When it comes to the 2019 NCAA Tournament, there is Duke and then there’s everybody else. The nation’s top-ranked team is the heavy favorite at the start of March Madness to win this year’s national championship.

The Blue Devils aren’t simply the No.1 team in the East region. Mike Krzyzewski’s squad is the No.1 overall ranked team in the entire tournament. They’ve got the best odds, by far, to win the title in Minneapolis on April 8, and Duke is an overwhelming favorite to reach the Final Four.

Zion Williamson made sure of that when he returned from his knee injury. The top player in the country, who is all but guaranteed to be the No.1 overall pick in the NBA Draft, carried Duke to an ACC Championship when he returned for the quarterfinals of the tournament.

R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish are both expected to be top-five draft picks, as well.

Duke is still waiting to learn the identity of their first-round opponent. They’ll take on the winner of the play-in game between No.16 North Carolina Central and No.16 North Dakota State. Considering No.1 North Carolina and No.1 Virginia are both favored by more than 23 points in the round of 64, per OddsShark, Duke could end up being favored by at least 25 points in their first-round matchup.

That first-round game will take place Friday night. Tip-off between Duke and their opponent is scheduled for 7:10 pm. EDT on CBS.

Assuming Duke doesn’t become the second No.1 seed in history to lose to a No.16 seed, they’ll take on the winner of No.9 UCF vs. No.8 VCU Sunday. Two wins in Columbia, South Carolina will put the Blue Devils in the Sweet 16 for the fourth time in five years.

It’s hard to say which team Duke would face to kick off the second week of March Madness. If seeding holds, Duke will be matched up with No.4 Virginia Tech, who defeated the Zion-less Blue Devils on Feb. 26. If there’s an upset along the way, it’ll be No.5 Mississippi State, No.12 Liberty or No.13 Saint Louis that stands in the way of Duke and the Elite Eight.

Duke and No.2 Michigan State are on track to meet in the East Regional Final in Washington D.C. The Spartans are the top-ranked No.2 seed after winning the Big Ten Championship.

Looking way ahead to the Final Four in Minneapolis, Duke would face the winner of the West Region on April 6. No.1 Gonzaga sits atop the West, followed by No.2 Michigan, No.3 Texas Tech and No.4 Florida State.

Zion Williamson Duke
Teammates RJ Barrett #5 and Zion Williamson #1 of the Duke Blue Devils react after defeating the Florida State Seminoles 73-63 in the championship game of the 2019 Men's ACC Basketball Tournament at Spectrum Center on March 16, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Gonzaga is the only team that’s beaten Duke when they had Williamson, Reddish and Barrett healthy. Florida State lost to Duke by two points on Jan. 12. The Blue Devils defeated the Seminoles again by 10 points in the finals of the ACC Tournament.

There are a bunch of intriguing possible scenarios for Duke in the national championship game. The Blue Devils could meet North Carolina for the fourth time this season. They could take on Virginia for the third time. Maybe a rematch with No.2 Kentucky is in store.

It might not matter what teams try to upset Duke along the way. The Blue Devils are the most talented team in the country, and betting against the most dominant force college basketball has seen in recent memory probably isn’t the smartest idea.

Prediction: Duke wins the national championship