Duke Basketball: Blue Devils Will Secure No. 1 Seed with ACC Tournament Victory

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Duke Basketball: Blue Devils Will Secure No. 1 Seed with ACC Tournament Victory
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament is still up for grabs, but the Duke Blue Devils can secure that spot if they can win the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament this week.

It would be huge for the Blue Devils to grab the top overall seed in this year's tourney. That would put them in Indianapolis, and Duke will face the easiest path to the Final Four possible.

Duke will face some competition for the No. 1 seed, however.

Gonzaga is the No. 1 team in the nation at the moment and has compiled an impressive 30-2 record, although the Bulldogs were just 1-2 against ranked opponents this season. No matter how nice of a story Gonzaga's season has been, that fact simply can't be overlooked.

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Indiana is also another option for the top seed in the Big Dance, and the Hoosiers have beaten their fare share of ranked teams this season. But their strength of schedule falls short of Duke's, as the Blue Devils hold the No. 1 strength of schedule in the nation while Indiana is No. 10, per ESPN.com.

Being that Duke is superior to every other team in the nation as far as scheduling and/or record is concerned, they are already a safe bet to get the No. 1 seed. However, a team like the Hoosiers is very much a legit threat, and there's no telling just what will happen on Selection Sunday.

Duke can make it a lot less drama filled as long as the Blue Devils can take home the ACC crown. Doing so would mean Duke navigated its way through an extremely tough bracket and that will only add its impressive resume.

If all the better seeds do what they should, Duke will have to go through the likes of Maryland (20-11), North Carolina (22-9) and No. 9 Miami (24-6). That's a trip through three teams that won 20 games or more this season.

Granted, Duke did drop a game apiece to both Maryland and Miami during the 2012-13 campaign, but neither of those losses came when Ryan Kelly was on the floor.

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In fact, the Blue Devils have yet to lose with Kelly in the lineup and are a completely different squad when he can stretch the floor to open things up on offense. That's why this team is so much different and better simply by adding his presence on the court, which means you can take its earlier losses with a grain of salt.

The decision should already be a rather easy one, but there's just no telling how things will go when the seeding is finally decided. That's why the Blue Devils must help make the decision for the committee themselves by finishing off their top-notch résumé with an ACC tourney crown.

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