Thursday, March 29, 2 p.m. ET

March Madness

Adam Kilgore and Marc Carig
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, March 29, 2007; 2:00 PM

Post staff writers Marc Carig and Adam Kilgore will be online Thursday, March 29, at 2 p.m. ET to take your questions about the the Final Four and all the latest college basketball news.

Submit your questions and comments before or during the discussion.


Adam Kilgore: You're looking ... LIVE! at Gate 42 of National Airport in terminal C. I'll be boarding my flight to the ATL shortly, but not before satiating the Final Four thirst these questions represent. Marc Carig will be joining us in a few moments, once he's done taking his Nick Fazekas jersey, still stained with tears, to the laundromat. Lots of GTown today, I'm sure, as well there should be. Onward.


Washington, D.C.: Which one of you wants to keep tally of the "Georgetown Snub" comments today??

Can I start with the first one??

What's up with The Post assigning a columnist who doesn't even live in D.C. to cover our local team??

Was it just because the bosses across the river could pay Ms. Jenkins's cab ride to East Rutherford instead of Wilbon's flight?

Adam Kilgore: Complaining about Sally?!?!? Every fan should be so lucky to have Sally write about their team. For you Wilbon fix, I'm pretty sure he's going to be in Atlanta, but not positive.


Marc Carig: Hey everyone. So I hear there are some basketball games coming up and that one of the local teams is involved...


Annandale, Va.: Mr. Kilgore and Carig,

Two fantastic finishes in the other final four (unless you are a Miss St. or Air Force fan) and from reading The Post, you would not even know that they played the games. Do you have any thoughts on WVU-Clemson tonight? Another last-second shot perhaps.

For what it is worth, Georgetown over UF in the final.

Adam Kilgore: Nice pick. Yeah, we decided we'd cover the whole Georgetown playing in the Final Four that day instead of the NIT. But yeah, they were good games. I got Clemson in the final, because of their front-court athleticism and the way its back court guards. I also got John Beilen at Michigan after this game. (That's rampant speculation, by the way, but it makes sense to me.)

Marc Carig: Do i have thoughts on WV-Clemson? Nope, can't say that I do. Anyway, I also like Georgetown/Florida in the final, though I have the Gators winning that one.


Oakton, Va.: I know it only takes one interested party, but how realistic is it that an NBA franchise would offer JTIII their head coaching job? Regardless of how great a coach he may be, college to pro coaches have had a horrible track record. And then there are probably five other college coaches which I would think would be more attractive to an NBA franchise. Is this all just a bunch of overexcited speculation? Or is this talk not too far fetched, and a comment on the respect people have for JTIII's coaching skills (i.e., he's not just a coach that relies on recruiting like Donovan).

Marc Carig: As you say, if that speculation is out there, it's a product of HoyaSaxa Syndrome. JTIII is a great college coach and you can see his poise in his players, a great compliment for a coach. But the NBA? Now? I think JTIII could be a great candidate down the road, but even then, I can't imagine him leaving a pretty sweet situation.

Adam Kilgore: Yeah, the Washington Times reported the other day, using an anonymous source, that the Bobcats came to Thompson at some point, but he backed away. You're right about college coaches bombing out in the NBA, but that's usually a personality issue. JTIII isn't a yeller and screamer like a Calipari or Pitino, so he may be better suited down the road. But it seems like he really, really enjoys coaching at the place he grew up watching his dad. That place better pay him eventually, though.


Washington, D.C.: So we all know Oden is a great defender around the basket, but how is he away from the top of the key? Specifically, will he be able to defend Hibbert's spectacular (for a guy his size) drives from the top of the key? Will Hibbert's success lie in drawing Oden away from the basket, then going around him?

