NCAA Teams Gather for Viewing Parties to See Joe Lunardi’s 16th Bracket Projection of the Season

usatodayColoradoNCAA basketball teams across the country gathered in front of televisions today to see the latest unveiling of bracketologist Joe Lunardi’s seeding projections for the NCAA tournament. The picks are Lunardi’s 16th edition of the season, the first coming back on November 7th before the season even tipped.

“This is pretty huge,” said Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin of the analyst’s projection. “In November he had us as the 11-seed in the West, then by early February we were the 3-seed in the East and then a few days ago he had us as the 4-seed in the South. What will today bring? We can hardly handle the suspense. Where will we be theoretically playing and against who according to one guy? AAAH! I can’t stand it!”

Cronin admits the big swings in seedings and region have made it difficult for his team to focus throughout the season.

“That’s how it is for all teams, though,” he said. “Every coach deals with this. You call a timeout late in the game and a kid says: ‘Coach, if we hit this shot, do you think we have a chance at being projected as a 3-seed in the East or possibly the 2-seed in the Midwest? And if not by Joe Lunardi, then maybe by that guy with CBS Sports with the hair?’ I hear that pretty much every game. And I can’t blame them. I think about it, too.”

UC Irvine was added to Lunardi’s March 3rd bracket projection as the 15-seed in the West, slated to take on No. 2 seed Wisconsin, and head coach Russell Turner says it was “maybe one of the most exciting moments in school history.”

“Right away I started watching film on Wisconsin to prepare for the game,” said Turner. “I’m not going to spend time getting ready for the Big West Conference when we’re projected to have much bigger fish to fry.”

Despite the excitement of his upcoming projection, Lunardi says teams shouldn’t take his word as gospel.

“I’ll have a dozen or so more of these before the NCAA Tournament starts,” he said. “Also, I’m just guessing and have no say in who actually makes the tournament. But doing these all year long helps pay the bills. What a world.”

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