|Ranking:||AP Poll||Coaches Poll||ESPN Power Ranking||Titus||Winn||KenPom||RPI||BPI||SBN Bracketology||Lunardi||CBS Bracketology|
|This Week:||11th||9th||9th||9th||Not Released||16th||24th||14th||3 Seed||3 Seed||3 Seed|
|Last Week:||12th||11th||14th||9th||16th||20th||26th||16th||4 Seed||3 Seed||3 Seed|
The Irish improved in every ranking this week after a big wins at Louisville and at home against Clemson. In the AP and Coaches Polls, Maryland, Kansas, and ND are separated by just a few points. A strong performance in the ACC Tournament and early losses by the Jayhawks and Terps could move ND above these two schools in the eyes of the selection committee. As far as the computer rankings go, the wins moved ND up a few spots in each algorithm. ND's offensive efficiency improved a spot after strong offensive games against Louisville and Clemson, but the defensive performances moved up ND's adjD to 139 from 148. While 139 isn't particularly good, the defensive ranking has been improving from a few weeks when the Irish were close to the 160s. If the defensive improvement continues, it would go a long way toward helping the Irish make deep runs in both tournaments. Lastly, all three major bracketologies have the Irish as a 3 seed. Lunardi has ND in the Midwest (Kentucky's region), while the other two have the Irish headed west.
Teams to watch in other tournaments
While we've got all the ACC Tournament coverage you need here at One Foot Down, there's a few other tournaments that may have seeding implications for the Irish. First, the Big 12 trio of Oklahoma, Baylor, and Iowa State are right around the Irish in most major bracketologies. Iowa State is a unanimous 3-seed, Lunardi and SB Nation have OU as a three, while CBS has the Sooners as a 4-seed, with Baylor as a three. The Bears face a tough West Virginia team in the quarters, and would most like face Kansas in the semifinals. Iowa State and Oklahoma have easier quarterfinal games, but would likely face each other in the semifinals. It's likely that the Big 12 teams will take care of each other, but you never know how the committee will treat a close loss to a good team. In the Big Ten Tournament, Maryland is another unanimous three seed that Irish fans should keep an eye on. The Terps will likely face Indiana or Northwestern on Friday in their quarterfinal game. Maryland has had problems with the Hoosiers this season, losing by double digits at Assembly Hall, and squeaking by in a 68-66 win at home. Michigan State or Ohio State would likely wait in the semis for Maryland. While it's possible that ND could jump to a 2 seed if it wins the ACC Tournament after beating Duke and UVA, the Irish would probably need some help via an early loss by Kansas, Arizona, or Wisconsin.
Where will ND end up
All three bracketologies have the Irish headed to Columbus for their first weekend of games. Looking at the other teams on the three and four lines, it's unlikely that any of them would send the Irish elsewhere. While we can't guarantee anything, it's hard to find a scenario where the Irish aren't headed to Columbus. If anyone is planning on watching the Irish in person during the tournament, it's probably safe to make travel arrangements now. The games in Columbus are on Friday and Sunday. Which region the Irish will be draw into is another matter, however. Lunardi has ND in the Midwest (Cleveland) region, while the other two have the Irish going west to LA. This will probably come down to where in the S-curve the Irish finish as well as how seeding affects conference rules. If ND is rated as the top-3 seed, they'll probably head to Cleveland. This is nice for travel, but would force the Irish to go through UK for a chance at the Final Four. While it would be tough on fans, it might be preferable to get shipped out west and avoid the powerhouse Wildcats. That being said, considering where the team was last season, I don't think anyone could be too disappointed with a second weekend loss to UK. Regardless of where the Irish go, we'll have you covered with NCAA Tournament coverage here at One Foot Down. We'll have ACC Tournament recaps and previews of games each round as well as ND specific posts throughout the week. In case you missed it, check out yesterday's recap and a preview of today's games.