Duke Blue Devils Strive To Be Overall No. 1 Seed: Thanksgiving Week Bracketology

Jesse Kramer@Jesse_KramerCorrespondent INovember 25, 2010

This bracketology will evaluate teams based on how they have performed to this point in the season. It will not factor in how they are projected to do in the rest of the season. Teams that are currently the best team in their respective conference will be given an automatic bid from that conference. A conference in parentheses next to a team indicates a conference champion.

With the 68-team format, there will now be four play-in games. There will be two play-in games for the bottom four at-large teams, and two play-in games for the bottom four conference tournament winners who earned at-large bids. The four play-in games are labeled "Play-In No. 1," "Play-In No. 2," "Play-In No. 3," and "Play-In No. 4." These four games will be listed at the bottom after all the seedings are given. The winners of each of these four play-in games will be seeded in the spots given.

No. 1 Seeds

Duke (ACC), Ohio State (Big 10), Pittsburgh (Big East), Kansas (Big 12)

Duke is off to a very strong 5-0 start. The Blue Devils are one of two teams in the ACC that is still undefeated. The Blue Devils had an easy start with games against Princeton, Miami, and Colgate. Duke's schedule is now starting to heat up. Duke defeated Marquette and Kansas State in the CBE Classic. Duke's tough stretch continues with games against Oregon, Michigan State, and Butler in the next few weeks.

Ohio State is off to a 4-0 start with a key win at Florida. The toughest parts of Ohio State's non-conference schedule has passed, with the toughest games left to play being at Florida State and at home against Oakland.

Pittsburgh has won its first six games. The Panthers have a few big wins against Maryland, Texas, and Rhode Island. 

Kansas is off to a 4-0 start, but the Jayhawks have not yet had a real test against a good team. The Jayhawks schedule will begin to get tougher with games against Ohio, Arizona, UCLA, and No. 14 Memphis within the next couple of weeks.

No. 2 Seeds

Michigan State, Villanova, Kansas State, Kentucky (SEC)

Michigan State finished in third place in the Maui Invitational. The Spartans defeated Chaminade and Washington in Maui, but dropped a close game to Connecticut.

Villanova improved to 5-0 with a win over UCLA on Wednesday night. The Wildcats will play Tennessee on Friday night in the NIT Season Tip-Off chamionship game.

Kansas State picked up its first loss of the season in the CBE Classic against Duke. The Wildcats are 2-1 against the top 25 with wins against Virginia Tech and Gonzaga.

Kentucky lost to Connecticut in the Maui Invitational championship game. 

No. 3 Seeds

Texas, Illinois, Purdue, Florida

Texas has dominated all of the mid-majors it has played and has played two close games against top 25 teams. The Longhorns managed to defeat No. 16 Illinois in a close game, but dropped a nail-biter 68-66 to No. 4 Pitt.

Illinois has looked very good so far, with its one loss coming to Texas. Next week, the Fighting Illini will play UNC and Gonzaga.

Purdue is off a good 4-0 start. The Boilermakers have had an easy schedule to this point, but they beat Oakland, a solid mid-major. 

Florida faltered early with a loss at home to Ohio State, but the Gators rebounded with wins over two solid mid-majors in Morehead State and Florida Atlantic. The Gators start a three-game road trip on December 1, which will consist of games against Florida State, Central Florida, and American.

No. 4 Seeds

Syracuse, Washington (Pac-10), Minnesota, Memphis (C-USA)

Syracuse has struggled in the first half of games, but has come alive in the second half, leading the Orange to a 4-0 record. 

Washington finished in fourth place in the Maui Invitational after losses to No. 8 Kentucky and No. 2 Michigan State. 

Minnesota, currently ranked No. 15 in the country, moved to 6-0 with a win over North Dakota State on Wednesday night. Minnesota has certainly proven itself to be one of the top teams in the country with all of these wins coming against at least decent competition. 

Memphis has dominated so far, winning its first five games. The Tigers will play a rematch of the 2008 championship game against No. 6 Kansas on December 6 in the Jimmy V Classic.