Adam Kilgore: That's a really good question. I thought about that myself -- not only in Hibbert the tallest and longest player Oden has ever faced, he's also more versatile than most. The best thing about Hibbert's high post game is he'll be able to draw Oden out of the lane a little bit, which should open up those back cuts for lay-ups. Thad Matta could throw a zone at Georgetown, which is something he hasn't done but might want to consider if he doesn't respect the outside the outside shooting of Wallace and Sapp. Good Lord, this Hibbert-Oden matchup is going to be something.

Marc Carig: Great question. I tend to go along with you in thinking that Hibbert can do some things against Oden further away from the basket. But, the more important thing will be seeing how Georgetown takes advantage of drawing Oden out...As Adam says, it may free up some space that the Hoyas can exploit for high-percentage looks.


Hoyas Season Ticket Holder: Please, for the love of the Hilltop, let the first be the only "Georgetown Snub" comment.

Please give your predictions about who shines on Saturday and why.

Adam Kilgore: I got Florida in the late game, because I've them winning the title all season and don't want to back down now. The frontcourt should batter the Bruins, but that's a great, great game.

As for Ohio State-Georgetown ... man, that's so tough. Classic, classic game. I'm still a little up in the air, but I think I'm going Buckeyes. I think everything pretty much balances out, but I feel like one of the overlooked OSU freshmen, David Lighty or Daequan Cook, is going to have a big impact at some point. They both started coming on in San Antonio. But another great, great game.

Marc Carig: I've been picking Florida to win on all my brackets, etc. But here's the case for UCLA: they play great defense, Afflalo is out of his funk and the Bruins' maligned bigs are, eek, delivering some production.

In matchup No. 2, I think we're going to see a remake of Wilt v. Russell. At least I hope we do.


Rockville, Md.: Georgetown needs to learn how to riot. That was one lame celebration on Sunday. No burning of couches, no broken windows, nothing.

College Park, Morgantown and Storrs, Conn., sure do know how to riot.

Adam Kilgore: Okay. My biggest beef with Georgetown is only this: the students didn't buy all the student tickets! I know there are only about 6,000 undergrad, but c'mon, show me something in a big spot.

Marc Carig: I'm with Rockville... I mean the least the students could do is put down their lattes and maybe set a pile of their Abercrombie gift cards ablaze!


Storrs, Conn.: So, Geno Auriemma is on Florida's radar. Should he take the cash and go? What could there possibly be left to accomplish in Storrs?

Adam Kilgore: He'd be insane to leave Connecticut. Few places in the country care half as much about women's basketball as that state. I met two women from Connecticut in San Antonio who were driving to the site to watch the women play and dumping tickets to the men's regional final. That's dedication.

Marc Carig: He has built something that goes beyond wins and losses in Storrs, and that's why I think it would be nice for him to stay there for the duration. His program has created an environment where the women's game is relevant and respected.


Jai Lucas: Where am I going to end up going to school?

Adam Kilgore: Why don't you just tell us, Jai, and make all those Terrapins fans out there stop worrying so much? I wish I could tell you. Marc may have a better bead on the situation.

Marc Carig: Passing the buck to Prisbell on this one... I can say it's probably not GW.


York, Maine: Do you think Hibbert will be able to outplay Oden and lead Georgetown to the championship game. It should be a terrific match-up?

Mom and Debbie

Adam Kilgore: Ladies and gentlemen, my mother finally gets her question answered! Her friend Debbie probably showed her how to upload the question. Anyway, Mom, I think it is possible. He's been a double-double machine lately, and he's played well against the elite 7-footers he played against this season -- UConn's Hasheem Thabeet and Pitt's Aaron Gray. He played those guys in four games and averaged about 15 and 8. Of course, Thabeet and Gray are no Greg Oden.

(And Mom, you've got to work on your puncuation. Have a day at Maude Hutchins!)

Marc Carig: They've got computers in Maine???


D.C.: Do you think Sanjaya will make it to the Final Four? I think he rocks!

Marc Carig: Sanjaya's ability to advance despite an obvious lack of talent only proves to me that AI is about as rigged as election day in Zimbabwe. If he shoots like he sings, forget the Final Four. I say play-in game. Maybe.

