E-mails from Bracketology Week 2

Originally Published: January 21, 2005
By Joe Lunardi | Special to ESPN Insider
Many of you write and ask: "Do we actually read every message that comes in?" The answer is "yes," although volume has become such that I can no longer respond to each e-mail individually.

That's why we created "Bracket Banter"!

Feeling Blue

Joe, I love your Bracketology. But if you think this scrappy Duke team is better than North Carolina after the loss to Wake, you're crazy.

UNC still blew out Georgia Tech and Maryland. Wake was just that much better on their home floor that day, without much from Rashad McCants. [North Carolina] cut the lead to five, but who can beat a team that hits 30 of 30 [actually 32 of 32] free throws? It's next to impossible.

Carolina should smoke Duke this year. I really can't believe you would [seed Carolina lower]. You've got to see the talent disparity there.

Matt McCullough

This was about the nicest of many messages on the Duke-Carolina seeding question. For the record, I don't have a particular affinity for either team (but, since each historically plays awfully good basketball, I will say that I enjoy watching them).

So let's ask ourselves a few rhetorical questions, answering them in the most unbiased way possible:
  • Which team would most neutral observers agree has the better personnel this season? Carolina
  • Which team would garner more votes as a potential national champion this year? Carolina
  • Which team's two losses would not be ignored by the committee (regardless of foul shooting or "off" days)? Carolina
  • Which team played the better non-conference schedule overall (No. 54 to No. 102)? Duke
  • Which team should be chastised for playing pretty much all their non-conference games at home? Duke

    Finally, which team had the better "resume" when this particular bracket was determined? It's close, as you might imagine, but the answer is Duke. And that's my job. Not to project who will defeat whom on some date in the future, but to evaluate individual team profiles that day.

    Of all candidates for the final No. 1 seed position last week, Duke had the best profile. Nothing more, nothing less.

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    Joe Lunardi | email

    Senior Writer, ESPN.com
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