Just when I go and defend Duke, they lose on the road to #20 Virginia Tech. The Hokies executed very well, but I still think if Zion Williamson played, he easily would've compensated for more than 5 points, the margin Duke lost by. Basically, if Williamson is too injured to return before the tournament, or if he chooses to sit and save himself for the NBA draft, then Duke is in trouble. If Williamson is back in time for the tournament, I still believe the Blue Devils have a legitimate shot at the Championship. I think if he wants to play, he will be healthy enough to, but at this point it is a matter if he wants to play.
With him easily going #1 in the NBA draft, and big endorsements looming, how much more could he help himself by playing in the tournament? Not much. If anything, he can only hurt his stock but not performing well, or worse, suffering another injury. But I am optimistic that he will not only be physically able to go in a couple weeks, but he will also make the decision to play out his first, and last season at Duke. For the Hokies, they should definitely jump up a spot or two in the upcoming polls next week, and should find themselves with a decent ranking come Selection Sunday in a couple weeks. Kentucky and North Carolina both won as well, and if they both win this Saturday, both should jump over Duke.
The Tarheels will have the easier task as they play at Clemson next. The Wildcats have probably their biggest game to date coming up when they travel to play Tennessee. If the Volunteers win their home game, they can save face a little bit for the rest of the season. But if they fall, that will be 3 of their last 4, all against ranked teams, and they will- or at least should- fall out of the top 10 and be written off for the rest of this season. Kentucky vs. Tennessee will tip off on Saturday at 11:00 am PT in what will definitely be the game of the week.