Thursday, January 24, 2013

Duke Still Has a Lot to Prove

Right now Duke is a number one seed, according to ESPN's Charlie Creme.  And it's tough to argue with their resume: their only loss of the season was to Connecticut this week and before that game their average margin of victory was over 30 points.

But those lopsided victories have mostly been at the expense of some cupcake teams.  Before the Connecticut game, Duke had played just one top 25 team (Cal) and one more top 50 team (Michigan).  By contrast, when Connecticut met Duke, the Huskies were playing their seventh top 25 team this year and their eleventh top 50 team. 

Strength of schedule weakness is the reason Duke is number 12 in RPI (they have played the 72nd most strenuous schedule in NCAA Division 1 this year so far), and it is also the reason that they possess a 3-seed in the College Women's Hoops S-Factor.  But fear not, Blue Devils!  By the end of the season Duke will have played seven top 25 teams (North Carolina twice, Maryland twice, Florida State once) and four teams ranked 26 to 50 in RPI (Miami twice, Virginia once).  Their strength of schedule still won't be as difficult as Connecticut's (on track for 11 top 25 teams and 15 top 50 teams), but clearly Duke's toughest challenges of the season lie in front of them.

Now in:
Middle Tennessee St.
Pacific (1/21)
Duquesne (1/21)
Chattanooga (1/21)
Central Michigan (1/21)
Wichita State (1/21)
Cal Poly (1/21)
Montana State (1/21)
SMU (1/21)
Army (1/21)
Longwood (1/21)

Now out:
Boston U.
Tennessee Tech
Western Kentucky
Georgetown (1/21)
Florida (1/21)
Minnesota (1/21)
CSU Northridge (1/21)
UTEP (1/21)
Montana (1/21)
Davidson (1/21)
Liberty (1/21)
Akron (1/21)
Lehigh (1/21)

Conferences with multiple bids:
Big 12: 7
Big East: 6
SEC: 6
Big Ten: 6
ACC: 6
PAC 12: 4
Colonial: 2
Atlantic 10: 2
Big West: 2
Missouri Valley: 2

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