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
 
Comments

Since: Nov 20, 2010
Posted on: January 30, 2011 5:44 pm
 

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

Of course Duke will get a #1 seed, whether they deserve it or not. They got one last year when there were more deserving teams. They are a great team with a great chance to compete for a national title, but they are given better seeds every year due to the respect Coach K commands. The argument is whether or not they deserve that



Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2011 5:43 pm
 

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

Duke goes down . . . hard . . . I absolutely LOVE IT!!!  Made my day!!



Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2011 5:43 pm
 

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


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

Can Kansas get a No. 1 seed without quality wins and a home loss against the best team they played all year?

Can Ohio State get a No. 1 seed with quality wins that are questionable because you feel compelled to keep Florida, Florida State and a handful of Big Ten teams in your Top 25 and 1?

Can Kentucky get a No. 1 seed if they suffer two or more additional losses in the SEC?

Can BYU or SDSU get a No. 1 seed?

The answer to each burning question is yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes because there would be less interest nationally in the NCAA tournament if BE teams get more than two No. 1 seeds.  At least we play a complete tournament to crown the National Champion in basketball (although I also believe that the SEC has been superior enough to have deserved a pass to the BCS championship five years running).  However, it isn't fair to drop BE teams below the seed they deserve or send them far from home so their fans have difficulty traveling to the games, just to satisfy various NCAA policy rules.   Seeding does play a role in determining the outcome, just like last year when Duke was in by far the easiest Regional and played early games close to home.     
   



Since: Oct 25, 2007
Posted on: January 30, 2011 5:33 pm
 

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

They could win out, win the BE regular season and tourney titles. Just sayin'.

No, but seriously Louisville is a quickly improving team with a quickly improving point guard and will probably be a 3-5 seed that nobody wants to see in their bracket, and I'm good with that.



Since: Mar 1, 2009
Posted on: January 30, 2011 5:31 pm
 

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

And while I'm dreamin lets throw in Syracuse and Purdue as # 2s



Since: Jan 13, 2009
Posted on: January 30, 2011 5:28 pm
 

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

just making a point, Kansas will be a #1 seed as well.  Down conference years hurt individual teams. 



Since: Mar 1, 2009
Posted on: January 30, 2011 5:27 pm
 

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

 
You could have Louisville, Pitt, UConn, all #1 seeds.  With Texas as the 4th.  
Or how about UConn, Texas, Ohio St., and Duke.  Then Michigan State can say it played and lost to all 4 #1 seeds!



Since: Jun 5, 2009
Posted on: January 30, 2011 5:22 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'...



Since: Jan 13, 2009
Posted on: January 30, 2011 5:18 pm
 

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

Full disclosure, Im a Pitt fan.  With that being said, Duke played poorly today and lost to a middle of the pack Big East team.  Pitt, on the other hand, played poorly and beat a middle of the pack Big East team.  The strength of your conference does make a difference.  Ohio St. is in the same boat.  The Big Ten isnt as good as everyone thought they would be and the only thing they can hope for is not lose.  There are no more chances of losing, any loss would be bad!  Each of the top Big East teams simply enhance there chances of a #1 seed as they win.  You could have Louisville, Pitt, UConn, all #1 seeds.  With Texas as the 4th.  



Since: Mar 24, 2009
Posted on: January 30, 2011 5:13 pm
 

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

NO!  Why should they! 



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