We generally follow three bracketologists - Joe Lunardi at ESPN, Jerry Palm at CBSSports and Chris Dobbertean here at SBNation.com.
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Here's the latest. We started this before the conclusion of the ACC Tournament Championship but we don't know that it will change a great deal.
All three guys have one ACC-heavy region. For Dobbertean, it's the East with Pitt, Duke and UNC.
Seems unlikely. Despite the committee's statements over the years about not planning matchups, no one has put Duke and UNC in the same regional since 1979, and both lost in the opening round anyway.
It's called Black Friday around here.
For Palm, it's also the East but it's Pitt and Duke with Notre Dame replacing UNC.
For Lunardi, it's the East with Virginia, Notre Dame and Duke.
If the committee does that, and to any conference not just the ACC, it's going to have a major impact because at least two teams are ruled out of the Sweet Sixteen immediately.
That would also affect a conference's share of tournament revenue. Let's hope the committee distributes teams better than all did here.
Dobbertean has Virginia as the #1 seed in the South, UNC as #2 in the East, Miami as #3 in the West and Duke and Notre Dame as #5 in the Midwest and East respectively.
Palm has Virginia as #1 in the West, UNC and Miami as #3 in the Midwest and South respectively, Duke as #4 in the East, where Notre Dame is #6 and Pitt #9.
We can't see UNC dropping to a #3 seed. A 2 seed seems possible, but a 3 is a stretch.
Lunardi has UNC and Virginia at #1 in the West and East regions, Miami at #3 in the South, Duke at #4 in the Midwest, the Irish at #7 in the West and Pitt at #10 in the South.
No one has Syracuse listed anywhere other than Palm, who has them in a play-in game with Monmouth.
Duke's (Possible) Paths
In Dobbertean's view, Duke would open with Little Rock (#12, Sun Belt) and play the winner of Purdue-Iona. By the way, we watched the Iona-Monmouth MAAC title game and Iona is very good. We could see them springing an upset whoever they ultimately end up playing first.
On the top of Duke's half of the bracket is #1 Villanova, a play-in game, then Texas Tech and Pitt.
In Brooklyn, Arizona would get Monmouth or St. Bonnie's, while West Virginia would see Stephen F. Austin.
In Raleigh, Dobbertean has Dayton, Temple, UNC and UNC-Asheville.
Palm has Duke in a pod with Stony Brook, Notre Dame and Gonzaga. Obviously Notre Dame is problematic. Gonzaga isn't as good as they were last year - huge Polish center Przemek Karknowski has missed all but six games - but it's still a dangerous team.
Looming in the Sweet Sixteen would be the winner of Kentucky-Chattanooga and a potential rematch with the Wildcats who beat Duke early in the year.
Villanova may not stay at #1 but whoever is will beat the play-in team. Then there's Pitt-USC.
It may not be bracket of death, but it's pretty dangerous anyway.
Meanwhile, Lunardi sees #5 Duke opening with # 12 South Dakota State which could put them on a collision course with Virginia. The 'Hoos would open with nearby Hampton, according to Lunardi, then play the winner of Providence and Oregon State.
He has #4 Maryland opening with #13 UNC-Wilmington, a Brad Brownell team that nearly knocked Maryland out in 2003. Seton Hall would play either Temple or Monmouth and the winner would play the winner of Maryland-Wilmington.
So most likely a very tough draw for Duke if Lunardi is correct.
Chris Dobbertean/SB Nation.com
#5 - Notre Dame
#3 - Miami
- #9 - Pitt
- #5 - Duke
- #2 - UNC
#1 - Virginia
- #3 - Miami
- #1 - Virginia
- #9 - Pitt
- #4 - Duke
- #6 - Notre Dame
- #3 - UNC
#4 - Duke
- #1 - UNC
- #7 - Notre Dame
- #10 - Pitt
- #3 - Miami