South Regional Primer: Can Duke capitalize on a favorable draw?
We spent all of last week trying to figure out whether Duke or West Virginia would get the fourth No. 1 seed. The selection committee wasn't worried about whether Duke would be a No. 1, but where the Blue Devils belonged on the No. 1 line. The ACC regular-season and tournament champs wound up the third No. 1 seed, and the Blue Devils' scorching finish put them there.
"In Duke's case, obviously they won 11 of their last 12 games," selection committee chairman
Duke certainly has the best top-end talent of any team in the region, if not the entire tournament. The trio of wing
How will Duke's other five regulars perform in crunch time? The Blue Devils will need rebounds from 7-foot-1 center
If everyone pitches in, the road to Indianapolis doesn't appear as tough for the Blue Devils as it does for the other No. 1 seeds. In fact, Duke's toughest game could come Sunday in Jacksonville, Fla., against Louisville. Coach
Seeded sixth, Notre Dame doesn't fit the traditional definition of a bracket buster, but the average bracket buster wins two stunners and then gets crushed in the Sweet 16. It wouldn't be a stretch to see the Fighting Irish in the Elite Eight. Despite playing without star
Purdue lands in this spot because of plain old bad luck. The Boilermakers looked like a No. 1 seed before they lost star
To make matters worse, Purdue drew a first-round matchup with Siena, which beat Vanderbilt as a No. 13 seed in 2008 and beat Ohio State in last year's first round.
Richmond doesn't look or play like a mid-major, and the Spiders could do some damage -- if they can get past the Gaels. Richmond will force turnovers; the Spiders average 8.4 steals a game, and guard
Reynolds proved last year he's at home on the big stage when he broke free, caught an inbound pass and dashed into the lane to
Franklin has plenty of quality NCAA tournament experience. As a sophomore, the forward started for the Saints team that upset Vandy. As a junior, he averaged a double-double in a tourney appearance that included a win against Ohio State and a loss to top-seeded Louisville. This season, Franklin leads the Saints with 16.3 points a game. He also averages eight rebounds.
Scheyer, Singler and Smith have a golden opportunity to lead the Blue Devils to the Final Four for the first time since 2004. They have the talent. They have a good draw. Can they get it done?
Texas A&M is one of only three tournament teams -- Texas and Pitt are the others -- to have won at least one game in each of the past four tournaments.
In spite of the tough potential second-round matchup and the potential road game in the Sweet 16, the Blue Devils are mature enough to handle the pressure that comes with being a No. 1 seed.