The Chat House With Michael Wilbon
Washington Post Sports Columnist
Friday, April 4, 2003; 1:30 pm ET
It's time for a special March Madness edition of The Chat House!
Kansas or Marquette? Texas or Syracuse? What's going on in Roy Williams's head? Will Carmelo Anthony be a Wizard at this time next year? Michael Wilbon joins you live to talk about the start of the Final Four. So, come on into The Chat House to talk hoops.
The transcript follows.
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Michael Wilbon: Hi folks, just trying to track down Mike on his cell phone. Sit tight for a sec. Thanks. --Mary
Baltimore, Md.: My husband will win three different office pools if Texas beats Syracuse on Saturday -- what do you think are his chances?
Michael Wilbon: They must be pretty good, I would think. Syracuse is the #3 seed and Texas is the #1. I am interested to see how both of those teams play w/out the kind of home-court advantage they had in the regional round. But, I think I've undervalued T.J. Ford all season long, though I have appreciated Carmelo Anthony. Maybe it's just one of those magical years for Texas. The Longhorns don't have a senior who plays many minutes. In fact, the only Texas senior I think is a back-up point guard from Laurel, Maryland of all places. Isn't that interesting? --Mike
Durham, N.C.: Do you think Roy Williams will take the UNC job? How will this year's outcome affect his decision?
Love PTI, thanks for doing the chat.
Michael Wilbon: Thank you for putting up w/PTI and w/Tony and I. I'm really at a loss to understand what is going to happen at Carolina. I know some pretty informed and frequently consulted Carolina alums who would love either Roy or Larry Brown, but who think that Larry Brown will be the choice.... that he will remain w/the 76ers through this season and then be named Carolina's coach and also coach next year's Olympic team. It would seem to me that if Roy Williams is ever going to do this, make this move back to the school and the campus he loves so much, then this would be the time. But one thing that is clear is that Carolina needs an established veteran coach of national renown who can come in there, tell 18 year old kids and their parents to shut up and learn how to play basketball his way. That's why I think it's going to be Brown or Williams and not an outsider and not, say, Buzz Peterson, who is doing a fine job at Tennessee, but is 40 years old and may not have the edge yet to demand what needs to be demanded down there. --Mike
Boston, Mass.: Mike,
What do you think of J.J. Reddick getting busted smoking pot in a dorm room Wednesday night? Do you think the Duke propaganda machine will try to gloss it over?
Michael Wilbon: I don't think anything of it. How many kids on any given college campus are smoking pot in their rooms? I don't condone it. But I'm not going to condemn him. Your tone suggests that you have an ax to grind w/Duke. Where did you go to school? Let me know if the students at your school and that would include the prominent athletes never sat in their room and smoked pot? ---Mike
Reston, Va.: Mike,
I wanted to say thanks for the article on David Robinson. I have never been a big basketball fan, but I have been a huge fan of his ever since reading about him as a rookie when I was 11 (I still have a tattered T-shirt of his in my drawer that every woman in my life has tried to throw away at one point or another). David may not draw much attention to himself, but I think it is important to take notice of individuals that are as special as he is. His example is a good reminder that there are people out there quietly contributing to their community every day. I hope that fans of his (and other athletes like Darrell Green) pay some attention to his physical accomplishments, but more to the things that set him apart as a person like his faith and his commitment to helping others.
Michael Wilbon: Thank you very much. --Mike
Arlington, Va.: Does Marquette have any chance at beating Kansas tomorrow, or will a lot of tickets be on the block for the finals?
Michael Wilbon: If Marquette just beat Kentucky by double digits, why would you wonder if they have a chance to beat Kansas? Marquette has the best player in their field in Dwyane Wade. Everybody has a chance to beat everybody except the #1 vs. the #16 seeds and usually the #2 vs #15 and #3 vs #14. After that, of course, everybody has a chance to win. Much less when you get to the Final Four and teams have each won four straight games. --Mike
New York, N.Y.: Fellas -- not really a sports question, but in an interview with TV Guide Matt Stone, co-creator of "South Park," was asked what he usually watched on TV and he said the following:
"I'm addicted to the History Channel, and to Discovery Civilization Channel. The more boring, the better. Other than that, I just watch Pardon the Interruption on ESPN."
So how does it feel to be loved by one of the men that brought us "BASEketball?"
