Duke-UNC may decide No. 1 seed
March, 13, 2011
By Joe Lunardi | ESPN.com
Peyton Williams/Getty ImagesThe Duke-UNC tilt Sunday afternoon could have big tourney implications.This edition of Bracket Math includes all games through Saturday. Rankings reflect an up-to-date S-curve from yours truly, posing as one hypothetical member of the NCAA men's basketball committee.
Here's what to watch for on Selection Sunday:
• Will the Duke-North Carolina winner move up and become a No. 1 seed? I'm leaning against it at the moment but reserve the right to change my mind after the ACC title game.
• If the ACC tourney champion moves up, will it be Notre Dame or Pittsburgh that drops to a No. 2 seed? The knee-jerk reaction would be Notre Dame, as Pitt won the Big East regular season, but I'm not so sure. When you include conference tournament games, both teams are 15-4 in Big East games, with the Irish owning a win-at-Pitt tiebreaker.
• Southern Cal enters the day as the last at-large team on the board. So it would be the Trojans who would fall out of the field if Dayton completes its "bid thief" mission in the Atlantic 10 championship game.
• The incredibly shrinking NIT field is down to a record-low 18 at-large positions. Up to 14 regular-season champions are NIT-bound after being bounced in their respective conference tourneys.
*: Clinched regular-season title and NIT automatic bid if needed
Bold: Projected conference winners (highest remaining conference tournament seed)
CAPS and BOLD: Clinched automatic bid
GREEN: Teams with tourney odds of 90 percent or better through games of March 12.
YELLOW: "Last four in" (will play March 15-16 in Dayton, Ohio)
GOLD: Lowest four auto bids (will play March 15-16 in Dayton, Ohio)
RED: "First four out" (teams 69-72 on the S-curve)
Take our "solid" at-large candidates (current Tournament Odds at 90 percent or better), and you have exactly 45 teams in the field. Add in the remaining automatic qualifiers, and that's another 19 spots. All told, we have 64 of the 68 spots accounted for, with only four up for grabs among current bubble teams.
"Bubble" (7 teams for 4 spots)