clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NCAA 2015: Extended Thoughts On Duke And The ACC

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday, all the politicking, the maneuvering, and the rationalizations gave way to the concrete reality of NCAA bids: you either got one or you didn't.

If you're going to shop Amazon please start here and help DBR
Drop us a line
Guys like Danny Manning and Brian Gregory knew their fate already, but there were two other classes: those who had no worries and those who were on the borderline, or, in basketball terms, on the bubble.

Lots of deserving schools were left out. Consider Murray State, which had a brilliant season but was upset in its conference tournament. Same for NC Central, Temple and Colorado State.

Instead the NCAA opted for schools like Texas and UCLA, power conference schools but with mediocre seasons.

The ACC earned six bids, with Duke and Virginia leading the way with a 1st and 2nd seed.

Notre Dame earned the 3rd seed in the Midwest, while UNC took 4th in the West. Louisville took 4th in the East. NC State is also in the East with the 8th seed.

Notre Dame is in Kentucky's regional which makes life very challenging. 

UNC opens with Harvard, which is comical in two respects: first, in terms of the academic comparison, and second because Harvard is coached by Tommy Amaker. UNC has a tough time escaping Duke.

Virginia will open with Belmont, and as much as Tony Bennett likes a slow, paced game, Rick Bird likes to open things up and loves the three.

Interesting point to remember: former Cavalier Taylor Barnette opted to transfer to Belmont.

Although Louisville opens against UC Irvine and 7-6 Mamadou Ndiaye, we wouldn't expect much trouble for the Cards. In fact, Louisville's got a great shot at playing in the regional finals. Obviously Villanova is a challenge, but that's about it. There's not another team here that Louisville can't beat.

Still, if we were gamblers, we could make an argument for State. 

At its very best, State is superb. If Beejay Anya and Abdul-Malik Abu can rise, State could once again be the Cardiac Pack.

Notre Dame is in Kentucky's bracket of course, and for now, that's the Bracket Of Death.

Even so, three beats two, and if the Irish get hot from outside, you can dunk all day and you still can't beat a three. That's a thin hope though.

UNC should beat Harvard, but a racehorse game with Arkansas? We're not as sure there.

Arizona looms beyond that, and of course Wisconsin is the #1 seed. It's a tough bracket for UNC if the top teams survive.

As for Duke, reactions are mixed. SI thinks it's a very tough path; the N&O the opposite.

We're very wary of San Diego State, but St. John's, already thin, will be without Chris Obekpa, who is suspended.

Utah is a pain of course, and we were semi-awed by Iowa State over the weekend. It's an unbelievably quick team.

We're not overly worried about Davidson or Iowa in the long term, though Davidson could make a run. We know Gonzaga is good but they have a habit of losing early.

We'd keep an eye on Iowa State and Larry Brown. Whatever your feelings about Brown, there is no doubting his genius for the game. We'd bet on the winner of that game - and we do expect them to play - to advance to the regional finals.