The increase in site traffic has been almost entirely on the interwebz linking to previous breakdowns of famed bracketologist Joe Lunardi’s projected NCAA tournament brackets. I started doing this back in 2009 not to beat up on Lunardi, but to shoot down ESPN’s gushing praise of his excellency for “PICKING 64 OF 65 TEAMS CORRECTLY OMG”. Well, it’s 68 teams now, but there are still 31 auto-bids and roughly 20 at-large “locks” from teams as high as Kentucky all the way to the likes of West Virginia and Purdue. So in that sense, his job is really to pick the bubble teams and then sort out the seeds.
With comment input and my own need to improve this system, I have put in the following criteria:
– Teams in the tournament. Duh.
– Teams correctly seeded.
– NEW: For teams incorrectly seeded, a +/- system will be used. Example, if Michigan was a #4 seed when he had them as a #3, that means a +1. If Alabama is an 8 seed and he has them at #9, then it’s -1.
– NEW: First Four matchup predictions.
Teams in Tournament
67 of 68 (Missed out only on Seton Hall)
Teams Correctly Seeded
Note: Red means incorrect, “+” means overseeded and “-” means underseeded.
Actual: Kentucky, Michigan State, North Carolina, Syracuse
Lunardi: Kentucky, Michigan State, North Carolina, Syracuse
Actual: Duke, Missouri, Ohio State, Kansas
Lunardi: Duke, Missouri, Ohio State, Kansas
Actual: Baylor, Marquette, Florida State, Georgetown
Lunardi: Baylor, Marquette, Michigan (+1), Georgetown
Actual: Indiana, Louisville, Wisconsin, Michigan
Lunardi: Indiana, Louisville, Wisconsin, Florida State (-1)
Actual: Wichita State, New Mexico, Vanderbilt, Temple
Lunardi: Wichita State, Murray State (+1), Florida (+2), Vanderbilt
Actual: UNLV, Murray State, Cincinnati, San Diego State
Lunardi: Temple (-1), Memphis (+2), Notre Dame (+1), New Mexico (-1)
Actual: Notre Dame, Florida, Gonzaga, St. Mary’s
Lunardi: UNLV (-1), Creighton (+1), San Diego State (-1), St. Mary’s
Actual: Iowa State, Memphis, Kansas State, Creighton
Lunardi: UConn (+1), Gonzaga (-1), Kansas State, Cincinnati (-2)
Actual: UConn, Saint Louis, Southern Miss, Alabama
Lunardi: Iowa State (-1), Saint Louis, Virginia (+1), Alabama
Actual: Xavier, Virginia, West Virginia, Purdue
Lunardi: Southern Miss (-1) , Harvard (+2), West Virginia, Purdue
Actual: Colorado, Colorado State, Texas, NC State
Lunardi: VCU (+1), California (+1), Texas, Xavier (-1)
Actual: VCU, Long Beach State, Harvard, South Florida/California
Lunardi: Colorado (-1), Long Beach State, South Florida/BYU (+2), Colorado State (-1)
Actual: New Mexico State, Davidson, Montana, Ohio
Lunardi: South Dakota State (+1), St. Bonaventure (+1), NC State (-2)/Seton Hall (OUT), Ohio
Actual: South Dakota State, BYU/Iona, St. Bonaventure, Belmont
Lunardi: New Mexico State (-1), Davidson (-1), Montana (-1), Belmont
Actual: Lehigh, Norfolk State, Loyola (MD), Detroit
Lunardi: Lehigh, LIU Brooklyn (+1), Loyola (MD), Detroit
Actual: Miss. Valley St/Western Kentucky, LIU, UNC-Asheville, Lamar/Vermont
Lunardi: Miss. Valley St/Western Kentucky, UNC-Asheville, Lamar, Vermont/Norfolk State (-1)
TOTAL: 35 of 68 (51.4%)
2011: 30 of 68 (44.1%)
2010: 27 of 65 (41.5%)
2009: 31 of 65 (47.8%)
So Lunardi improves in seeding accuracy and gets over the 50% mark for the first time since I’ve done this series. Here’s a breakdown of overseeded and underseeded teams.
Overseeded by missing the tournament: Seton Hall (obviously)
Overseeded by 2: Florida, Memphis, Harvard, BYU
Overseeded by 1: Michigan, Murray State, Notre Dame, Creighton, UConn, Virginia, VCU, California, South Dakota State, St. Bonaventure, LIU-Brooklyn
Underseeded by 2: Cincinnati, NC State
Underseeded by 1: Florida State, Temple, New Mexico, UNLV, San Diego State, Gonzaga, Iowa State, Southern Miss, Xavier, Colorado, Colorado State, New Mexico State, Davidson, Montana, Norfolk State
Lunardi missed the seeding number by 2 a total of 6 times, and then missed on Seton Hall, but came very close with everything else.
Play-In First Four Matchups
Actual: #16 Western Kentucky vs. #16 Mississippi Valley State, #16 Lamar vs. #16 Vermont, #14 BYU vs. #14 Iona, #12 California vs. #12 South Florida
Lunardi: #16 WKU vs. #16 Miss. Valley State, #13 NC State vs. #13 Seton Hall, #12 South Florida vs. #12 BYU, #16 Vermont vs. #16 Norfolk State
TOTAL: 1 correct matchup, 4 of 8 teams correctly picked for First Four.
Consider this an improved year for Joe, especially given the fact that he pretty much botched the #1-#3 seeds in 2011 . Unfortunately he couldn’t be incorrect on Washington’s bubble bursting.
This concludes the 2012 edition of Joe Lunardi’s Bracket Accuracy. March Madness has arrived and we’ve got a big week coming. I don’t have a shredder with me so I’ll have to rely on my hands to rip my bracket to shreds by the end of March 18th….