Bracket Busters and number one seeds.
Duke in the mix for a one seed,
Slim, in my view. We have to go 3-0 against Carolina, and Mizzou and Kansas have to play twice more and split them.
The women have a better shot at a one seed. If we win out, we'll have a great SOS and be 4-3 against the top 10 (assuming Kentucky doesn't fall out of the top 10 after its shocking loss to Bama). Notre Dame probably has one more loss in them, and if it's a bad loss to UConn in the Big East tournament, we have an argument that we have a better overall body of work.
I wouldn't pay too much attention to Lunardi's musings on the top line ... he can't keep his own rules straight. Over and over, he insists that his bracketology postings are based on the current situation ... whereas he also states how he thinks it will end up. That's fine, but AT THE MOMENT he is wrong to list Kansas ahead of Duke on the one line.
The two are very close -- so close that they are reversed in the two major polls -- the writer's have Kansas 4 and Duke 5 ... the coaches have Duke 4 and Kansas 5. Which do you think carries more weight with the commitee?
But say the rankings cancel out. What's the case for Duke over Kansas:
-- Duke has a better record 22-4 vs. 21-5 (against a tougher schedule)
-- Duke has a better RPI No. 2 to No. 7
-- Duke has a better overall strength of schedule (No. 2 vs. No. 6)
-- Duke has a better non-conference schedule (No. 3 vs. No. 40)
-- Both have exactly 4 wins vs top 25 and seven wins vs. top 50 (indeed, both are 4-3 vs. top 50; 7-4 vs. top 50)
-- Duke has a better record away from home: 5-2 on the road; 5-0 in neutral environaments ... Kansas is 6-2 on the road and 2-2 on neutral courts
Kansas does have a win over Ohio State (at home) vs. Duke's loss to Ohio State (at OSU) ... but the committee will factor that Sullinger didn't play in the Kansas game. Balancing that is the fact that Duke beat Davidson in Cameron, while Kansas lost to the Wildcats in Allen Field House.
Of course, if a tiebreaker is needed, Duke beat Kansas head-to-head on a neutral court in Maui. Yes, it was early in the season and that will discount it some, but in this case, where everything is even or Duke is slightly ahead, that's got to be the determining factor.
Interesting that in the linked video, Lunardi says the No. 1 factor for the committe is top 50 wins -- Duke and Kansas are dead even. He says the No. 2 factor is non-conference strength of schedule -- who you choose to play. There Duke has a big edge on Kansas (No. 3 vs. No. 40).
Now, that's the situation TODAY. If the committee picked today, I'm confident Duke gets the fourth No. 1.
But the selection is still almost a month away.
I can't project how Duke and Kansas finish, but I will say this -- it's very hard for two teams in the same conference to get a No. 1 because at least one has to lose in the conference tournament. It's happened a number of times (Duke and UNC more than anybody), but it's tough.
I'd say that right now, Kentucky and Syracuse are virtual locks for a number one seed.
Ohio State has a strong chance, but they are just one game better than Michigan State in record and trail the Spartans in most rankings. Interesting that they finish up with Ohio State in East Lansing (Mich State has already beaten the Buckeyes in Columbus). To be a No. 1 seed, either OSU or Michigan State must win that last game, then win the Big 10 Tournament (and not lose anywhere else).
The Big 12 has three candidates -- Kansas, Missouri and Baylor. Two of them necessarily lose in the Big 12 Toutrnament. Missouri alo has to go to Kansas in another week. Baylor doesn't have any of the top three contenders left (although they do have a game at erratic, but dangerous Texas on the road coming up).
Personally, I hink one of these three will eventually earn a No. 1 seed, but not two of them.
Finally, there are the two ACC teams. I say two because even though Florida State can still win the ACC, their early season stumbles takes them out of the mix for a 1 or 2 seed. Duke and UNC are pretty close -- Duke slightly ahead at the moment becauase of their win in Chapel Hill and their tougher schedule. But it's close enough that UNC could reverse that by beating Duke in Durham.
For Duke to get a No. 1 seed, I think that have to do three things: (1) win the ACC Tournament. That is by far the biggest hurdle; (2) at least split with FSU and UNC; (3) win everything else.
That would be 29-5 record and an ACC championship ... guys, that will be a No. 1 seed. Sweep UNC and FSU and lose in the ACC Tourney finals and it's possible, but less certain. Lose to FSU and UNC, then win the ACC and it's possible, but even tougher. Lose more than that and Duke will be a No. 2.
