Duke Basketball

NCAA Bracket 2011 Predictions: The Duke Blue Devils Deserve a No. 1 Seed

The NCAA Selection is anhour away and Duke isn't getting much respect for winning its conference tournament.
The NCAA Selection is anhour away and Duke isn't getting much respect for winning its conference tournament.Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Mike KlineAnalyst IMarch 13, 2011

It's funny how time changes opinions.

ESPN's Joe Lunardi had projected as recently as Friday that if Duke won the ACC Tournament, they should be a No. 1 Seed in the NCAA tournament.

In the words of Lee Corso, not so fast my friends.

Lunardi has apparently flipped on that statement and feels Notre Dame and/or Pitt deserve the No.1 seed over Duke.

You could legitimately argue that both teams deserve it with their body of work, but to ignore the fact that Duke won its conference tournament in convincing fashion over a top 10 team is a slap in the face of every conference tournament.

If the selection committee doesn't figure the performance in conference tournaments, then why do the big conferences even have them?

You have to respect the Panthers and the Irish for what they did during the regular season, but the conference tournaments are, in a way, an extension of the NCAA tournament.

Neither team looked all that good, losing early in the Big East Tournament. One would think those teams should lose some momentum for a No. 1 seed.

As long as the RPI is figured into the mix, Duke has a stronger RPI than either Notre Dame or Pittsburgh and should get the nod in that regard as well.

Much will be made out of Duke losing two of its last three regular-season games, but the Blue Devils have a better overall record than the Irish or the Panthers.

The games they lost were on the road. In neutral site games though, Duke is undefeated, and that is where the NCAA tournament is played.

Pitt also lost a couple games down the stretch as well, but they seem to be getting the benefit of the doubt.

Of course if Duke does get the nod for a No. 1, it will be seen as favoritism by the selection committee. Pitt and Notre Dame are both relying on how good the Big East was this season, but neither won its conference tournament.

That honor went to UConn, who won five games in five days, and few have even mentioned them.

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