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: Jan 5, 2011
Posted on: January 31, 2011 10:27 am

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

Penn St and Michigan along with northwestern are ALOT tougher than anyone gives them credit for. Michigan almost... nay.... should have beaten all three Kansas Duke and Syracuse back when they were undeafeated. Penn St. is starting to become a legitimate threat in the big ten and soon the nation (hopefully) and northwestern had a great out of conference season but they just arent ready to hang with the big boys.
Case in point i'd like to see pitt try to play some of these teams. They aren't walks in the park like they should be. I'm not saying pitt has no impressive wins. Pitt is a good team. They beat gtown and uconn on their home court. Thats toughness to say the least. And those wins were impressive until those teams started losing multiple games in a row to cup cake teams. Especially syracuse, seton hall and marquette? You wanna talk about victories over the bottom dwellers of the conference well pitt did that too. But Both Ohio State and Pitts conference schedule has improved. But teams are going to struggle against other teams its just how the season goes. 
If pitt gets a number one seed they will earn it. Because right now i think there are four set teams pretty well arranged to be the number one seeds and Pitt and Duke aren't in those four. Like i said we will see how the season plays out pitts resume will get hurt one way or another when UConn and Cuse take on one another. But still Maryland will knock off Duke and Texas will keep winning. And those wins will keep them in the hunt. 

Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: January 31, 2011 10:27 am

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

Peiper, unless Duke loses a couple more games or is an early round exit in the ACC tourney, they will be assured of a #1 seed. As weak as the ACC is, it still has cachet come tourney seeding time. Let me see... Ohio State, Pittsburgh, UConn (currently w/ 3 losses), Duke or San Diego State. Which one of these teams don't belong as a #1 seed? With the East Coast bias and the lack of SDSU games played on TV (not to mention the loss last week when on ESPN), I'm pretty sure we know who will get the short end of the stick. Is the Mountain West really that much stronger than the ACC top to bottom? I doubt it.

The question isn't "Can Duke get a #1 seed?" It's really "Who can bump Duke OUT of a #1 seed?" It's going to take more then W's...

Since: Nov 23, 2006
Posted on: January 31, 2011 10:25 am

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

How were they handed the title last yeat they beat everyteam they played, Kansas, Kentucky, Gerogetown, and all the others did not. That is the stupidest argument ever, If there was a better team last year shouldnt they have won their games.

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: January 31, 2011 10:06 am

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

Duke is overrated and plays no one...period. They are an average team at best in a crappy acc that is probably one of the worst conferences in college basketball for a couple years running. Yes, I know its not Duke's fault there conference sucks, but they do not deserve a number one seed and were handed the title last year.

Now my real reason for being on here. danny_49 are you drunk or just an illiterate moron?

Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: January 31, 2011 10:06 am

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

"But we'll see how tough they really are coming down the stretch of at west virginia and at Nova. Same for ohio state going at minnesota and at penn state. If pitt proves true then i will change my opinion but texas clearly has the better resume..."

You really want to compare Minnesota and Penn State to WVA and 'Nova?  Seriously?!?!?!?  Pitt will have to play at Louisville as well.  I can tell you that OSU goes 0 for 3 with that slate, so don't hold Pitt to a different standard from the lower one OSU has.

Its a free country so I guess OSU fans can say whatever they want.  I think the Buckeyes have talent and, yeah, they're undefeated.  But isn't that the way it has been for them in football, as well?  When it comes down to a question of quality wins, they aren't even in the conversation.  OSU fans would be well advised to just sit back, hold their breath while their team sneaks past powerhouses like Minnesota and Penn State, and pray that they aren't paired with an eight or 4-5 seed in the tournament with a big front line to beat them up on the boards or with tight perimeter defense to challenge their outside shooting.  BTW, Pitt notwithstanding, UConn, Georgetown, 'Nova and Louisville all have better backcourts than OSU, as well.  

But I digress, the question is getting No. 1 seeds without quality wins and since you want to make comparisons to Texas' resume, Pitt (and UConn) already have victories over Texas to show for theirs...

So, let me ask this question, realizing that any team that's undefeated deserves a No. 1 seed:

Is Ohio State an imposing No. 1 seed without quality wins?


Since: Nov 23, 2006
Posted on: January 31, 2011 9:45 am

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


I completley agree with you, giving up 90 plus points in unacceptable no matter who you play be in st johns, kansas or ohio st. There Defense has been poor all season, Esp since Irving got hurt because they lost their fastest on ball defender, but the rest of the team has to step up in his absence. If Duke wants to make another run this year they will have to play much better D end of story.

Since: Nov 23, 2006
Posted on: January 31, 2011 9:41 am

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

Im sorry I meant Kansas got beat by Northern Iowa, But Kentucky got knocked out my a team Duke Man handled so whats your point

Since: Nov 8, 2009
Posted on: January 31, 2011 9:39 am

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

Duke shot poorly.  I have heard that over and over from numerous sports writers since yesterday.  And it's true.  And I'm not trying to get into the argument of one conference is better than the other but it's time to talk about defense.  St. John's played it and Duke did not.  Duke was not prepared for the defensive pressure of a middle-of-the-pack (at best) Big East team.  It sure is hard to shoot well when your shooters are denied the ball and when they do get it, there are hands in their faces 26 feet from the basket.  The Big East is a low scoring conference for a reason.  Cincinnati (one of the best defensive and worst scoring teams in the country) also middle of the pack and like St. John's and will struggle to make the NCAA Tournament, held St. John's to 51 at the Garden.  Every team has a bad night, but here's an idea, PLAY SOME DEFENSE!    

Since: Nov 23, 2006
Posted on: January 31, 2011 9:38 am

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

And you know what they won the National Championship so I would say that #1 seed was well deserved, and dont give me this crap of they had the easiest run, you know what they beat the teams they played unlike Kentucky who got beat by that Jagurnaut Northern Iowa. So did they deserve a #1 seed. quit crying everybody its sad

Since: Nov 13, 2006
Posted on: January 31, 2011 9:23 am

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

Hey Parrish, Please look at Duke's schedule last year and tell me where the quality wins were to land them their #1 seed. The committee always sees regular season title followed by ACC tournament title and anoints them with a 1 seed.   Duke always get the benefit of the doubt in the seeding process (and they never have to travel far from Durham).

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