Duke earns No. 1 overall seed in NCAA men’s basketball tournament

Posted at 6:10 PM, Mar 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-17 18:11:05-04

DURHAM, N.C. (Duke Sports Information) - Duke University, champion of the Atlantic Coast Conference, has earned the overall No. 1-seed in the NCAA Tournament, and will begin the program’s quest for its sixth National Championship on Friday versus either NC Central or North Dakota State in Columbia, SC.

Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils accepts the ACC Championship trophy. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Friday’s game is set for a 7:10 p.m. ET tip on News 3.

Duke (29-5) is a No. 1-seed for the 14th time in program history, and for the first time since the Blue Devils’ National Championship in 2015. Four of the Blue Devils’ five titles have come in seasons with a No. 1 seed (1992, 2001, 2010 and 2015).

Zion Williamson of the Duke Blue Devils waits for a rebound with Luke Maye. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Duke’s 14 all-time No. 1-seeds are second-most in NCAA history, trailing only North Carolina, which earned its 17th this season. Kansas also has 14, Kentucky has 12, while Virginia’s seven are fifth-most. This season, the ACC became just the second conference in NCAA history with three No. 1-seeds in Duke, North Carolina and Virginia.

The Blue Devils are led this season by a pair of first-team All-America selections in freshmen RJ Barrett and Zion Williamson. Barrett (22.9) and Williamson (22.1) are the ACC’s two leading scorers and looking to become the first freshmen teammates in NCAA history to each average 20 points in a season. Williamson is the first freshman in ACC history to be named the league’s Player of the Year and Tournament MVP in the same season.

In the NCAA Tournament for the 24th consecutive season, the Blue Devils’ 43 all-time appearances are the fifth-most appearances in NCAA history. Duke earned an automatic bid this season by way of its record 21st ACC Championship, and is 64-18 (.780) all-time when playing as an automatic bid. Duke’s overall record in the NCAA Tournament is 111-37 (.750) – the tournament’s best winning percentage all-time.

Under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, Duke is in the NCAA Tournament for the 35th time in 39 seasons -- the most by a coach in NCAA history. Coach K’s 94 NCAA Tournament wins are the most, while his NCAA Tournament winning percentage of .764 (94-29) trails only John Wooden’s .825 (47-10).

The winner of Friday’s game advances to the NCAA Second Round, where it will face either VCU or UCF on Sunday. The Blue Devils have played VCU just once previously, and have never played UCF, which is coached by former Blue Devil Johnny Dawkins.