Michael Wilbon: That's quite an honor for someone who actually knows about TV and film and the entire industry to show a little love to 2 sportswriters like me and Tony. That's pretty damn cool. --Mike
Washington, D.C.: Michael,
There was a great article today in another D.C. paper, which basically said Kwame Brown has an unfair target on his back for blame. What are your thoughts on him? I think he is going to be a great player, and remember who even heard of Jermaine O'Neal when he was with Portland.
Michael Wilbon: That's the point. You make the point. That's what everybody is afraid of. I'm going the other way w/this. I wouldn't draft a player that I had to wait on for 4 or 5 years to deliver b/c #1, you're asking your fan base to pay a ton of money for tickets and then wait for the payoff 4 or 5 or 6 years down the line. #2 in the cases of Tracy McGrady and Jermaine O'Neal and even Kobe Bryant (who remember, was drafted by Charlotte) none of those players were great for the teams that drafted them. So, why wouldn't I rather have Elton Brand or Paul Gasol for 3 or 4 years to help me contend? I think Kwame has the tools to be a great player, but it ain't going to happen here. Just like it didn't happen for T-Mac in Toronto. The demands that have to be put on those high school kids make them resentful to a great degree of the coach and star players and understandably they walk away when they become free agents. You think Kwame is really feeling Michael Jordan and Doug Collins right now? I'd be shocked if Kwame was here beyond his initial contract, if that long. --Mike
Washington, D.C.: Michael,
Syracuse will crush Texas! Texas has never seen a real team. We are talkin Big East folks.
Michael Wilbon: Ok fortune teller. I tend to ignore silly proclamations like that b/c you are cut from the same cloth that said that North Carolina State couldn't beat Houston and Villanova couldn't beat Memphis State or Georgetown.... I mean if that makes you feel good, keep doing it. But I don't think anyone who really follows sports listens to that junk. All of these teams are fairly even and if you don't know that you don't really know much about sports and human nature and what causes certain people to play well under pressure and others not to, even to coaches and other players. --Mike
Alexandria, Va.: Mike,
What do you see as the most compelling player matchups for tomorrow's Final Four games?
Michael Wilbon: I don't study the match-ups of Final Four games that closely like it's a football game. The most compelling players are Wade from Marquette, Anthony from Syracuse, TJ Ford from Texas and Nick Collison from Kansas. And clearly in college, it's not like the pros where match-ups rule and determine the games. It's not that one on one oriented. Obviously, Syracuse plays a zone and the other teams may employ defenses that are based on zone principles to stop certain players. --Mike
Hannibal, Mo.: Bring it on, Mike! Who do you think will be in the finals on Monday night and who do you pick to win it all?
Michael Wilbon: I picked Syracuse to make the Final Four and that's the only Final Four team I got correct in my original bracket. I guess to be honorable, I have to stay w/Syracuse, but I'm feeling that TJ Ford and Texas might be a better team. But I'm going to stay w/Syracuse b/c I picked them to face Kansas. Don't ask me to have great conviction in these picks b/c I think that Wade is the best player in the field and could overtake Kansas w/a great performance. I hope that all this North Carolina has not so distracted Kansas that they have a clunker of a game. --Mike
Washington, D.C.: Mike -- Which of the final four teams are best prepared for success next year (assuming Anthony and perhaps Ford turn pro)?
Michael Wilbon: Great question. Perhaps you better be thinking Anthony and Wade who is a junior. I really, really, really, really don't think a 5 ft. 9 inch point guard (Ford) is best served by trying to go to the NBA right now in what looks to be an incredible draft year. But, Texas and Syracuse are loaded w/good underclassmen. Obviously, Kansas is losing the guts of its team and may lose its coach so Vegas wouldn't have odds up on the Jayhawks next season, not knowing who was even going to be on the bench. --Mike
Hastings, N.Y.: After watching the games on Saturday on Sunday, Marquette looks like the strongest team. Wade is the best player in the country, and they also have solid options in the paint. I do not see Kansas beating them, although I think the game will be taken out of the hands of Diener as a result of Miles' defense. Who do you see winning this game?
Michael Wilbon: I've talked about that already, but I don't disagree w/anything you've said about Marquette. Maybe if I had some guts I'd pick Marquette b/c I agree w/your very specific analysis of what the Golden Eagles do. You're pretty good at this. Maybe I should consult you before I write my column Saturday night. I'm headed to the studio to do PTI and straight to the airport to go New Orleans. I hope everyone enjoys the game. And we'll chat Tuesday. --Mike
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