Bracketology: Breaking Down Potential Opponents For Duke In NCAA Tournament?

Sam TastadCorrespondent IIIMarch 13, 2009

March Madness is probably the best time of year, and it couldn't get any better if you're a Duke fan.

The Duke Blue Devils wrapped up another impressive season, and now Duke has the ACC tournament and the NCAA tournament left. There are many top teams in this year's NCAA tournament and many more dangerous teams. Here is a little Duke "bracketology" for all you Duke fans to help prepare you for the 2009 NCAA tournament.

For Duke to win, they must be on the top of their game. Gerald Henderson and Kyle Singler must bring their A-game to every game for the rest of the season in order for Duke to make it deep into March.

Duke will most likely be a two or three seed in the NCAA tournament depending on how well they do in the ACC tournament.

If Duke happens to be a two seed, they will most likely see a team like Cornell. If Duke is a three seed, they will see a team like Eastern Tennessee State. In a season that has been very up and down for highly ranked teams, I would not overlook any team in the NCAA tournament. Duke must take their opponents seriously, and just play Duke basketball like in the days of Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley, Grant Hill, and Chris Duhon.

Duke will make it to the second round, and they could face a team such as West Virginia, (which tossed them out of the tournament last year) Michigan, BYU, LSU, Minnesota, Arizona State, or Penn State. Considering how all these teams are peaking at the right moment, I would be excited to face a good team like these, but I would not want to overlook them because they could be Cinderella teams.

Assuming Duke makes it to the Sweet Sixteen, they will probably face a team like Syracuse, Oklahoma, Michigan State, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Kansas, Marquette, or Memphis. All of these teams are could be dangerous opponents for Duke.

If Duke makes it to the Elite Eight they could face Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Texas, North Carolina, Louisville, Gonzaga, or UCLA.  These teams as well could be dangerous for Duke, and Duke must come prepared to win.

Duke could be looking at a Final Four that consists of either North Carolina, Louisville, Connecticut, Pittsburgh, UCLA, Gonzaga, or Memphis. For the NCAA National Championship Game, Duke could play either North Carolina, Louisville, UCLA, Gonzaga, or Memphis. If these teams make it to the Final Four, we could see an exciting bunch of teams battling it out for the National Championship.

If I were Duke, I would not want to play North Carolina, Louisville, Gonzaga, Syracuse, and Pittsburgh. This is my reasoning: All of these teams are playing well at the right time. North Carolina had a midseason slip-up, but since then, they have regained the No. 1 ranking, and they are starting to play up to their hype.

Louisville plays great defense. They also shoot, rebound, and pass the ball very efficiently. Not to mention they have potentially the most underrated player in the country, Terrence Williams.

Gonzaga could also be a scary team because they have regained their momentum by winning their conference and are poised to be a Cinderella team in the Big Dance.

Syracuse has also made quite a run since their midseason slip-up. Recently, they have started regaining their momentum by beating Connecticut in the Big East quarterfinals in an epic six overtimes.

Pittsburgh is also poised for a deep NCAA tournament run. They may have lost to West Virginia by fourteen in the Big East quarterfinals, but are they are deep team and have players with tournament experience.

Be sure to tune into the ACC tournament this weekend to watch the Duke Blue Devils duke it out against some of the top teams in the country. Plus, do not miss Selection Sunday when seeds will be announced to teams for the NCAA tournament.