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Blog Entry

Can Duke get a No. 1 seed without quality wins?

Posted on: January 30, 2011 4:17 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2011 4:34 am
It's funny how the conversation consistently shifts in college basketball. For instance ...

Old question: Will Duke go undefeated this season?

New question: Will Duke even earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament this season?

We were debating the first question three weeks ago, but Florida State put it to rest on Jan. 12 with a 66-61 win over the Blue Devils. Now it's time to address the second question, and the answer might surprise you because it's possible the answer is that, no, the Blue Devils will not get a No. 1 seed because they're going to be lacking quality wins to offset bad losses like the blowout loss they took Sunday at St. John's.

Final score: St. John's 93, Duke 78.

And I don't care where St. John's sits in the RPI, it's a bad loss when you lose by 15 points to a team that had already lost eight games, including games to St. Bonaventure and Fordham. Can it be explained? Sure. The Blue Devils were 5-of-26 from 3-point range while committing 17 turnovers; good luck beating anybody of quality with those stats. So, yeah, I understand why Duke lost Sunday. What I'm having a more difficult time understanding is how the Blue Devils are going to earn a No. 1 seed with no great wins and at least two questionable losses.

That's the real problem with the ACC being down in relation to Duke.

(Contrary to what some would have you believe, Duke didn't lose to St. John's on Sunday because the ACC is weak and the Big East is great any more than St. John's lost to St. Bonaventure last month because the Big East is great and the Atlantic 10 is whatever. One, quite simply, has nothing to do with the other. Duke lost to St. John's on Sunday because Duke is a flawed team that played poorly and St. John's is a better-than-its-record team that played well. As for the Big East and ACC in general, the bottom line is this: The Big East is awesome and the ACC stinks. But those are two things we knew yesterday, i.e., before St. John's-Duke even tipped. My advice: Don't ever draw grand conclusions about leagues from the outcome of any one game ... unless it's a football game between SEC and Big Ten members. In that case, feel free to draw whatever conclusion you like. But I digress ...)

The lack of quailty in the ACC won't "fail to prepare" Duke for the 2011 NCAA tournament any more than the lack of quality in the Horizon League failed to prepare Butler for the 2010 NCAA tournament. But what it might do is prevent Duke from earning a No. 1 seed because the quality wins just aren't going to be available. The Blue Devils beat Marquette, Kansas State, Michigan State and Butler early, but only the Marquette win can reasonably be considered a quality win now. Making things worse is that no team on Duke's past or future schedule -- except for maybe Marquette and/or North Carolina -- figures to be ranked when the AP poll is updated Monday. So whereas Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Kansas and Texas still have plenty of chances to stack nice wins, all Duke can really do is stack OK wins or bad losses.

That's a tough spot.

Does it mean Duke can't win the national title?

Of course it doesn't mean that.

It's important to remember Duke was 17-4 and coming off a 12-point loss to Georgetown on this day last season, and the Blue Devils ended up winning that national title, which is why dismissing them as a legitimate candidate this season because of what happened Sunday would be equal parts premature and stupid. But what's neither premature nor stupid is to wonder whether a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament is possible. If it doesn't happen, it won't necessarily be because the Blue Devils aren't good enough. Rather, it'll likely be rooted in the fact that their body of work will lack quality wins because their schedule doesn't provide many, if any, opportunities to record them.
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Duke, St. John's

Since: Dec 9, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2011 6:12 pm

Can Duke get a No. 1 seed without quality wins?

OK all the Duke haters are coming out a little early this year....maybe you should wait until it's all over and then talk trash.....Remember last year!!  

Since: Dec 21, 2009
Posted on: January 30, 2011 6:12 pm

Can Duke get a No. 1 seed without quality wins?

It's way too early to be talking about 1 seeds.  We're just getting into the meat of the CBB schedule.  The "experts" need to table this conversation for another month.  Duke lost to an average Georgetown team last year and it didn't keep them from getting a 1 seed or winning a title.

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2011 6:03 pm

Can Duke get a No. 1 seed without quality wins?

