Since Duke captured the national title in 2015, it has not earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
These Blue Devils, however, are on track to earn a similar top billing.
In Saturday afternoon’s early bracket reveal, the NCAA tournament selection committee handed Duke a No. 1 seed and the tournament's top overall seed, putting them on the top line along with Tennessee, Virginia and Gonzaga. In this setup, the Blue Devils would be bound for the East Regional Washington, D.C. with the Volunteers going to Louisville, Kent., for the South Regional, the Cavaliers traveling out to Kansas City in the Midwest and the Bulldogs staying out west in Anaheim, Calif.
The No. 2 seed in Duke’s region would be Michigan, with Kentucky, Michigan State and North Carolina rounding out the second line of teams.
The committee then wrapped up its top 16 with Purdue, Kansas, Houston and Marquette as No. 3 seeds, and then Iowa State, Nevada, Louisville and Wisconsin on the No. 4 line. This is the third straight season in which the NCAA has released a sneak peek at the bracket in mid-February—last year, Duke was projected as a No. 2 seed in the East before ultimately winding up as the second-seeded team in the Midwest, advancing to the Elite Eight where it lost to No. 1 seed Kansas.
The ACC and Big Ten tied for the most teams of any conference in the top 16 with four teams apiece.
The Blue Devils will look to continue their push for a No. 1 seed later tonight when they challenge Virginia in Charlottesville, Va.
Full bracket available below (East vs. West, South vs. Midwest):
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4. Iowa State
2. Michigan State
2. North Carolina