Category archive: Duke Blue Devils
You go 68-for-68 in a crazy season, getting all of the key seeds correct, and suddenly people think you're clairvoyant. So let me be the first to say that's far from correct, that I'm no more clairvoyant than the tarot card reader at the circus.
What I am, necessarily, is a student of history. The NCAA tournament, the selection committee and various data sources leave a trail of bread crumbs every season. If you gather them in the right order, you'll find clues to future events. That is the essence of bracketology, and the identity of the 67th or 68th team in a given season becomes a little less random.
Seeding is another story, especially at the top of the bracket. Nothing makes me crazier than being asked, "Who's your Final Four next season?" First, it's impossible to pick a Final Four without an actual bracket (as some of the teams you like could be bracketed together). Second, the tournament comprises just three to four weeks of results, an incredibly small sample size in which upsets -- perhaps you've noticed -- are the rule.
Seeding, on the other hand, is supported by three to four months of outcomes. I would argue that it's a more impressive feat to earn a No. 1 seed in the tournament than to win a region. Not more lasting -- nothing lasts longer for a program than NCAA success, obviously -- but harder to achieve. In many cases, we're talking sustained excellence versus the hot team.
So when asked the question -- "Who's your Final Four?" -- I typically pivot and say, "You mean, who are my No. 1 seeds?" Because that can be an intelligent conversation at any point of the season or offseason.
To read the full blog from Joe Lunardi and see which teams are likely to be No. 1 seeds in the 2014 NCAA tournament, you must be an ESPN Insider.