Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Last Year’s Record: 21-13
Why they’ll make it: With eight of the top nine players in their rotation returning, the Dukes will have plenty of firepower this season. Led by juniors, Damian Sanders and Bill Clark, they’ll be one of the top teams in the Atlantic-10. This program is undergoing a bit of a renaissance and its showing in its recruiting. They were able to get athletic forward out of Charlotte, Andre Marhold , over Clemson and Purdue and New York City guard, Sean Johnson, over Nebraska. They were one game away from the Big Dance last season and they should take that next step this season.
Why they won’t make it: Unfortunately for the Dukes, it appears that they’ve scheduled light. West Virginia is the only non-conference team on their schedule that appears to be a lock for the NCAA tournament. They have no margin for error. Losing more than two games in the non-conference and finishing lower than second in the A-10 will be a death warrant for its at-large chances. The Dukes will need to pile up the wins.