Report: Duke requests to be placed in Chicago region for NCAA Tournament
Duke is requesting to be placed in the Chicago region of this year’s NCAA Tournament, according to multiple reports.
The move would go against the conventional wisdom of wanting to be placed as close to campus as possible. Philadelphia is hosting the East region this year and would have been a more obvious choice.
ESPN’s Wright Thompson was first to report the news, which was later confirmed by The Athletic. The request seems to — at least in part — be due to Mike Krzyzewski being from Chicago originally.
Source confirms to @TheAthleticCBB what ESPN's Wright Thompson first reported: Duke has requested to be placed in Midwest Regional (Chicago) instead of East (Philly). Chicago is Coach K's hometown. Higher seed normally goes to closest region but school decides preference.
— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) March 3, 2022
Of course, this would only matter if Duke is able to make it to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament. Chicago will host the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games for the midwest region, but other cities will host first-and-second round contests.
It’s worth noting that this isn’t a special request from Duke — each NCAA Tournament team gives their preference on regional location prior to Selection Sunday every year.
This will be the final tournament of Mike Krzyzewski’s coaching career. The Blue Devils are closing in on a No. 1-seed after a few early slip-ups in ACC play. They are the heavy favorites to win the ACC Tournament next week.
Duke closes out the regular season with North Carolina on Saturday.