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)
It was another great night at Cameron Indoor Stadium last night. Carolina-Duke is always special, and last night wasn't an exception. It is what college basketball is all about, the emotion, the passion, the energy. Breaking down the game was simple; it came down to the foul line. Duke was able to convert and North Carolina did not. Four more free throws made in a five-point game. This is a great time for college basketball. March Madness is right around the corner and this should be a wide-open big dance. Coach K is now 38-37 vs Carolina. This is the best rivalry in all of sports.
Dick, what are the chances Duke has of winning it all if Ryan Kelly returns?
Dick Vitale (11:07 AM)
With Ryan Kelly back, they would have a chance like anyone else. He would give them three talented, experienced players. He is a four-man that stretches the defense, he is a leader and phenomenal defensive player. He would make a difference. They will be a contender for the national title if he did not return, but with him, the odds would go up for sure.
Hi Mr. Vitale,You've seen Gonzaga in person, and you've seen Indiana. The Zags have 2 losses, while IU has 3. GU's losses have come to Illinois and Butler, while Indiana has lost to Illinois and Butler, and also Wisconsin. Not saying GU is as good as IU, but shouldn't they get more credit? They've got the quality wins!
Dick Vitale (11:10 AM)
They get alot of credit from me as they are in my top five in the country. Everyone has them right up there and Mark Few's team gets a lot of credit from me. If they are not number one then people are not giving them enough credit? Come on. Gonzaga is a legit contender to win it all. Tonight will be a great game against St. Mary's.
Derrick Nix of MSU set the tone against Michigan. What are your impressions of his game and overall development?
Dick Vitale (11:11 AM)
He has really come along, his footwork and ability to score. It allows people on the perimeter to getbetter looks. He is one of the key reasons they are playing well. I cannot wait to get to East Lansing for Indiana-Michigan State on Tuesday with Mike Tirico and Magic Johsnon. It should be special.
memphis going to surprise a lot of people. memphis is not getting the credit they deserve. I don't understand why memphis don't getpublicity it deserve.But here we come!!!
Dick Vitale (11:13 AM)
They are ranked this week and they have come on strong. They are head and shoulders better than teams competing in their league. They stumbled against a few quality teams earlier this season but they are doing what they have to do in league play right now.
What is the story with the Missouri Valley? It seems wacky, like you often say.
Dick Vitale (11:15 AM)
It is wide open. Creighton lost last night, Wichita State and Indiana State have had some surprising results lately. That tournament should be very interesting because on any given night, it can be shock city. I think they could still get three into the big dance.
ky fan [via mobile]
Why do you call ky games? When you cant seem to say a good thing about them ever.
Dick Vitale (11:17 AM)
First of all, that is absurd and ludicrous. Call John Calipari and ask him, he has always appreciated my honesty. Last year I said great, geart, great because they deserved it. I am honest. This is not a vintage Kentucky season. Next year could be special with the class coming in. I wish for a speedy recovery for Nerlens Noel, a class kid. I hope to see him back blocking shots and rebounding.
David B. (Syracuse)
Is this a year Syracuse gets back to the Final Four? How does this team compare to some of the other Orange clubs?
Dick Vitale (11:18 AM)
They have to play at a higher level. Last night they stumbled against Connecticut but they certainly have the potential.
Do you think the Hoos go dancing if they reach 12-6 in ACC play?
Dick Vitale (11:20 AM)
Yes, I think so. Tony Bennett's team is always in games because of its defense. Joe Harris has had a super year as well. They have a tough stretch ahead.
I get that the Notre Dame-Louisville game was historic, and extremely exciting to watch. Great job working that game, it must have been something special to be there. But I can't figure out why the fans of a top 25 team stormed the court when they beat a team outside the top 10.
Dick Vitale (11:21 AM)
I agree. I think there is too much rushing the court, like TCU winning its first league game against Kansas, or Wisconsin with a dramatic win over Michigan. There is an increase in the chance of injuries and that is scary to me.
Coach Vitale, since going to ESPN has there ever been anybody that's tried to lure you back to coaching and would you entertain a coaching job offer if it was offered?
Dick Vitale (11:23 AM)
CYO team. They wanted me to coach junior high. When I first started in TV, there were a couple of feelers but then people saw my enthusiasm and passion for calling games. Tell Pat Haden to call me, I would like to take on the UCLA Bruins...just joking.
tomas (Toronto )
Are yow at all worried about Michigan? I don't think they can play in a hostel environment but they are great at home so they should bounce back with wins over Michigan state and Indiana when they come to Ann Arbor. Your thoughts
Dick Vitale (11:25 AM)
I am not worried about them, I do not coach them. They went into a tough four-game situation, Indiana, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan State. That was as tough as it gets. They could have won three of those four games. It is time to regroup, not panic in Ann Arbor.
Thoughts on your former school, U of D
Dick Vitale (11:26 AM)
Ray McCallum's team is right up there with Valparaiso. It should be a very interesting tournament if those two meet up.
Jim Calhoun (CT)
How about them Huskies! Were you able to catch the game last night in Durham? Any chance Coach Ollie gets looked at for COY? BE or national? Coach Larranaga is also having a great year.
