Original Source: http://espn.go.com/dickvitale/v-mail050805…thCarolina.html
Q: Has a national champion ever suffered such a devastating blow as the Tar Heels losing seven players from their roster? Will the Heels even be competitive while they wait for the class of '06 to arrive? Finally, what are there chances for making the NCAA Tournament for the next two years? — Jerry Johnson (North Carolina fan)
VITALE — North Carolina is bigger than any player. The university is one of the special state institutions in America. With great coaching from Roy Williams, along with the tradition and history of the program, the Tar Heels ultimately will get back to the top. Sure, it will be a struggle for a year as Williams has a young but talented squad, but they will be fun to watch. They will be exciting, with diaper dandies Tyler Hansbrough, Bobby Frasor and Co. in the group. But you can’t lose four of the top 14 guys in the NBA draft and not be hurt. In 2006-07, they will be a top-10 team. Williams is a winner, and that Carolina blue jersey stands for greatness.
Also, the Dickmaster had some tidbits to say about Indiana (one of our much anticipated home games),
Q: I’ve been anticipating a lot out of coach Mike Davis at Indiana, and I just can’t wait until next season. How will the young team with more freshmen and transfer Marco Killingsworth look without Bracey Wright? — Joe Moffo (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
VITALE — Indiana is up there in the Big Ten, along with Michigan State, Illinois, Iowa and Ohio State. Michigan is close behind if Daniel Horton comes back. It should be a big year in the conference. Killingsworth can be a dominant inside player for the Hoosiers, and he will help D.J. White. Indiana knows this is a must-year; athletic director Rick Greenspan pulled no punches, when he announced Mike Davis was coming back, about the win-loss numbers needing to change. I feel that Indiana’s preconference schedule is more realistic; I felt Davis got a tough break last year, as the nonleague schedule was so, so tough.
Finally, Mr. Vitale weighed in on a possible Sweet 16 matchup for Charlotte, the Memphis Tigers,
Q: How good do you think Memphis will be now that coach John Calipari has all the pieces. Shawn Williams and Christopher Douglas-Roberts head a strong recruiting class. Do you think the Tigers finally can make some big noise? — Trey (Memphis)
VITALE — John Calipari should have a dynamite club because so many returning players are familiar with his system. They played better at the end of this past season, and they could absolutely be one of the Dazzling Dozen teams in America. Darius Washington and Rodney Carney should provide a lot of excitement. There was a lot of early-season turmoil with the Sean Banks suspension, but the team improved. Calipari also brought in an outstanding recruiting class. Look for big things out of the Tigers this coming season. Memphis should dominate in Conference USA.