The ACC Tournament begins tomorrow in Brooklyn, NY which means we are less than one week away from Selection. There are still a lot of moving parts for the Selection Committee and the next five days could be big to many of the top teams seeding, especially Duke.
We sat down with Shelby Mast, who is the official bracketologist for CollegeInsider.com and USA Today. He is the third most accurate bracketologist for those who have 9+ years of experience. Shelby was also an Inaugural Super10 Mock Selection Committee member sponsored by the NCAA and Turner Sports. He runs BracketWag.com. Make sure to give him a follow on Twitter @BracketWAG.
If Duke were to go on to win the ACC Tournament, what seed do you think they would receive?
SM: If they win, it will be awful hard to keep them off of the 1 line. They are my top 2 seed right now.
Looking at your current bracket, you have Villanova, Michigan State, Florida, and West Virginia in Duke’s bracket. How far do you see them going in the NCAA Tournament as that region is currently constructed?
All of those teams have flaws, like Duke, but I think I trust Duke a bit more than the others to advance. Nova has won a title, but has flamed out early in 3 of the past 4 years. Michigan State has great talent and a great coach, but has been playing catch-up too many games. West Virginia’s defense is very good, but I think Duke has the weapons to get past them. Gotta play tough D against any of those teams.
What do you think is the key to Duke making the Final Four from this region?
Defense – it doesn’t have to be great, but does need to be good. Too many bad D games this year have hurt them I think. Also, avoid foul trouble and make your free throws.
As your bracket looks today, who would be in your Final Four? And the National Champion?
Let’s go with Duke, Wichita State, Texas Tech and Arizona – Duke over Arizona in the final in a repeat of 2001.