Dick Vitale (11:28 AM)
Ollie has done a super job providing stability. You could see that when the players surrounded him when he was being interviewed on the court last night. Warde Manuel, the AD, made a good decision giving him a long-term deal. I would make Jim Larranaga my top candidate for the Coach of the Year as of now but there is still a lot of basketball to be played. You can make a case for a lot of guys, including Larry Eustachy out at Colorado State...big win at Fort Collins last night over San Diego State.
This may seem a bit off topic, especially considering how passionate you are about basketball, but are you a fan of boxing? If so, have you every been approached to do boxing play-by-play or color commentary? I think your sheer energy and intensity would really bring a lot to any ringside announce team.
Dick Vitale (11:30 AM)
I have been fortunate enough to attend a few big boxing cards, including Floyd Mayweather, and the atmosphere out in Las Vegas is incredible. Right now, I am concentrating on basketball. I did go in the booth and do tennis one time in Los Angeles for a few minutes.
Joshua (Nashville) [via mobile]
What do you think about florida this season?? Do they have a chance to win it all
Dick Vitale (11:31 AM)
Florida has all the parts to make a serious run. Obviously the Gators looked great Tuesday. Billy Donovan's team plays solid defense and I love their unselfishness passing the basketball. They can beat you with the trifecta or they can go inside. They are certainly in a group of legit contenders to cut down the nets in Atlanta.
Lance (Austin, TX)
Dickie V, just wanted to say congrats on getting the opportunity to do the Final Four this year. Your career has been legendary, and I always love the games you do.
Dick Vitale (11:32 AM)
Thank you very much. I am really looking forward to it.
curt (Trappe Md)
Dick, i have been underwhelmed with Turgeon at Maryland this year the team has regressed what is your take?
Dick Vitale (11:33 AM)
There is still time for Maryland to make a run. They have to be more consistent and have to beat the teams they are supposed to. I like Alex Len a lot. Guard play could be a key down the stretch.
Teddy (Bellmore, New York)
Can St. John's really make the NCAA tournament?
Dick Vitale (11:35 AM)
Tonight is an important game at Louisville. The team needs to add to its resume, which does have wins over Notre Dame and Cincinnati, but a handful of tough losses. The VBDI says this young team has work to do. I also want to pass on my condolensces to Steve Lavin on the passing of his father Cap.
What do you think of Michigan State's schedule after Nebraska? Home - Indiana, @ Ohio State, @ Michigan, home - Wisconsin. Brutal! Can they go 3-1?
Dick Vitale (11:36 AM)
That is just like Michigan's four-game run. Actually those are the same four teams. I love what Tom Izzo has done and his team is playing as well as anyone. I cannot wait to call the game Tuesday vs. Indiana. It should be excitement galore there.
Did my Niners turn the corner last night with the win over Butler? I don't want to hear about them missing their center, Charlotte was without Mayfield and Thompson.
Dick Vitale (11:38 AM)
That was a great win for Alan Major's team. The A-10 has also been a bit wacky, and that tournament should provide interesting results. There are a number of leagues out there that will have very competitive conference tournaments capable of surprises.
Dick, what are your thoughts on the Zags-Gaels matchup tonight? Should be a good one.
Dick Vitale (11:39 AM)
St. Mary's has to find a way to slow down Olynyk. I expect Dellavedova will ahve a good game. Playing at St. Mary's could be an equalizer. Should be a fun game to watch, though it may be past my bedtime.
Randy (Hopewell Junction, NY)
Would you place the Spartans in your top 5 this week?
Dick Vitale (11:40 AM)
We have to see what happens with all of the results this week. It is possible, yes. We will see. Check out my vote next Monday on espn.com/dickvitale.
Are you serious with your idea of increasing fouls? That would allow players to foul even more. That could slow up the game. Come on Dickey Vitale
Dick Vitale (11:42 AM)
I really feel there are too many times where stars sit on the pine with two fouls. It has happened in the last three games I called with Cooley of Notre Dame, Boel and Plumlee. I know my thoughts are a bit radical, but I believe that it would help the game. People pay good money to see the stars.
Who do you think will be the #1 seeds come march madness?
Dick Vitale (11:43 AM)
They seem to change every week. Ask me in a few weeks.
IU fan (Bloomington)
Please, enough with the talk about IU naming anything after RMK. IU's reached out to him time and time again and got smacked down. Now he's in a video played before OSU games saying there's "nothing better than OSU basketball." Let it go.
Dick Vitale (11:43 AM)
You are entitled to your opinion, but Robert Montgomery Knight meant so much to Indiana basketball.
Dick Vitale (11:47 AM)
I want to wish a Happy Valentine's Day to everyone out there. Spread the message of love in the world. I have clearly overachieved in this area as I am celebrating 42 years or marriage to my lovely bride, Lorraine. She is the architct of our family and thank god my daughters take after her in the looks department. We are going to have a nice Italian dinner out this evening to celebrate. Speaking of celebrating, fans should rejoice over this season as there have been so many twists and turns. March Madness should be wild. I also want your help as we are getting ready for the Dickie V. gala to raise money for cancer research.
Dick Vitale (11:48 AM)
If you want to help, you can go to Dickievonline.com and join a raffle to have a shot at a brand new Mercedes. Please help us if you can by calling 1-800-4-jimmyv. See you again next week. Thanks for al of the good questions.