern really that good this year? or is the CAA that Bad? looking at their schedule I don't see another game during the regular season that they could lose your thoughts?
Myron Medcalf (2:07 PM)
Let's take a look at the CAA's implosion ... Even after the league lost VCU, you figured Drexel and George Mason would bring it in 2012-13. No go. This is a bad league. But Northeastern has been one of the best offensive units in America per Ken Pomeroy. I think a major component in that mark, however, is the CAA's overall struggles. ... I mean, 20-point win over GMU. Really?
Bob (Chapel Hill)
Hi Myron, Should the Tar Heels be on let down alert tomorrow night at BC? after putting so much effort into that NC State game?
Myron Medcalf (2:07 PM)
This Tar Heels team should on upset alert every night. Honestly. So inconsistent.
One team you don't want in your bracket if your a BCS team?
Myron Medcalf (2:09 PM)
Wichita State is the easy answer ... You don't want to see Belmont. They'll put up 80 on you. You don't want to see Bucknell (if they make it) because Mike Muscala is a stud. You don't want to see Middle Tennessee. Ask Ole Miss.
Matt (Portland, OR)
Oregon's 18-2 and beat 17-2 Arizona head-to-head, yet Zona's still ranked higher in both polls. What gives?
Myron Medcalf (2:11 PM)
Arizona has wins over Florida (perhaps the best team in the country right now), Miami, Colorado and San Diego State. I think they're still the better team overall. Too bad we won't see Round 2 during the regular season.
Though the final month and a half, which Mid-Major conferance races are you going to be watching closly?
Myron Medcalf (2:12 PM)
Still not sure what's going to happen in the Ohio Valley. Patriot League is interesting. And of course the Missouri Valley. Watch out for Indiana State.
Stu Cazzo (Edmonton, AB)
Myron, great to read your stuff during the season. While it's a nice accomplishment for UM (and good around the watercooler for Michigan fans like myself) to be number 1 in the AP poll, what is the one area that UM needs to improve on in order to reach Atlanta? My thought is defensive "youthfulness", but am curious to hear your thoughts.
Myron Medcalf (2:14 PM)
Not sure how to address youth midseason. ... But that zone gives teams fits (15th in adjusted defensive efficiency per Ken Pomeroy). I think the Wolverines have everything you'd want in a contender, especially if McGary's growth continues. ... Bottom line is that you need three playmakers to win in Atlanta, in my opinion. Glenn Robinson III can be that third guy. ... I still think a big, skillful frontcourt could cause problems for Michigan. Big week for the program.
aaron (new jersey)
how high is mizzou's ceiling? with bowers coming back and the chemistry getting better, do you think they could be a threat to go deep in the tourney?
Myron Medcalf (2:17 PM)
Let's see HOW Bowers comes back and how long it takes for Mizzou to regain past form. Ceiling? The Tigers have the pieces to contend with a chunk of the top-25, IMO. But it's the basement that should concern fans. It's deep. I think the Tigers .. because they lack chemistry, Pressey goes OC sometimes and jump shooters can't shoot in stretches ... can really play well below whatever that ceiling is.
Sammy (Cape Girardeau )
If there is a best team in College Basketball right now, would it be Michigan?
Myron Medcalf (2:18 PM)
Two weeks in a row for me ... I had Michigan at No. 1 last week. Still No. 1 in my mind. ... But I get the KU arguments. No overwhelming case for either ... And the truth is ... with so much parity in college basketball ... we're not going to settle anything until March.
Sammy (Cape Girardeau)
Does Kentucky or North Carolina make the tournament this year?
Myron Medcalf (2:18 PM)
Somehow, I think both teams will.
Will Minnesota get it's mojo back with a couple of Home W's ? or are they broken?
Myron Medcalf (2:19 PM)
It's not about mojo. Tubby needs a consistent backcourt. Rodney Williams needs to re-join the team. Not sure where he's been recently.
Myron, who did you vote for as #1 this week and why?
Myron Medcalf (2:20 PM)
Again, Michigan for me. I just think the Wolverines are the best team in America. And I think they've offered enough evidence to back that stance.
this year seems like a very likely year to have a surprise final 4. who is under the radar that you see capable of making such a run?
Myron Medcalf (2:21 PM)
A bunch of them ... a few ... Wichita State, Oregon, Ole Miss
Myron, yes I am back for some more, NOW will you put Missouri ahead of Alabama? Also, with Bowers and Bell returning to action, can you say MU will go on a run until the home game against Ole Miss? Great Job as usual.
Myron Medcalf (2:23 PM)
Yep, I'll give them a slot over Bama .. although the week is young, man. But I was justified in where they were positioned in last week's SEC rankings. They were destroyed against Florida. Destroyed. Still don't think they're a good team right now.
