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Historic: Duke, Virginia, UNC All Get #1 Seeds In 2019 NCAA Tournament

But Duke is #1 overall.

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NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament-Florida State vs Duke
 Mar 16, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; The Duke Blue Devils huddle up in the second half against the Florida State Seminoles in the ACC conference tournament at Spectrum Center.
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The field is set for this year’s NCAA tournament and for the first time, the ACC has three #1 seeds: Duke, Virginia and UNC.


Duke will open with the winner of NC Central and North Dakota State. Eagles coach LeVelle Moton cracked people up when he said he didn’t want any part of Zion Williamson and to please send his team somewhere else.

They get a chance for a win in Dayton and don’t buy the hype. He’ll bring his team to play if they advance.

The next game could be interesting assuming Duke advances. The Blue Devils will get either VCU or Johnny Dawkins’ Central Florida. That would mean driving on Tacko Fall, the 7-6 programmer who is playing basketball for a while longer. He can dunk without jumping so scoring inside is a challenge. However he’s not the fastest guy in the world.

On the bottom half of Duke’s side of the bracket we see Ben Howland’s Mississipi State team taking on Liberty and Virginia Tech vs. St. Louis. The Hokies will have Justin Robinson back which could be tough. Reincorporating a guy who’s been out isn't the easiest thing to do plus there are rumors of Buzz Williams’ departure for Texas A&M.

On the lower half Michigan State is the #2 seed and will open with Bradley. We don't know a lot about Bradley yet but there is a controversy about a local reporter who was barred by the school (it’s since been lifted). It’s not a nice situation and is overshadowing the team’s accomplishment. Louisville takes on Minnesota - will Rick Pitino show up to cheer Junior on against his former team? LSU gets Yale and as we’ve seen lately, Yale is a smart, tough team. Keep an eye on that one. Maryland is #6 and will take on the winner of Belmont/Temple. An upset there wouldn’t surprise us in the slightest.


Virginia will open with Gardner-Webb. The Running Bulldogs won’t be running much here and UVA isn’t about to lose two straight to 16 seeds. They might lose the next game for all we know but hell will freeze over before they choke twice against a 16 seed.

Ole Miss and Oklahoma should be fun and either would be an interesting opponent for UVA.

Wisconsin and Oregon are next up followed by K-State vs UC Irvine. Irvine is intriguing as an upset pick especially if Dean Wade can’t go.

In the bottom half, Villanova will get St. Mary’s and if the Gaels played like they did against Gonzaga last time out, look out because St. Mary’s had one of the great games of this year by any team anywhere. They were brilliant. That team could beat anyone. Can they reach that level again?

Purdue will open against Jeff Jones’ Old Dominion. We saw today that Jones is battling prostate cancer. So sorry to hear that and best of luck to the former Virginia point guard and coach. He’s part of the ACC family and we’ll be thinking of him.

Cincinnati and Iowa are next up. Iowa was awful down the stretch and Fran McCaffery looks more and more like Bob Knight without the charm. Plus we’re still annoyed by that goon Adam Woodbury who kept poking people in the eyes a few years ago. Go Bearcats.

Tennessee, which has not played well at the end of the regular season and which got absolutely clobbered by Auburn - think former Vols coach Bruce Pearl enjoyed that? - gets Colgate. Easy money.


UNC opens with Iona. After they win that, and they will, it’s on to Utah State or Washington.

USU is one of those sneaky regional basketball schools that you better not sleep on. Plus they get overlooked in their own state behind Utah and BYU. However, Washington’s Mike Hopkins brought the 2-3 zone from Syracuse and he has some serious defensive talent.

After their smashing win in the SEC title game, Auburn gets yet another sneaky regional basketball school (SRBS) in New Mexico State. If you’ve ever been to or even through Las Cruces, you’ll understand: that’s about it. There’s just not much more going on there. Everyone and everything in Las Cruces is focused on Auburn. Last year the Tigers got humiliated by Clemson - not in the field this year, left out like NC State - and would love to make up for it. Better not overlook the Aggies then. Marvin Menzies, just fired by UNLV after three years, must regret not having stayed.

Kansas takes on Northeastern. If you’re looking for an upset pick, you might take a look here. KU doesn’t have its normal stable of inside guys, the NCAA is sniffing around Lawrence and Bill Self is rumored to be the next coach of the Chicago Bulls. Keep an eye on this one. Northeastern is another SRBS and they can heat up and start raining baskets.

In the bottom half of the Midwest, Iowa State opens with Ohio State and we’d have to go with the Big 12 here.

Houston gets Georgia State and after losing in the AAC finals, they’ll be motivated.

No one wanted Wofford and Fletcher Magee. That guy can absolutely light you up. He’s a gym rat and ferocious as UNC learned last year. Seton Hall gets them and in Jacksonville, far from their comfort zone but close to Magee’s: he’s a native of Orlando and will have tons of people drive up. It’s only about a two hour trip. And it’s not as big an upset as you might think.

Kentucky opens with Abilene Christian and appears to have a clean shot to the winner of Iowa State and Houston (note: not our final pick). They should face Wofford in the second round which could be all kinds of fun.


There’s no way in hell either Farleigh-Dickinson or Prairie View will beat Gonzaga. You can bet the rent money here because 16 seeds never...oh wait, never mind. Well it won't happen again. Not here anyway.

Syracuse and Baylor is really interesting. We have no idea yet. Need to know more about Baylor. We do know they’ve been playing way beyond what anyone expected of them this year and our respect for coach Scott Drew is way up.

Marquette and Murray State? Seriously? Fun game! MU has been too inconsistent lately so we’ll have to take Murray State in an upset. Sorry Wojo.

Florida State gets Vermont and you might go well, duh, FSU. That’s our temptation too. However, Vermont has built a strong program - another SRBS - and as talented as Florida State is, they have a tendency to blow close games, which is not useful in the Big Dance. They’re also turnover prone. If Vermont can stay close, this could be interesting.

How about this? If Bobby Hurley and Arizona State beat Chris Mullin and St. John’s, he’ll play his old team, Buffalo. How intense is that? Advantage Buffalo!

And how much do you want to bet that whichever team wins between ASU and St. John’s, that one of those two during the day Friday will shake his head and say, what the hell am I doing in freakin’ Tulsa?

Texas Tech should advance to at least play Buffalo and then beyond. We really like that team. The Red Raiders are extraordinarily well coached.

Florida could give Nevada trouble but neither team beats Michigan after Michigan beats Montana because we just can’t see the Grizzlies pulling that off.

Right now the team that looks like it has the best path is Kentucky. The Wildcats should at least get to the Elite Eight.

Games we’d like to see: UNC-Auburn, Texas Tech-Nevada, Tennessee-Virginia, and Wofford-Auburn. Why Wofford-Auburn? Because that would mean Kentucky and UNC were both out.

Pick your own. Just as long as UNC and UK are both out, we’re happy.

Seriously though, it doesn’t matter. You can’t pick your own path and even if you could, you can’t control your opponent. Eventually you’ll have to play really tough teams. No point in trying to thread a needle.

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