NCAA South overview: UNC gets nod over Duke

Mar 14, 2017, 00:35
NCAA South overview: UNC gets nod over Duke

Let's start with this: The NCAA Tournament selection committee doesn't care that Duke finished fifth in the ACC standings. Even if the committee didn't want to put them too high, throwing the Shockers in as a 10-seed is absurd. Don't know which teams to believe in, in this insane college hoops season? Shouldn't it matter? Of course, and it does.

The first game of the NCAA Tournament will be Mount St. Mary's against New Orleans in the First Four at Daytona, Ohio, on Tuesday night. Duke won the ACC Tournament. It all comes down to a simple fact: no one had more good wins than Mike Krzyzewski's group.

MID-EASTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE: In Norfolk, Va., Patrick Cole scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds, Dajuan Graf added 17 points, and North Carolina Central beat Norfolk State 67-59 for the Eagles' second NCAA Tournament spot in four years. I love Villanova's sophomore point guard Jalen Brunson, but Duke is finally healthy and peaking at the right time. League schedules were imbalanced.

The Seahawks (29-5), who open against Virginia, have a top-40 RPI and are a better team than the one that almost knocked off Duke in last season's tournament. Everywhere we played, you don't have any games where you go, 'This place is half-full.

Here is a breakdown of the potential candidates for a top seed, with a general look at how they did against teams likely to be seeded in the top 6, seeded 7 to 12, against all others in the RPI Top 150, and those outside the Top 150.

Friday's dramatic semifinal win over Seton Hall on Josh Hart's putback sealed any doubt about Villanova jumping Kansas for the No. 1 overall seed.

I know Gonzaga beat Arizona by seven points on a neutral court in December, but championships are won in March and the Wildcats run to the Pac 12 crown - with wins over two No. 3 seeds in OR and UCLA - was impressive. Check out UNC-Wilmington. The 12th-seeded Seahawks brought back their core from a team that gave Duke a scare last March, and are more than capable of upsetting an inconsistent Virginia team and then potentially Florida.

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The Irish's ACC history began with a 2014 loss in the first round, but in 2015 they won three straight en route to claim the title.

The ACC Tournament came to NY for the first time, but Duke beating Notre Dame for the title on Saturday demonstrated you can take the event to Brooklyn, but you can't take Tobacco Road out of the event.

Arizona, meanwhile, I am excluding here. Even so, there's no way to justify keeping Kansas off the one line with an overall record of 28-4 and 16-2 mark in the Big 12, which is easily the toughest conference in the nation outside of the ACC.

"Reynolds has more size at 6'9", but unless 6'10" redshirt freshman Dylan Painter suddenly becomes a more viable option, Villanova could be in trouble against bigger teams, especially if it gets into foul trouble.

Duke looks to end a 14-game losing streak to East Carolina. More money was bet on Duke to win the national title than any other team at the SuperBook, more than double the amount bet on Kentucky, which attracted the second-most money.

That brings us to Kentucky.