I would rather have Duke be a high 2 seed and play in Boston or Atlanta than the lowest 1 seed and get shipped to Phoenix for the regional.
If we are the low 1, then we're getting the high 2 anyway. Assuming that UK and Cuse are locks for a 1 seed, then the other possibilities are Michigan State, Ohio State, Missouri and Kansas... and maybe UNC, right?
So if we take the low 1, I would guess that would mean that UNC is a 2 seed. I doubt the committee pairs Duke and UNC as a 1 and 2 in the same region. I would guess that we'd be looking at Kansas or Mizzou as the top 2 paired with us in the West.
I mean, I hear you on Kentucky and they are formidable, but I might be willing to take my chances, play closer to home, and maybe in a place with more Duke fan support.
There really isn't such a thing as a "high 2." The Committee picks #1 seeds on merit, but geography dominates the placement of the #2 seeds. If Duke isn't a #1 seed, they'll probably be headed to Boston or Atlanta regardless of the much-debated S-curve.
And geography doesn't dominate the placement of the #2 seeds. That would favor the 2 over the 1 in some cases.
And even if it did, Duke as a 1 is getting shipped to Phoenix... which would put you with Kansas or Mizzou.
And geography always takes precedence over the S-curve for #2s, which is a bit annoying since we'd like be slotted in the same region as UK or 'Cuse, the clear top 2 teams right now. But things can certainly change and Ohio State or UNC could overtake us easily, which would push us to the Midwest or West. Also, I guess we're worrying about things way ahead of time - an Elite 8 matchup probably shouldn't be on the radar of the list of things that are concerning right now. If we get that far, I'll be happy for sure and who knows who the opponent would be as upsets occur all the time in the tournament.
Which happens. A lot.And geography doesn't dominate the placement of the #2 seeds. That would favor the 2 over the 1 in some cases.
Who aren't nearly as good as Kentucky. So what's the downside?And even if it did, Duke as a 1 is getting shipped to Phoenix... which would put you with Kansas or Mizzou.
The #1 seeds will be largely determined by the winners of the conference tournaments. The NCAA TSC ("fool's errand" notwithstanding) has always shown great deference to the results of the tournaments.
Here's my take. There are the eight teams in the mix for a #1 seed:
Big East: Syracuse
ACC: Duke and UNC
Big 12: Kansas and Mizzou
Big Ten: Ohio State and Michigan State
I apply two rules. Harrumph! (Am I being pretentious enough yet? No? Just wait!)
The candidates for a #1 seed must finish strong: no more than one loss prior to the conference tournament.
Of they meet that criterion, 'Cuse and Kentucky are automatically #1 seeds, even if they lose in their conference tournaments.
Of the remainder, those that win the conference tournaments are #1 seeds. This can produce five #1 seeds, in principle: Ky. 'Cuse plus the winners of ACC, Big 12, and Big Ten. But I expect there to be an upset in at least one tournament, or that one or more of the eight to have a bit of a meltdown in the regular season. But if not, here are your four #1 seeds and the top #2 seeds.
things to do this weekend:
1) watch duke
2) chip in to iron dukes for the average cost of one cleaning bill for "gatorade stain removal"
Baylor's fading chaces of getting a No. 1 seed took a major step back today with a homecourt loss to Kansas State.
Not a terrible loss -- about the equivilent to our home loss to Miami -- but coupled with their other recent slips, it's going to make it really tough for the Bears to kep up with the other contenders.
If you were to rank the No. 1 contenders right now (5:45 p.m. Saturday), they would be the last of eight teams with a chance to get a No. 1
Barerly hanging on
Lunardi includes Washington in his Last Four In and the Huskies reinforced their resume with a 79-70 win over Arizona today. Terrence Ross was superb with 25 points. Tony Wroten contributed 22. Next up for me is the Murray State (14)/St. Mary's (16) game.
United States Navy (Retired)
Earlier today, Wichita State won a major bracket buster game at Davidson.
Also today, UConn continues to play their way out of the NCAA field with a lackluster home loss to Marquette. The Huskies are now 16-10 overalll and 6-8 in the Big East. Two of their next three are on the road and the one home game coming up is against No. 2 Syracuse. They've lost six of their last eight.
But as of Thursday, Lunardi doesn't have them in trouble. He still has them as a No. 9 seed. Gotta say, they're season looks an awful lot like UNC's 2010 NIT season.