No. 5 Seeds

Temple (A-10), San Diego State (MWC), Missouri, Baylor

Temple has won its first two games. The Owls will play California on Thursday in the Old Spice Classic.

San Diego State is 5-0 with a win over Gonzaga. The Aztecs play a couple of good mid-majors next week with games against St. Mary's and Wichita State.

Missouri has certainly struggled early on, but regardlessly the Tigers are 4-0. The Tigers play a big game against No. 16 Georgetown on Tuesday.

Baylor is 4-0 with a solid mid-major win over Lipscomb. 

No. 6 Seeds

Connecticut, UNLV, Tennessee, Georgetown

Connecticut moved to 5-0 with a win over No. 8 Kentucky in the Maui Invitational championship game. The Huskies now have an easy stretch of games over the next few weeks. The Huskies will play at Pittsburgh on December 27.

UNLV is off to a 3-0 start and has a big win over Wisconsin. 

Tennessee is currently 4-0. The Volunteers will play in the NIT Season Tip-Off championship game on Friday night.

Georgetown is off to a 5-0 start with wins over Old Dominion, Wofford, and North Carolina State. The Hoyas will play at No. 11 Missouri on Tuesday.

No. 7 Seeds

Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt, Gonzaga (WCC), Butler (Horizon)

Virginia Tech rebounded after a loss to Kansas State with a win at UNC-Greensboro. The Hokies will get a chance to knock off a top 25 team with a game against Purdue on December 1.

Vanderbilt if off to a 4-1 start with its only loss coming by three points to West Virginia. 

Gonzaga is off to a mediocre, 3-2 start, but the losses came in hard fought games against San Diego State and Kansas State. The Bulldogs will play No. 19 Illinois on December 4.

Butler is off to a 3-1 start, including a win at Siena. 

No. 8 Seeds

Wisconsin, North Carolina, West Virginia, Florida State

Wisconsin will get a chance to make up for the loss to UNLV with three games against good competition in the Old Spice Classic. 

North Carolina responded to back-to-back losses to Minnesota and Vanderbilt with a win over UNC-Asheville. 

West Virginia picked up its first loss of the year to Minnesota earlier this week. The Mountaineers play at home against VMI on Saturday.

Florida State has won its first five games. The Seminoles have a tough upcoming set of two games against No. 16 Florida and No. 3 Ohio State.

No. 9 Seeds

Brigham Young, Maryland, Richmond, Wichita State (MVC)

Brigham Young has won its first four games and will play South Florida on Friday in the South Padre Island Invitational. 

Maryland responded after back-to-back losses to Pittsburgh and Illinois with a win over Delaware State. 

Richmond rebounded from a double overtime loss to Iona with wins over Charleston Southern and Southern. The Spiders have an upcoming three-game road trip with games against Wright State, Old Dominion, and Arizona State.

Wichita State finished in fifth place in the Maui Invitational with a win over Virginia. 

No. 10 Seeds

North Carolina State, Georgia, Old Dominion (CAA), Mississippi State

After a 3-0 start, North Carolina State lost to Georgetown. The Wolfpack has an easy upcoming game against Farleigh Dickinson and then will play at Wisconsin and at Syracuse.

Georgia is off to a strong 3-0 start. The Bulldogs have a tough weekend coming up as part of the Old Spice Classic.

Old Dominion lost a heartbreaker to Georgetown in the season opener, but the Monarchs have rebounded with four straight wins. The Monarchs get a chance for another big win against Richmond on December 1.

Mississippi State moved to 3-0 with a win over Detroit on Monday.

No. 11 Seeds

Xavier, Louisville, UCLA, Texas A&M

Xavier picked up its first loss against Old Dominion earlier this week. The Musketeers play Wofford on Saturday. 

Louisville is off to a 3-0 start including a win over Butler. The Cardinals will not have to play on the road until December 22. 

UCLA dropped to 3-1 with a loss to Villanova in the NIT Season Tip-Off. The Bruins will play in the consolation game against Virginia Commonwealth on Friday. 

Texas A&M is 3-0 entering the Old Spice Classic. The Aggies will play Boston College in the first round of the Old Spice Classic on Thursday. 

