Bracket Projection: Duke

With Ryan Kelly back in the fold, Blue Devils are a legit national title threat

Updated: March 19, 2013, 5:05 PM ET
By Bill Doherty | Special to ESPN Insider
Ryan Kelly, Julian GambleAP Photo/Gerry BroomeRyan Kelly's return from a foot injury on March 2 has been huge for Duke.

The Duke Blue Devils, now that 6-foot-11 senior Ryan Kelly is fully healthy, are a cut-down-the-nets threat in this tournament. With Kelly in the lineup, the Blue Devils were 17-0 during the regular season and allowed just 61.0 PPG. They allowed 76.5 PPG in his absence. What do the Dukies, a first-round casualty last March versus Lehigh with Kelly sidelined, need to do to make a national title run this season?

ESPN Insider has your answers, as Joe Lunardi has enlisted a team of Bracketologists to compile advanced metrics, key scouting intel and best- and worst-case tournament scenarios for all 68 teams to help you make smart picks in your bracket. Plus, as Lunardi fills out his bracket, he'll give you his prediction on how each team will fare.

PROFILES FOR ALL 68 TEAMS | BRACKET PREDICTOR


Lunardi's Logic

The Blue Devils are seeded correctly as a No. 2, although they should probably not be in the same region as Louisville. Regardless, the prospect of an Elite Eight rematch with the Cardinals is enticing. The teams played a fabulous game in the Bahamas, but with Louisville missing center Gorgui Dieng. From a Duke perspective, I'm more concerned about Michigan State in the Sweet 16. Win or lose, the Spartans beat you up.

TOURNEY PROFILE

Best wins: Kentucky, Louisville, Ohio State, NC State, Miami (Fla.), at North Carolina

Worst losses: at Miami (Fla.) by 27 points, at Maryland, at Virginia


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