With just 2 losses has Arizona played themselves out of a 1 seed in the tournament?
Myron Medcalf (2:25 PM)
I don't think any team hanging around the top-10 has played itself out of a No. 1 seed. There's so much parity. ... For Zona .. that win over the SEC's best team is going to help. What hurts? Zona won't see Oregon again in the regular season. They're definitely going in the wrong direction.
How many losses do you foresee the Big10 conf winner having in league play? Also, do you think the overall conf winner or BTT winner (given they are a top 3 team in the league) will have a better chance at a #1 seed?
Myron Medcalf (2:26 PM)
I still say the winner of the Big Ten will go 14-4. It's going to tighten up starting this week. ... Hard to say on second question. What if it's the same team? What if Indiana is second in regular season but beats Michigan and Michigan State on its way to a BTT title?
Miami looked great this past week with two huge wins over Duke and FSU. They have a strong veteran core and have proven that they can handle injuries to big players, like Reggie Johnson. With no prior tournament experience, can this team be a legitimate threat to go deep in March?
Myron Medcalf (2:29 PM)
The smart people with ESPN Stats $ Info just put out this great stat: Miami is 7-0 when it has its best players. .. And that's something that needs to be considered for the Hurricanes. They've been great with both Johnson and Durand Scott. .. Definitely a threat for a run in March. Why? The Canes are one of the best defensive groups in America. To win in the NCAA tournament, you have to neutralize guard play. Look at what they did to Duke's backcourt, one of America's best. The Hurricanes are dangerous. Seriously.
Mick Dundee (Australia)
Can you please tell all of these hater's how good Florida is? They are 5-2 against teams slated for the NCAA tournament with the margin of victory in those wins of 25 ponits!! Oh, and the 2 losses of combined 7 points. And undefeated in conference play. (Weak conference but undefeated nonetheless).
Myron Medcalf (2:31 PM)
They're so good that you had to call out the haters from Australia. ... Florida might be the best team in America. I'm not saying the Gators should be No. 1 in the polls. But if the Big Dance were to begin tomorrow, I'd probably pick Florida to win it all.
Craig G. (Fairfield, CA)
Hey Myron, who do you think will win the Pac 12?
Myron Medcalf (2:34 PM)
Oregon. That schedule is amazing. The Ducks have already defeated Arizona State, Arizona and UCLA and they won't play them again in the regular season. ... Now the Dominic Artis situation is definitely a concern. I'd pick them now only because I'm assuming Artis comes back. But I could be wrong. ... Let's say he doesn't return or he returns and he's not 100 percent. I'd go with Zona in that scenario.
Hy Myron, whats your upset pick this week?
Myron Medcalf (2:35 PM)
I haven't looked at the odds ... But I'll say Kentucky over Ole Miss; I also like Indiana State over Wichita State (yes, I know it's on the road); Wisconsin over Ohio State in Columbus.
Ole Miss in Final 4? Have you looked at their resume? On neutral floor, I think Memphis would beat them 7 of 10. They rely too much on 3 pt shot and not great depth.
Myron Medcalf (2:36 PM)
The question referred to under the radar Final Four possibilities ... And I'm not picking Memphis to beat anyone in March right now.
Hey Myron, forget about who will take home the player-of-the-year awards, and who is objectively the nation's "best player" for a moment. If you guys at ESPN could re-do the college basketball fantasy draft, and you got the first pick, who would you take to anchor your team?
Myron Medcalf (2:38 PM)
Well, we did that few months ago ...Google it. I can't find the link right now. ... But I'd pick Trey Burke right now. I'll build around him. And he'll help everyone on the floor.
Katz said in his "musings" today that Gonzaga was going to win the WCC without a challenge. I find that hard to believe, St Marys trails them by one game and Gonzaga still has to visit Moraga... thoughts?
Myron Medcalf (2:39 PM)
I agree with Katz. I don't think Saint Mary's is in Gonzaga's league right now. ... A big part of that for me is the force known as Kelly Olynyk. How will the Gaels deal with him?
Mike (San Diego)
Is it just me or does watching Glenn Robinson's kid play for Michigan make you feel really old?
Myron Medcalf (2:41 PM)
So old. I'm 29. And I'm from Milwaukee. I got an autograph from his Dad at a gas station when I was a kid. Thought I was on top of the world. Now his son is playing in college. ... I definitely feel much older now. ... And since we're on the subject, I'm going to advise Big Ten defenders to move whenever GRIII is on a fast break.
Brett (Richmond )
Do you view VCU's past week as a warning that they are not as good as hyped up to be, will they be able regain a spot in the top 25? is so what will it take/ what do they need to improve on. Also I've been arguing with a friend, and I think you can help settle this argument. Who would win in a game between VCU and UNC?
