The Blue Devils will have to go further than some expected in their path to the Final Four in San Antonio.

Duke was given a No. 2 seed in the Midwest Region of the NCAA tournament when the bracket was revealed during Sunday evening’s selection show. The Blue Devils will open play against No. 15 seed Iona in Pittsburgh Thursday afternoon at about 2:45 p.m. and would move on to face Rhode Island or Oklahoma with a win. If they make it past the first weekend, they would play the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight in Omaha, Neb.

The No. 1 seed in Duke’s region is Kansas, and Virginia, Xavier and Villanova earned the other three top seeds. If the Blue Devils get through to the Sweet 16, they would potentially face a rematch with No. 3 seed Michigan State, which they beat at the Champions Classic in November.

Duke was in contention to move onto the top seed line before losing to North Carolina in the ACC semifinals Friday night in New York and will settle for a No. 2 seed for the second straight season. The Blue Devils were upset in the Round of 32 by South Carolina last year and have not made the Final Four as anything lower than a No. 1 seed since 1994.

"We don’t care about the seeding. We feel like the players in this locker room, the coaching staff that we have, we’ll be successful no matter what seed we are," freshman guard Gary Trent Jr. said after Friday's loss. "You can’t take a possession for granted, you can’t take a play for granted and you can’t take a play off because you can lose it that fast."

As the preseason No. 1 team in the nation, Duke started the season strong with big wins against Michigan State, Texas and Florida in November before stumbling to start conference play. Five regular-season losses to ACC opponents and an ugly defeat at St. John’s in a nonconference matchup in February were enough to knock the Blue Devils off the top tier of teams nationally, and they lost two of three meetings with the rival Tar Heels.

North Carolina’s head-to-head advantage and 14 Quadrant 1 wins against the nation’s most challenging schedule were enough to lift the Tar Heels past Duke and into a coveted spot in Charlotte for the first weekend in the committee’s eyes.

The Blue Devils' loss Friday gave them an extra day of rest and preparation for the tournament, and with the team opening play on the first day of the tournament, it will have almost a full week off before taking the floor.

"We’ve got a lot to do. This will be a good time for us to practice and get our minds back right for this last go-around," freshman big man Marvin Bagley III said. "We’ve just got to get back to it and just work on it."