Bracket Math: Duke takes top spot

La Salle, Boise State, Kentucky, Virginia last four in; Cardinals a No. 1 seed

Updated: March 11, 2013, 11:22 AM ET
By Joe Lunardi | ESPN Insider

Quinn Cook and Duke solidified a No. 1 seed after dominating North Carolina on the road this weekend. Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT/Getty ImagesQuinn Cook and Duke solidified a No. 1 seed after dominating North Carolina on the road this weekend.

This edition of Bracket Math includes games through March 10. Rankings reflect an up-to-date S-curve from yours truly, posing as one hypothetical member of the NCAA men's basketball committee.

Notes on the "new" math:

• We've officially come full circle since the start of 2013. Duke was the clear No. 1 overall seed when the calendar turned to January, and the Blue Devils have regained that perch after giving it up to several challengers during the span of Ryan Kelly's injury. But now that Kelly is back and the Devils have posted an impressive road win with him in the lineup, there is nothing to question about Duke's credentials. If the Blue Devils capture the ACC tournament, they will be 21-0 with Kelly in the lineup and first on the S-curve come Selection Sunday night.

• Just a note that we raise the tourney odds to 90 percent for all teams listed in green from this point forward. As you can see, there really aren't many spots left in the field. In the unlikely event a team drops out of this near-lock status, we're talking no more than a half-dozen spots in play during the next seven days and nights.

• Only one impactful Monday game: St. Mary's vs. Gonzaga (WCC title). A Gonzaga win should assure the Bulldogs a No. 1 seed for the first time in school history. Anything other than an overwhelming defeat should keep the Gaels in the projected NCAA field.

The Bracket

This is where I project teams would fall if Selection Sunday were today. Remember, the S-curve flows left to right, then right to left, then back again as you read down the chart.


To read more from Joe Lunardi on how the bubble looks, find out which weekend games are most impactful and see how the latest S-curve breaks down, sign up for ESPN Insider today.

Joe Lunardi | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com