That said, I'd rather listen to Sanjaya sing for eight straight hours than see that damned Dickie V. Hooters commercial one more time. Hmmm, which do you think is worse??? Discuss.


College Park, Md.: I understand that the big men are the focus of the media's attention, but isn't it always said around tourney time that basketball is a guard's game? Would you say guards or big men are the bigger deciding factor in who wins this weekend's games? (I realize the answer is more nuanced, but am curious to hear your thoughts)

Adam Kilgore: Guards are always key, but it's just so rare to get two great big men. I mean, Luke Schensur (there's no way that's how you spell his name, sorry) was hailed as the next coming of Wilt Chamberlain before Emeka Okafor turned him into an oversized traffic cone.

Guard play will go a long way in deciding the Ohio State-Georgetown game. So much of what Ohio State does on offense is predicated on Mike Conley getting into the lane, which he does better than just about every guard in the country. If Sapp and Wallace can contain him, Georgetown should breeze. If not, all of OSU's weapon's open up.

In the UCLA game, Afflalo and Collison are probably the most complete backcourt remaining. But that game really comes down to how much UCLA's maligned front court, which played great against Kansas, can contain Florida's big men.

Marc Carig: Outside of extreme cases like the Georgetown/OSU game, guards are easily the most important. In UCLA's case, it's most obvious. Afflalo is the most dangerous player left in this tournament, bar none, because of his ability to score in so many different ways. He gets to the line, he can knock down threes, he can hit a mid-range jumper, he can take you off the dribble. On top of that, he rebounds well from the backcourt and is the team's best defender. You don't usually see that kind of versatility from the bigs, but it's that kind of versatility that mean the difference in tight games.


Greenbelt, Md.: Adam - In your Sunday article, thank you for correctly stating that Ohio State's appearance in the 1999 Final Four was expunged due to NCAA violations. Most writers/commentators fail to mention that fact. Have any sanctions ever been associated with Matta?

Adam Kilgore: You're quite welcome. Matta has not been penalized, and nor has Ohio State while he's been there. But the school is still on probation for what happened under Jim O'Brien, who was fired and later won an expensive settlement from the school for being wrongfully fired.


Maryland: What are the chances that we'll see anything in the Final Four as crazy as the DII Championship game?

Adam Kilgore: Zero. My God, that was the greatest thing I've ever seen. Imagine being that Atkinson guy? What a feeling. His euphoria -- running away from his teammates, wearing that look like, "Oh my God, there's no way that just happened, especially not to ME" -- gives me goosebumps thinking about it right now. That was so, so awesome.

Marc Carig: Full disclosure: I didn't see the game!


Berkeley, Calif.: After hearing all the boasting about Marc's precious boys in Reno, we find out they're only the second-best team in the state! Marc, how does it feel?

Marc Carig: Watching UNLV luck its way into the Sweet 16 and Memphis beat up Nevada was more painful, but still not as bad as seeing the Vitale hooters commercial on a projection sized TV.


Morgantown: Why do you believe Beilein moving to Michigan makes sense?

Adam Kilgore: He's a great, innovative coach who's overdue to move to a big-time school. Plus he's cleaner than most coaches in recruiting, and Michigan kind of needs that type of person right now coming off of the Fab Five fallout.


D.C.: Any fallout or reaction from anyone to Wise's (I think) column about Fred Brown?

When Brown started to talk about how it is unfair that JT's sons coach but only one of his players do, and that it was unfair that Brown's son would not get scholarship money for being a manager, he lost some credibility.

Adam Kilgore: There really hasn't been too much. We had some angry callers in the office on Sunday, but that's about it. I think the Georgetown folks understand that Wise wasn't really digging for anything like that, but once he found it he had to run it. Plus he went to both Jr. and III, so they knew it was coming and a had to respond.

Marc Carig: I haven't talked to Wise, though now I'm curious myself.


