Zion Williamson,Luke Maye,Mike Krzyzewski

5 Reasons Why Duke Won't Get a No. 1 Seed in NCAA March Madness Tournament

Cover Photo: Getty Images


When healthy, the Duke Blue Devils are one of the most dominant college basketball teams in recent memory. Despite injuries, the Blue Devils still have the best odds at winning the NCAA Tournament on the FanDuel Sportsbook. Yet they still might not be awarded a coveted No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Here are five reasons why they may have to settle for No. 2.

5. No Zion Williamson

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The Selection Committee has to seed teams based on where they stand right now. Without Zion Williamson, Duke has disappointed. Even if we throw out the first UNC-Duke game, they lost to Virginia Tech, only beat unranked Syracuse by 10, and then barely escaped the grasp of a horrible Wake Forest team. At least they beat Miami by 30.

4. Another loss to UNC?

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Unless Williamson is rushed back from his injury by Saturday, Duke will travel to North Carolina to take on the same Tar Heels that just stomped them at home. Coach K wants to keep Zion fresh for tournament time, so they'll likely have to beat UNC without Zion. 

3. Loss to Syracuse

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The biggest blemish on Duke's resume is its home loss to the Syracuse Orange. Most No. 1 seeds are afforded losses in big games and still maintain their status, but a home loss against an unranked team with a healthy roster isn't overlooked easily. 

2. Tennessee's blowout over Kentucky

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Tennessee was a near-lock for a No. 1 seed for most of the season before dropping games to Kentucky and LSU, but they stormed back into the conversation with a 19-point revenge victory over the Wildcats last week. That victory put Tennessee back in the conversation for a No. 1 seed, and if they win out, they'll likely get it. 

1. Virginia

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UVA has lost two games all season, and both came against Duke. Outside of that, they're perfect. If that remains the case and they win the ACC Tournament, they'll likely get a No. 1 seed. Depending on how Duke finishes the season, UVA could steal Duke's top spot. 

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Taylor Smith is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username jtsmittyyy. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.