YEP--  GARY -- Typical---    We just experienced a "glorious" weekend of College Hoops Where Good teams Lost, Top teams nearly lost & Others showed their Grit & True Strength along with indications of some Over rated situations... BUT What does Gary & others ,I'm Sure , Worry about or prematuely question...  DOES DUKE GET A ONE SEED  IN APRIL ???   Are you kidding me -- ???    Many teams need constuctive criticism, Some some Serious With held "LOVE" & Rankings need total adjustments BUT --WAIT--HOLD ON-- Lets First WORRY ABOUT DUKES NCAA SEEDING-- RIGHT !!!   Let DUKE win out in ACC , Win ACC tourney & probably No one will be upset with a #1 seed.. Failing That-- NO!!  SIMPLE !!     ONE-TWO or THREE... They are one of a Dozen teams with Possibility of winning it all--   Must they have a one SEED ?? Must they then play near home as well ... NO !!   WHY must they be cuddled &/or Treated Differently than any other ??   Fortunately We are not all afflicted with DICKY V-itis OR  Coach K-itus.. Theres a whole Hoop World out there . C'mon Gary -- You should be spending your Sunday Eve. pulling out your hair trying to come up with NEW REAL RANKINGS NOT worrying about DUKE!!    

Since: Nov 29, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2011 6:02 pm

Can Duke get a No. 1 seed without quality wins?

How can they win the BE regular season and tourney titles, when there not even in the BE? I mean the question is "Can Duke get a No.1 seed without quality wins".

Since: Dec 21, 2007
Posted on: January 30, 2011 5:59 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jan 12, 2010
Posted on: January 30, 2011 5:56 pm

Can Duke get a No. 1 seed without quality wins?

Can they get a 1 seed?.. No

Can they defend the title?.. YES

...Do i think they have the best squad this year in college ball?.No.. BUT THEY DIDNT LAST YEAR EITHER.. so sure, of course they could defend. Im sure last year at this point EVERYONE thought Kentucky would win it all..which made sense because they were the best team by far(best record, 5 guys in NBA). But they choked, as did Kansas and Syracuse. So the answer must be yes. Obviously the best team doesnt win every year. This Duke team needs Irving back. That kid is special. Without him, I believe it will be difficult to defend the title because their big men (with an emphasis on the Plumlee bros) arent good. But then again, their bigs sucked last year too (Where is 7 footer Zoubeck?..who the fuck knows..where is Lance Thomas? guessing unemployed somewhere). They will rely on Smith and Singler. Both guys are among the best at their positions in the nation. Coack K will have these guys ready, but a 1 seed is doubtful.

..And give credit to St. Johns. Duke didnt play well, but St. Johns could have beat a lot of top teams playing the way they did today. Props.

Since: Jan 30, 2011
Posted on: January 30, 2011 5:54 pm

Can Duke get a No. 1 seed without quality wins?

I dioubt Duke will get more than a 2 or 3 seed if they win out. In fairness, the scheduling of non-conference games is often done 2-3 years out - and who would knowhow weak those games on Duke's schedule would look today. That having been said, the ncaa comte will just as likely award Coach (Prince) K another #1 Seed just as Gary continues his apologist ways for Izzo and the other perennial favorites who grant him access. The only chance for a quality win left is VS Temple.

Meanwhile, I still hear moans about UL getting theover all #1 two years back after winning the regular season and Big east Tourney.

Since: Oct 1, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2011 5:51 pm

Can Duke get a No. 1 seed without quality wins?

Seedings are not given out in January nor are the championships.  There's still a month and a half of basketball left and Duke has but 1 loss.  I am an Ohio State alumni and I wouldn't be surprised at all to see the Buckeyes lose 4 games before entering the tournament.  It's college basketball and any team can lose, especially on the road and even more so on the weekends where upsets happen.  Heck Northwestern nearly knocked off Ohio State yesterday which would have given the Wildcats a strong quality win to go with a 14-7 record looking strong heading into the NCAA tourney.  So lot of hoops still to be played before tourney time or seedings.

Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2011 5:47 pm

Can Duke get a No. 1 seed without quality wins?

"There is no chance in Hell that Louisville gets a #1 seed.  Just sayin'..."

Louisville has a hell of a chance to get a #1 seed because they have more chances for quality wins than any team outside the BE.  They're second in the BE right now and beat UConn at Storrs. 

What's Texas, Ohio State or Kansas have on their resume?

Since: Feb 5, 2008
Posted on: January 30, 2011 5:46 pm

Can Duke get a No. 1 seed without quality wins?

Duke will of course need quality wins to get a 1 seed, that's a no brainer. Lets just chill out though right now saying they can't, I mean it's not like Selection Sunday is tonight, it's only Jan 30!!

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