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: Oct 10, 2008
Posted on: January 31, 2011 12:15 am

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

Good! Whatever 95pittfan says I will use that as my comment. It saves me from doing all that typing. OSU would be a bottom feeder of the Big East.

Since: Jan 5, 2011
Posted on: January 31, 2011 12:11 am

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

I was merely stating a few victories theat have been soured to make a point. Yes they beat texas that is one impressive win i will give them that. Nut that is only one. Maryland is a decent team so i guess i'll give that one to them as well. But still two quality wins? What about the tenessee team they lost to? What have they done since? I will admit they can rebound from a loss though. 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 and while sdsu has no impressive wins their rpi is still pretty high. We'll see what goes down coming up i suppose.

Since: Oct 10, 2008
Posted on: January 31, 2011 12:08 am

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

I am so glad there is a fan that see's OSU like I do. OSU's non-conf schedule has more cupcakes than a Hostess Bakery. There 1st 5 conf wins were against all the bottom feeders of the Big 10. Four of those wins were only won by 1-4 points. They did whip on the Loosiers, I mean Hoosiers.

Since: Dec 22, 2009
Posted on: January 30, 2011 11:58 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Nov 30, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2011 11:46 pm

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

Aside from your rambling for most of your post, Pitt has quite a sufficient resume--to date--to be seeded #1. For starters, you can't control what a team does before, or after you play them. Syracuse was undefeated, and Pitt thoroughly dismantled them. Additionally, Pitt beat Maryland and Texas back in November (yes, those same Longhorns who are starting to become everyone's darlings now). Pitt also crushed Connecticut in December, and beat Georgetown pretty well on the Hoyas' home court. Pitt won a tough one at Providence, and yes, they sqeaked by Rutgers yesterday, but so what? What other team has completely dominated their competition this year?

Case in point, Ohio St. barely beat Northwestern yesterday; the Buckeyes struggled against Michigan, and almost lost to Penn St. OSU struggled against a decent Minnesota team, but also played a close game against Iowa. The Buckeyes strongest non-conference wins came against (if I had to pick one) Florida and possibly Florida St. That's it.

So yes, I'd say at this point of the season, Pitt is amply suited to be awarded a #1 seed. They're atop the nation's toughest conference, and have put together arguably one of the best resumes. SDSU can win out, and won't get a #1 seed; their conference is lousy, and can barely point to a signature win. They were blown out at BYU, another team that can barely pass a Top 10 regular-season ranking. Neither of those MWC teams can point to strong wins against teams that will make the tourney--something that Pitt won't have trouble doing.

Since: Oct 1, 2009
Posted on: January 30, 2011 11:36 pm

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

Crazy year with no great conference!!!! Is that how you see it? 346 teams in division 1;  68 get in the tourament.  Thirty two D1 conferences.  Eleven may make it from the Big East.  I won't give anyone without a brain the courtesy of doing math for them.

Since: Nov 16, 2007
Posted on: January 30, 2011 11:34 pm

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

FUBAR7 hit the nail on the head. I can't keep reading these idiot's every thoughts. It's like having dozens of moron  friends on facebook posting about buying a 2nd red bull at the gas station, and how awesome their day has been. NO ONE CARES how "CUSEFAN" thinks Syracuse should have been the point of this Duke article and Duke and the ACC is overrate(true btw)! I want to hear what CUSEFAN (made up name, no dis on Cuse) has to say about article slightly related to "his" program. Try staying focused posters. 

Since: Jan 17, 2010
Posted on: January 30, 2011 11:28 pm

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

So UCONN, Syracuse and Georgetown don't count for much. Really? How about Pitt's victories over Maryland and Texas? Yes the same Texas you put as a number one seed. Obviously Pitt has an outstanding number of quality victories. Now if we seriously want to talk about a team that is lacking any quality victories, let's talk about your Buckeyes. Best non-con victory would be and yes the Gators are terrible. In conference you continue to squeak out victories over dregs like Penn State, Michigan and Northwestern. In fact, the only real victory worth noting on your schedule to date is Purdue. For now, OSU stands for Overrated, Suspect and Undeserving.

Since: Apr 6, 2010
Posted on: January 30, 2011 11:18 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jun 14, 2007
Posted on: January 30, 2011 11:17 pm

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

Another great round of comments gentlemen.  Bunch of fools claiming ownership of their favorite teams again.  "MY Blue Devils will definately get a #1 seed" and "WE are 5-2 against the RPI Top 50 schools."  We even got one dumbass trying to change this topic to "HIS Michigan State Spartans."  Suckas.

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