This college basketball season has been as unpredictable as any we can remember. The NCAA Tournament field is starting to take some shape, though there is still plenty of time for things to shake up.
Earlier this month, the NCAA Tournament selection committee previewed how the top 16 teams look so far this season. With that reveal, came a clear No. 1 seed line. Duke athletic director Kevin White said that there is a “clear delineation between the top four and the rest of the field at this point.
That group doesn’t include his Blue Devils. He called the top four of Baylor, Kansas, Gonzaga, and San Diego State as “unanimous.” Furthermore, he said there was a pretty big gap between the Aztecs and the teams on the No. 2 seed line.
Another major Duke basketball figure, ESPN college hoops analyst Jay Bilas, thinks there is still hope for the Blue Devils. Duke hasn’t looked as dominant as it has in recent years, but they’re still in the hunt for the top seed line, he believes. If one of those four teams falters down the stretch here, Duke could be in prime position to take their spot. Via 247Sports:
ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas said Tuesday that he only saw one team that could displace Baylor, Kansas, Gonzaga or San Diego State. But that team is going to need some help.
“The one team that I think can get up to the one line is Duke,” Bilas said.
Kansas and Baylor face off this weekend, but both have very strong resumes. It isn’t unheard of for multiple teams from the same conference to land top seeds by any means.
Gonzaga largely gets treated as a power program at this point, and rightfully so. While the WCC doesn’t present a huge challenge to the Bulldogs most years, the program challenges itself very well in the non-conference.
San Diego State is trying to thread the ever-difficult needle of making the NCAA Tournament top-seed line as a true mid-major. If the 26-0 Aztecs finish the season undefeated, they’ll lock up a top seed.