Bracketology 2019: Latest Expert Predictions for Top Four Seeds

Jake RillCorrespondent IMarch 17, 2019

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 16: Teammates Zion Williamson #1, RJ Barrett #5, and Tre Jones #3 of the Duke Blue Devils react after defeating the Florida State Seminoles 73-63 in the championship game of the 2019 Men's ACC Basketball Tournament at Spectrum Center on March 16, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The NCAA tournament bracket will be set Sunday evening, but there's still some uncertainty at the top going into the final day of conference tournament action.

Over the past week filled with conference tourneys, the most impressive team has been Duke. The Blue Devils entered the ACC tournament needing a strong showing to secure a No. 1 seed, and that's what they did, beating North Carolina and Florida State on consecutive days to win the tourney championship.

Selection Sunday will likely be a good day for the ACC, which should get at least two No. 1 seeds and potentially three.

      

Expert Predictions for Top Four Seeds

ESPN's Joe Lunardi: Duke, Virginia, Gonzaga, North Carolina

Bleacher Report's Kerry Miller: Duke, Virginia, Gonzaga, North Carolina

CBS Sports' Jerry Palm: Duke, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina or Gonzaga

SB Nation's Chris Dobbertean: Duke, Virginia, Gonzaga, Tennessee

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 15: The Virginia Cavaliers react against the Florida State Seminoles during their game in the semifinals of the 2019 Men's ACC Basketball Tournament at Spectrum Center on March 15, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Pho
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

All of the predictions have several similarities—Duke, Virginia and Gonzaga will all be No. 1 seeds, while Kentucky will not be after its loss to Tennessee in the SEC tournament semifinals Saturday.

The Wildcats likely would have been a No. 1 seed had they made it to the SEC tournament championship game, and they would have been had they won the tourney title. Instead, they'll now likely be a No. 2 seed.

That leaves one No. 1 seed that is undecided, which will likely go to either North Carolina or Tennessee.

If the Vols lose to Auburn in Sunday's SEC tournament championship game, then they will likely be a No. 2 seed. However, if they win, then it will be an interesting decision that the NCAA tournament selection committee will have to make between North Carolina and Tennessee.

Duke became worthy of a No. 1 seed after it beat North Carolina in the ACC tournament semifinals Friday, then showed that it may be worthy of the No. 1 overall seed after it won the tourney championship by beating Florida State on Saturday.

Virginia lost in the ACC tournament semifinals to Florida State, but the Cavaliers' overall resume is impressive enough to warrant a No. 1 seed. That's also the case for North Carolina, which arguably could get the final No. 1 seed over Tennessee even if the Vols win Sunday.

The Tar Heels should get the No. 1 seed if Tennessee loses, as they own two wins over Duke and a win over Gonzaga.

Gonzaga also lost in its conference tournament, falling to Saint Mary's in the West Coast Conference championship game. But like those other schools, the Bulldogs are still worthy of a No. 1 seed. They were the only team to beat Duke this season when the Blue Devils were at full strength.

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