- Joe Lunardi, Senior Writer, ESPN.com
Welcome back to the expanded edition of Joe Lunardi's Rundown. Since the start of February, this series has featured tournament odds, an element that will take you deeper into Bracketology. Bracketology provides a snapshot of how the bracket looks on a specific day, but through the use of Lunardi's extensive database of previous seasons, tournament odds tell you how the bracket is likely to look come Selection Sunday.
By losing at Maryland this weekend, Duke actually did us a favor. It made possible the seemingly inevitable leap by Miami over the Blue Devils into the No. 2 overall spot on the S-curve. Because the Hurricanes have a full three-game lead in the ACC, it's no longer reasonable to slot them behind Duke because of a weaker nonconference profile. Miami's unbeaten performance in the ACC thus far (12-0) is enough to break the tie for that position.
I gave additional thought to dropping Duke to No. 5 overall and elevating Gonzaga to the top line. Although this would be a popular move for many, it would also be wrong. Other than poll position, the Blue Devils still top the Zags in every significant category. Further, when we add in the element of sub-150 and non-Division I wins -- three for Duke and 13 for Gonzaga -- it's an easy distinction for us to make. There is also the consolation that, if this were the final bracket, No. 4 overall would be paired with No. 5 as a potential Elite Eight game (just as it should be).
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