This is because the Duke Blue Devils won a major victory over the North Carolina Tar Heels in the ACC Tournament. Not only was it a big win, but Zion Williamson came back and returned to his dominant self.
If Duke had lost that match, they would probably be a seed 2 in the NCAA tournament in the Kentucky area if the Wildcats won a seed 1. But with Zion in good health, it's clear that Duke is one of the four America's best teams and deserves a seed 1, because all but one of his defeats happened with a wounded key player.
This has several parentologists placing Duke in front of Kentucky in their latest screenings, including the last of Joe Lunardi of ESPN. He now has Duke as seed 1 in the southern region, while Kentucky is now seed 1 in the Midwest region with UNC as 2:
Jerry Palm from CBS Sports has a similar projection with Kentucky and UNC in the Midwest:
Although Kentucky is a good argument for being the first favorite in the South, being the Midwest's best favorite is not a bad deal. Kansas City is close enough that the arena is a pro-British crowd, and should probably beat UNC for a match. Final square This place is much better than having to face Duke in a possible match against Elite Eight.
But if you still want to see Kentucky play in Louisville regardless of the opposition, you may like the new projection of USA Today Sports. He has Kentucky as a seed 2 in the southern region with the Virginia Cavaliers like the 1:
I may be a minority, but I think Kentucky would be a lot better in a region that has neither Virginia nor Duke. These are the two best college basketball teams this season. While the Cavaliers may have struggled in the post-season, it's probably Tony Bennett's best team, and it looks like Virginia is about to qualify for the final.
Of all the projections, The latest SB Nation support is probably the best scenario for Kentucky. He has the Wildcats like 1 seed with UNC like 2:
On three projections, here is how I would classify them from the most to the least favorable for Kentucky:
- SB Nation
- CBS Sports / ESPN
- United States today
In all, it seems very likely that Kentucky will avoid Virginia and Duke by getting a seed of 1. However, the Wildcats must beat the Tennessee Volunteers today for this to happen. A defeat today would probably result in Kentucky falling into Group 2, in the Duke or Virginia regions.
That said, teams must almost always face at least one big team to qualify for the Final Four, and Kentucky has the firepower needed to beat anyone.
Which of these supports do you prefer for Kentucky? Let us know in the "Comments" section.