The Blue Bloods of March has had a tough year. Most of the teams are even trending on the bubble, with some not even in the tournament. Shockingly, we could see all these teams struggling this year, but this is no ordinary year by any means. Duke sits at 11-11 heading into the conference tournament. Usually, this would not even merit discussion for making the NCAA tourney, but this is Duke. The team always makes some noise whether it is positive or negative. Duke is always in the mix for something and this year it is simply to get a bid. On one of our more recent episodes of the Rewind that Tape Podcast we talked about the Blue Devils. chances of making the big dance with a win. I felt so comfortable with them that I even picked them to win the game. It shouldn’t be that shocking with their track record in big games. Right?
Wrong. Dead Wrong. The Blue Devils got hammered by the Tar Heels in their biggest game of the year. With everything on the line Coach K, didn’t have another win in his back pocket. Duke lost the game that could. have vaulted them into the playoffs with just one or two wins in the ACC tourney. Now Duke will have to play in the first round of the ACC tournament that occurred today. As a fan of college basketball, it sucks to see teams like Duke scraping for an appearance. So the real question is how many games does Duke have to win to get into the tourney. It is hard to base it on the past results in the tournament because this season has been so different.
A win at UNC would have vaulted Duke into the last four in for most of the mock brackets. This would be unprecedented because they would be 12-10 with a win at the rival’s house. Based on the other teams on the bubble, Duke just being in the middle of the pack is crazy. They have a tremendous amount of respect throughout the college basketball world. Michigan State is another team on the bubble and they are sitting at 15-11. So just looking at this from a statistical point MSU definitely has the lead. We look at the games vs the top 25 teams next. MSU is sitting at 5-6 vs the top 25 with 3 wins vs the top 5. Duke on the other hand is 1-3 vs the top 25. 0 of those wins are in the top 5. The worst part is that early in the year Duke lost to MSU giving the Spartans the head to head.
We look at another example which would be Xavier who is on the bubble watch right now as well. Xavier is only 1-1 vs the top 25, but they have a win against a good Oklahoma team and a solid record compared to Duke at 13-7. Duke is sitting in the first round of the ACC tourney, so they can go out there and win 5 games. They knocked off Boston College easily today which definitely will help their case. Tomorrow they take on Louisville who has a bye in the latest ESPN. Bracketology projection. If they take down the field they will be able to get wins against 3 of the teams in the bracket. Unfortunately, none of these teams are ranked very high in the bracket with the highest seeding being a 5 seed in FSU. This is all not including their title match which will probably be played against Virginia. Duke just getting the finals should be enough for them to get heavy consideration into the bracket. Although I feel like if Duke can make it to the ACC Championship, they should be able to grab one more. So if you are a Duke fan, you better hope Coach K keeps dancing all weekend long.
Top Picture by Fansided