Ethan Mann is a writer for the ACC microsite. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even taking into consideration that Miami won both the ACC regular season and conference tournaments and the fact that Duke lost on Quarterfinal Friday to a Maryland team that almost certainly will not make the NCAA Tournament, Duke still has a very strong case for a #1 seed despite what many analysts are saying. Yes, Miami, if they do not receive a #1 seed, will become the first team in the history of the ACC not to get a top-line seed after winning both the regular season and the tournament. It might be another story if Miami had knocked off Duke on the way to the ACC title, but defeating a #7-#8 seed North Carolina team in the finals for the third time does little (sans the “conference champion” label) to improve their profile. It seems a bit insane that Duke could be dropped from the overall #1 seed, as many analysts projected after their win against North Carolina last Saturday, all the way to the #2 line based on just this weekend’s results. Duke is ranked #1 in the RPI, has lost only once with Ryan Kelly in the lineup, and has no truly bad losses. At this point, through an objective analysis, the only team to consider as a lock for the top line is Louisville. Since the committee does not consider “regular season championships” or “conference tournament championships” nearly as much (or at all) in comparison to overall body of work, taking a look at all of the contenders for the #1 seeds yields these profiles:
Duke (RPI #1)
- 27-5 (14-4, 14-5 including tournament)
- Record against the RPI Top 25: 6-1 (Wins-Louisville [BE Champion], Miami [ACC Champion], Ohio State [potential B1G Champion], North Carolina x2, VCU, Losses-at Miami)
- Record against the RPI 26-50: 3-1 (Wins-NC State, Minnesota, Temple, Losses-at NC State)
- Record against the RPI 51-100: 5-3 (Wins-Kentucky, Davidson, Maryland, Florida State, FGCU, Losses-Maryland x2, at Virginia)
- Record against the RPI 101+: 13-0