Projecting the NCAA tournament field

Projecting the NCAA tournament field


The ACC is historically bad this season. 

The league that had three No. 1 seeds last March only has four teams with the credentials to make the projected NCAA tournament field. Usual power North Carolina is one loss away from last place in the 16-team league, defending national champion Virginia is on the bubble and the conference ranks sixth among seven power conferences in the NCAA’s NET rankings

So what does this mean for the league’s top two teams — Louisville and Duke? It means both teams, currently projected as No. 2 seeds, have little room for error if they want to move up to the top line. For instance, if the Blue Devils would have lost a road game to archrival North Carolina on the weekend, it would have qualified as a Quadrant 2 loss. Should they lose to UNC at home March 7, that would be an even worse Quadrant 3 loss. 

Duke Blue Devils guard Tre Jones (3) steals the ball from Louisville Cardinals guard David Johnson (13) during the first half at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

It also leaves less room for bolstering a résumé compared to the Big 12, where both Baylor and Kansas are the bracket’s top No. 1 seeds.  It get interesting if San Diego State and Gonzaga, two teams leading mid-major leagues, falter to open the door. Duke and Louisville would also have to fend off fellow No. 2s Seton Hall and Dayton, but it’s a strong possibility one leapfrogs to the No. 1 line.


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