Myron Medcalf (2:44 PM)
I think the Rams are the Baltimore Ravens of college basketball. Their defensive pressure is so special. But when it's not creating HAVOC the way they need it to, they're a different team that lacks alternatives. ... La Salle shot 47 percent from the field. And VCU couldn't muster the offensive juice to counter. That's a problem. ... But I wouldn't panic about the Rams. I see this as a bad stretch, not anything more, for a solid program.
flsku (Gardner, KS)
Let me get this straight.. a bunch of guys who went to B1G J-Schools and then ran back to the East Coast have voted #Michigan no.1?
Myron Medcalf (2:45 PM)
Not sure whom you're referring to ... I didn't go to a Big Ten school. I don't live on the East Coast. And I voted Michigan No. 1 for the second week in a row. ... Get outta here with that nonsense.
Frank (New Orleans)
What do you make of the media making a big deal about Shabazz Muhammad having a Gucci backpack, saying that he was receiving impermissible benefits since they could not imagine that his family could afford a bag worth in excess of $1000?
Myron Medcalf (2:47 PM)
I have multiple thoughts on this. ... Overall, this is life for a kid who's months removed from an NCAA scandal that involved allegations of impermissible benefits. ...Not sure if it's fair to question every kid who has an expensive trinket. But I get where it comes from for any college kid (I think my Mom had to buy my backpack because I was so broke in college) and especially a kid in Muhammad's situation. It's just not wise.
What is wrong with Syracuse?!?!?!?!?!?
Myron Medcalf (2:49 PM)
Deep breaths, Nick. They just weren't very efficient against Nova. ... But I still think they're adjusting to life without James Southerland. They relied on his production and range. Clearly, Cuse needed that over the weekend. ... Also ... let's be honest ... Nova is one you-couldn't-make-that-shot-in-your-dreams-except-you-just-did-and-now-I-have-to-eat-my-words 3-pointer away from being 0-2 against Syracuse.
jon (italy )
myron what are gonzagas chances of snatching a 1 seed ? i think they will if they win out or even maybe just lose one more game say to byu or stmarys on the road your thoughts?
Myron Medcalf (2:52 PM)
I'm honored if folks are really sending questions from overseas. Amused if you're just saying you're overseas to get my attention ... because it's working. .... On Gonzaga, the Bulldogs are in a bad spot with that loss to Butler. The WCC won't offer any quality wins (maybe Saint Mary's). So even if they run the table, they don't control their path to a No. 1 slot. ... they'll need a bunch of top-10 teams to take some major hits in the next month to earn a No. 1 seed, IMO.
Are you Pro the Catholic 7 leaving the Big East and what do you think of SLU possibly leaving the A-10 to join with them?
Myron Medcalf (2:54 PM)
I don't like realignment. So no. ... And it's hard enough to keep up with a billion leagues now. I'm already confused. .... At the same time, if you're the Catholic 7 ... and the realignment world is calling the shots ... in the words of the Notorious B.I.G. "Get money!" ... I ain't mad at ya (Tupac).
James (Oceanside, CA)
Who do you think wins the Mountain West? SDSU? UNLV? New Mexico?
Myron Medcalf (2:56 PM)
I'm still waiting on video evidence to prove that the Lobos scored 34 at SDSU. ... Every team you mentioned has had at least one awful performance in the last month. ... But I think SDSU will ultimately come out on top.
jon (italy )
hmm myron dont know if i agree with the way top 5 teams are dropping lately gonzaga could be up to a top 3 ranking if they keep winning would be pretty hard to keep them out esp with a top 10 rpi.........
Myron Medcalf (2:58 PM)
But we're saying the same thing, Jon. .... Top 5 teams are dropping. They have to keep dropping to give Gonzaga an edge for a No. 1 slot. Wins over Illinois, K-State and Oklahoma State won't cut it. And what can the Zags really do to boost their tourney profile in the WCC? There's a better chance that the Zags will damage their resume before March.
Is Creighton still the favorite in the MVC?
Myron Medcalf (2:59 PM)
Nope. Not in my book. I like Wichita State. Carl Hall changes things. Put that on a t-shirt.
Am I the only one outside of Madison who thinks Wisconsin is really fun to watch?
Myron Medcalf (3:00 PM)
Winning is fun to watch. Maybe it's just me.
Myron Medcalf (3:01 PM)
Folks it's been real. I have to go. But thank you for your time. Please join me next week. ... I had a bunch of questions ... I couldn't get to everyone. But please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or find me on Twitter (@MedcalfByESPN) if I missed you.
Myron Medcalf (3:01 PM)
I'll see you next Monday. Same time. Same place. Same Bat Channel. Wait..