No. 12 Seeds

Utah State (WAC), Dayton, Ohio (MAC), Arizona

Utah State moved to 3-1 with a win over Utah on Wednesday. The Aggies will play Northeastern on Saturday. 

Dayton is off to a strong 5-0 start. The Flyers have a solid win at Mississippi, and have a chance to pick up one more in a game against Cincinnati on Saturday.

Ohio will play No. 6 Kansas on Friday night. 

Arizona is 4-0, but the Wildcats do not have any key wins yet. The Wildcats will play No. 6 Kansas on Saturday.

No. 13 Seeds

Rider (MAAC), North Texas (Sun Belt), Play-In #1, Play-In #2

Rider has emerged as the best team in the MAAC to this point despite low expectations. After losing at Massachusetts in the season opener, the Broncs have won four straight games. Rider opens the MAAC season against Siena on Saturday. 

North Texas picked up a big win against Texas Tech last week. 

No. 14 Seeds

Pacific (Big West), Long Island (NEC), Appalachian State (SoCon), Murray State (OVC)

Pacific is currently 4-2. The Tigers have a solid win at UTEP, and they will have a chance to pick up another big win on December 4 at Texas A&M.

Long Island is 4-0. Although the Blackbirds' best win so far is against Manhattan, they have showed that they can play away from home with three wins on the road. 

Appalachian State won its first two games but then dropped a close game at Mississippi State. The Mountaineers play at Vanderbilt on Saturday. 

Murray State is in need of a big win against Stanford on Thursday.

No. 15 Seeds

Lipscomb (A-Sun), American (Patriot), South Dakota State (Summit)Vermont (A-East)

Lipscomb is currently 2-2. The Bisons have a win over Austin Peay, and their two losses have come on the road against top 25 teams. 

American is off to a 5-0 start. The Eagles have not had much competition, but they do have a solid win at Florida Atlantic. American will play Columbia this weekend, and then the Eagles will have games against West Virginia and Florida in early December. 

South Dakota state is 4-0 and has a win at Iowa.

Vermont took two out of three games, including a win at Siena which snapped a 39-game home winning streak for the Saints, in a three-game road trip to start off the season. In their home opener, the Catamounts defeated Loyola (MD).

No. 16 Seeds

Brown (Ivy), Coastal Carolina (Big South), Play-In #3, Play-In #4

Brown is off to a 3-1 start with the only loss coming at Rhode Island.

Coastal Carolina is off to a 5-2 start. The Chanticleers play Citadel on November 27.

Play-In No. 1 

Notre Dame vs. California

Notre Dame has won its first four games. The Fighting Irish will get a chance to play against better competition in the Old Spice Classic.

California picked up a solid win over New Mexico in its last game. The Golden Bears will get a chance to take down a top 25 team against Temple on Thursday.

Play-In No. 2

Marquette vs. Northwestern

After winning its first four games, Marquette has lost two straight to Duke and Gonzaga. The Golden Eagles look to rebound against Milwaukee on Saturday. 

Northwestern has had some high hopes for this season, and so far it has not let down. However, the Wildcats have not yet played any tough competition. 

Play-In No. 3

Stephen F. Austin (Southland) vs. Montana State (Big Sky)

Stephen F. Austin picked up a mediocre win at Louisiana-Monroe on Tuesday. The Lumberjacks will play at Texas A&M on December 2.

Montana State extended its winning streak to five games with a win over San Francisco on Wednesday. 

Play-In No. 4

Texas Southern (SWAC) vs. Hampton (MEAC)

Texas Southern has struggled, but it picked up a solid win at Oregon State. The Tigers play Kansas State on Friday.

Hampton lost its season opener to Wake Forest, but the Pirates rebounded with four straight wins. 

First Four Out

Oklahoma State, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Seton Hall

Next Four Out

New Mexico, St. John's, Southern Miss, Iowa State

Multi-Bid Conferences

Big East: 9

Big 10: 7

ACC: 6

Big 12: 6

SEC: 6

A-10: 4

Pac-10: 4

MWC: 3


For more college basketball news, follow Jesse Kramer on Twitter.


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