Washington, D.C.: If you were Billy Donovan, would you leave Florida for the angry mob at UK? Will he?

Adam Kilgore: That's hard for me to say, because I'm not, nor have I ever been, Billy Donovan. My personality is suited to find a place where I'm comfortable and try do my best in that situation, but Donovan could be different. I'd stay, but he may really like Kentucky. We'll see.

Marc Carig: Seemingly comfortable digs at Florida or sitting on the hot seat from Day 1 at Kentucky... hmmm. To heck with the mob. I'd be staying.


Anonymous: Are any of the McDonald's All-Americans coming to the Maryland Terps.

And how many are from Maryland?

Adam Kilgore: None are going to Maryland (yet, Jai Lucas is still deciding) and two, Chris Wright and Austin Freeman, are going to Georgetown. Two, Freeman and Donte Green (Syracuse) go to high school in Maryland. Wright goes to high school in D.C. and is from Maryland.


Stephanie (Los(t) Angeles): Hey Guys, the big question is...WHO IS GOING TO GUARD JEFF GREEN?

Adam Kilgore: There was an article about this in today's Dayton Daily News, and Ohio State said they didn't know (which is probably just some wise grandstanding.) I'd say probably Ivan Harris, a senior forward who's pretty athletic and was once a McDonald's All-American himself, to start. They'll probably throw a bunch of looks at him, like most teams do. Because Green has the skills of a guard and a big man, most teams throw different guys at him during the course of a game.


Chantilly, Va.: Guys: Please tell me Kentucky will not make Billy Donovan an offer he can't refuse, and UF can't match.

With Donovan and Urban Meyer, the Gators have the potential for an almost unprecedented run of simultaneous success in both major college sports.

Adam Kilgore: All signs seem to be pointing that way. It's been quiet on the Kentucky front, which makes you think they're waiting to drop some cash on Donovan. And since Florida is losing all of its best players this season, there seems little reason for Donovan to stay. One thing is damn sure: Billy Donovan is getting PAID, from either UF of UK.

Marc Carig: Little reason to stay? Oh, I'm sure UF will provide plenty of reasons to stay. Of course, a reason to stay: stupid Kentucky fans.


Hilltop: Hi Guys,

Besides the obvious, Oden, how is this OSU different from the one Georgetown manhandled last year? Who will be guarding Green?

Adam Kilgore: Don't forget Mike Conley, who has become the most dangerous point guard left. He's relentless when it comes to penetrating. Also, Ron Lewis is capable of putting up 20 and drilling clutch shots, something he couldn't do last season.

We already had the who's guarding Green question.


Los Angeles: You guys see Tim Floyd on PTI defending his "recruiting" of OJ Mayo? The new King of Rationalization has arrived!

Final Four in '08

Death Penalty in '09

Adam Kilgore: The idea that Mayo called Floyd -- and Floyd didn't know who he was -- seems a little, um, suspect. I have a bad feeling Mayo will be sitting out for a good portion of next for some nefarious activities. That's a train wreck waiting to happen.

Marc Carig: Kinda saw this coming from USC, which is desperate, especially because UCLA now officially owns all that fertile recruiting ground in SoCal.


Columbia, Md.: The only tournament that I really care about is the women's tournament. Go Lady Tigers!

Adam Kilgore: What a wild, wild story that is. Losing their coach the way they did and then going to the Final Four. I've been surprised at how empty the arenas look on TV this season. It seems like a step back from how full they've been in recent seasons for the tournament.

Marc Carig: I'm hearing that Cleveland is buzzing for the Final Four though. I'll see soon enough. The Tennessee/UNC matchup is one for the ages. Then there's the possibility of Candace Parker leaving school early and of course the specter of the Pokey Chatman situation... intriguing stuff.


WE ARE...: Okay, so, what's the deal with people saying Jeff Green traveled in the last play against Vanderbilt? As I understand the rule, lifting you pivot foot is completely legal while taking a shot. Otherwise, how would anyone ever be able to take a jump shot?

