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A Final Look At Bracketology For The 2015 NCAA Tournament

Duke and Virginia may still slug it out for the final #1 seed.

Duke suffered an ugly loss to Notre Dame, but what will the Devils do with that knowledge?
Duke suffered an ugly loss to Notre Dame, but what will the Devils do with that knowledge?
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

With Notre Dame's triumph in Greensboro, the ACC season is over and it's time to move on to the NCAAs. As most of you surely know, the announcement show is Sunday night.

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Duke and Virginia are both still serious contenders for #1 seeds, but Notre Dame, UNC and Louisville
are all locks for the field, and NC State really should be.

The Saturday bracketology reports should be the final wager for Joe Lunardi, Jerry Palm & co. Let's see what they have:

Lunardi: Kentucky, Wisconsin, Duke and Villanova as #1 seeds.

Duke is #1 in the South and assuming an opening round win, would play the winner of Ohio State and VCU. Tommy Amaker's Harvard could play Duke in the third game.

Gonzaga is #2 and Iowa State is #3.

Notre Dame is #3 in Kentucky's Midwest bracket. Louisville is #4, which would put Louisville on a relatively early collision course with Kentucky.

#10 Davidson is pegged to open with #7 Butler in the Midwest incidentally.

Lunardi has Virginia at #2 in the East, where State is #8, opening with Archie Miller's Dayton. Maryland is in the East at #3.

Wisconsin gets #1 in the West according to Lunardi. UNC is also in the top half of the West bracket at #4. Arizona would be #2.

On to Palm. Palm has Kentucky (Midwest) Wisconsin (West), Virginia (South) and Villanova (East)  as the #1 seeds.

Duke would be #2 in the East opening with Cliff Ellis's Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. By his scenario, Duke might face Maryland in the third game.

Louisville is #5 in the Midwest his scheme, where Notre Dame is also #3.

He sees UNC as #4 in the West and NC State as #10 in the South.

Of course this is all just educated guesswork, although some of it is really good. We'll know the real deal around dinner time.

When push came to shove in the ACC Championship game, UNC fell into a pattern we've seen before this season: most of the good work done early was undone late.

After Demetrius Jackson made a three with 9:01 to go, here's what happened: Joel Berry had a turnover.  Isaiah Hicks had a turnover. Marcus Paige missed a layup. Justin Jackson had a turnover.  Kennedy Meeks had a turnover.  Brice Johnson had a turnover.

JP Tokoto had a dunk, but then Paige missed a shot, Berry missed a layup, Hicks had a turnover and Paige missed another three.

At that point UNC was down by 12.

This game was somewhat different in that UNC had to play four in a row, and that's hard for anyone. But Notre Dame had three in a row and a smaller rotation, so it's kind of a wash.

There is one other issue though and it's important, two if you want to split hairs.

Why is Syracuse getting hammered while UNC is allowed to play with no penalties? There is an extraordinary amount of evidence. It would've been awkward for UNC to win the championship while losing accreditation is still a real fear, leave alone the basics of the huge academic fraud.

UNC's sins are far worse than those of Syracuse and the Heels should be held accountable.

We haven't watched Maryland all season, so we caught the Michigan State game Saturday.

New conference, same old Maryland.

Much like Carolina, when Michigan State refused to fold, Maryland quickly obliged.

Down just 53-50, Maryland's Evan Smotrycz rushed a shot and then drew a flagrant 1 on Michigan State's subsequent break.

Michigan State's Gavin Schilling hit one and after Michigan State inbounded the ball, Maryland's Jake Layman completely lost track of Branden Dawson in the corner, who then flew in and got a nice alley oop.


This will sound very familiar to ACC fans and by now to some Big Ten fans as well.

On the subsequent play, Des Wells bobbled the ball up in the air, recovered it - and passed it directly to Michigan State's wondrously named Lourawls Nairn Jr., who took off and was fouled attempting a layup.

At that point, Maryland was down seven with 1:23 left.

As Jason Williams proved in College Park in the :56 Seconds And Gone game, that's plenty of time, but not enough for everyone and not enough for Maryland.

Instead of digging down, the Terps unraveled.

In the movie I, Robot, Will Smith's character tells a scientist that she's the "dumbest smart person he's ever met."

Maryland's program is like that. It's the most brittle elite program imaginable. It was true under Lefty, it was true under Bob Wade, it was especially true under Gary Williams and it's still true under Mark Turgeon.  It could easily have won this game. Instead, the Terps found new ways to blow it.