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A Preliminary Look At Duke's Bracket

The brackets are out, and there are some really amazing matchups and potential matchups.  We'll get back up to speed over the next few days, but for now, let's just look at Duke's bracket.Duke has a matchup with VCU, a 6/11 game.  This is the team Jeff Capel left behind, and it's coached by former Florida assistant Anthony Grant, who has done a great job.  He has some solid guards and a typical mid-major frontcourt, which is to say it's not as big or as talented as the major conference teams tend to be.  Big deal.  They're well-coached and quite dangerous. They're not exactly Marquette, but they have some similarities.

Duke would face the winner of Pitt vs. Wright State. Wright State did beat Butler, but we can't find much right off the top to suggest they could upset Pitt.  We'll know more in a day or two though.  However, you can be sure of this: Pitt is going to be steamed about their loss to Georgetown in the Big East Tournament.  They didn't come anywhere near their potential, and that will play a part in their next game.

If Duke manages to win those two games, they'll get whoever survives between Indiana-Gonzaga and UCLA-Weber State.  Weber State still has some fans around here after their upset of UNC a few years ago, but we'll be shocked if they manage to get UCLA.  It's hard to pick Gonzaga over IU at this point.  And it's hard to pick any of them over UCLA, including Duke.  UCLA is a really tough team and plays incredible defense.  If Duke can regain their defensive intensity of earlier this year, it'd be fun to watch those two go at it.

In the top half of the bracket, obviously Kansas is the favorite, but they've been upset-prone during Bill Self's tenure. We could see Kentucky doing it, should they win their game against Purdue.  Virginia Tech has a tough draw against Illinois, and whoever wins that game has a very tough draw against Southern Illinois.  The Salukis have been a constant in recent years, and you know they'd love a crack at the Illini.  If you want a nice darkhorse, you could do worse than Southern Illinois.  They're a #4 seed, which is really good for a Missouri Valley team.

We'll take a closer look at stuff over the next couple of days.