The NCAA rules say: "Art. 4. After coming to a stop and establishing the pivot foot:

a. The pivot foot may be lifted, but not returned to the playing court,

before the ball is released on a pass or try for goal;"

Seems pretty straight forward. You can lift your pivot foot while shooting.

Adam Kilgore: I think the call was so close you can make a case that he picked up that foot before he began the act of shooting. Here's the point: Refs miss calls. This was not blatant -- as CBS beat into the ground -- it was really close. Calling that a travel would have been wrong in that situation, like calling a borderline palming with 2 seconds left in an NCAA Tournament game. Great player, great shot, that's what's important.

Marc Carig: You know what gets lost in all this? Is just how legit Vandy proved itself to be during the tournament. (Hey Sheinin, happy now?}


Wise's column: Sorry, I meant reaction among the Georgetown team, not at The Post.

And speaking of Maryland recruits, wasn't there a point during the GTown-UNC game when like half of the guys on the floor were from Maryland?

Great job recruiting, Gary!

Marc Carig: I just played golf with a College Park native. In 40 something years, he's never lived more than 10 minutes away from campus, and when the topic of Maryland basketball came up, it was refreshing to hear him say that he remembers back when the program was in the toilet and what Gary has done to turn it into what it is. The guy brought them back to the tournament after a trying season. Does he really deserved to get hammered still?


S. Rockville, Md.: Can we take bets on which local school your paper is going to punk next year around NCAA tournament time? Back in Maryland's glory days there was a dirt-throwing article, we all remember last year's "investigation" into "diploma mills" that was just an excuse to take a shot at GW, and now this year's article by Mike Wise besmirching Georgetown.

My guess is that with Kilgore setting up shop in Roanoke, you'll hammer either UVA or Virginia Tech should they make the NCAA tournament. Or maybe pound VCU since they took out established media favorite Duke this year.

Why doesn't your paper report the news, instead of make it?

Adam Kilgore: Fake answer: First, we fake the news instead of report it because readers will believe anything you put in the paper these days. Second, we're still deciding, actually, but probably the VCU idea, because we're still disappointed that Duke lost. They're out favorite.

Real answer: That question is insane.

Marc Carig: Holy cow. I stand corrected. I just saw something dumber than the Dick Vitale Hooters commericials.


Seattle: In light of Georgetown's Final Four appearance and considering my fragile sensibilities, at what point should I get over Syracuse's snub from the tournament this year? Georgetown's success makes that injustice all the more glaring.

Adam Kilgore: Is this Jim Boeheim? He's appeared on every other media outlet possible, when not a WaPo chat? Here's one thing about Syracuse: Yes it went 10-6 in the Big East, which has never happened to a team not making the tournament. But 10-6 in the Big East now is not what 10-6 used to be because of the diluted schedule expansion brought. Of course, the Orange still won at Marquette and beat Villanova and Georgetown. But it also lost to St. John's and UConn. And Wichita State and Drexel.


Fairfax, Va.: Listening to commentators, it seems like there are different types of successful coaches. There are the kind that people like and respect (Williams, Calhoun, Olsen, Howland, Tubby Smith), and the kind people simply respect for their accomplishments, but don't seem to like all that much -- Billy Donovan.

Why don't people gush about Billy Donovan?

Adam Kilgore: I don't know. Just don't listen to what Dick Vitale says and you'll be fine. He continues to shill for his friends with no repercussions from ESPN, which as a network (not Web site or magazine) waved goodbye to journalism long ago. This is getting a little too ranty, better quit while I'm ahead (or not behind by much more.)

Marc Carig: Eh, it's all about perception. Think about it, how much do we REALLY know about any of these guys?


Marc Carig: All right all, good questions (mostly). Take care. Hellloooo Cleveland...

And Kilgore from Atlanta informs me to thank you all for the questions, especially the one from his mom.


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