Duke March Madness Predictions: Blue Devils’ Latest NCAA Tournament Outlook

RJ Barrett

Getty The Knicks could explore trading out of the No. 3 pick.

The Duke Blue Devils have the makings of a clear-cut No. 1 seed from a talent perspective. But the injury to star forward Zion Williamson has made the situation a bit interesting heading into the homestretch of the season. Although there’s no denying that Duke is a favorite to win the 2019 NCAA Tournament, their bracket outlook has become a talking point in recent weeks.

Following Williamson’s strange and scary injury in which his foot burst through the side of his shoe against the UNC Tar Heels on February 20, Duke has gone just 2-2. One of those two losses includes the game when he was hurt, and they also fell to No. 15 ranked Virginia Tech last week.

As things stand, the Blue Devils hold the No. 4 ranking in the country with a 25-4 record. But some chatter has started about whether they’ll earn one of the top seeds when the tournament rolls around, especially if they don’t win the ACC Tournament. Fortunately, it seems the popular consensus, for the time being, is that Mike Krzyzewski’s squad will land a No. 1 spot.

Latest Predictions on Duke’s NCAA Tournament Seeding

In the most recent bracketology breakdown from ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, he pegged Duke as the top seed in the South bracket, with a first-round date against the Campbell Fighting Camels. In this outlook, it would lead to a potential second-round matchup against either the Iowa Hawkeyes or Florida Gators.

A few other teams to note which Lunardi predicts in the bracket include the Tennessee Volunteers (No. 2 seed), Purdue Boilermakers (No. 3) and an interesting Old Dominion Monarchs group (No. 13). It’d create a tough bracket for Duke, but with Zion expected to be back and healthy, it’s even more daunting for their opponents.

Along with a No. 1 seed from ESPN, Jerry Palm of CBS Sports offered the same outlook and even the same opponent. He placed Duke against Campbell in the South bracket but has a second-round date with either the Wofford Terriers or Ole Miss Rebels on tap. Beyond that, the Kentucky Wildcats are pegged as the No. 2 seed in their bracket, along with Purdue (No. 3) and the Wisconsin Badgers (No. 5).

Duke’s March Madness Resume

It’s hard to argue with the body of work Coach K’s squad has put on paper, especially when playing at 100 percent. With Williamson in the lineup for an entire game, Duke has gone 23-2 with their only losses coming against the top-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs and the Syracuse Orange. The loss to Syracuse was without Cam Reddish and included Tre Jones leaving after six minutes due to injury.

They’ve knocked off seven teams who were ranked when the Blue Devils faced them, including the Virginia Cavaliers twice and a memorable 34-point victory over Kentucky on opening night. Duke has arguably one of the most impressive resumes in college basketball. Regardless of whether they grab a top seed or something happens and they slip up to finish as a No. 2, this team will be a brutally tough out in the 2019 NCAA Tournament.

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