Joe Lunardi’s 2012 Bracket Accuracy

This is the 4th year of the Joe Lunardi Bracket Analysis series. To view past editions click on the following links: 2011, 2010, and 2009.

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….


5 thoughts on “Joe Lunardi’s 2012 Bracket Accuracy

  1. thelegendaryjt3

    Basically you just repeated the info that the bracket project had already documented. Alas, you did a good job of explaining it in more detail. Well done..

    Lunardi has one of the easier jobs in the world IMO. So much so that he has two jobs.

    The bracket project is a better resource over all, without doubt.

    1. Mookie Post author

      Ha! I’m an idiot. I went through his final bracket one-by-one instead of just going to Bracket Project. That works, too.

      I just find it amusing that he’s become the premier source on this “field of study” and this post along with Bracket Project pretty much disprove this groupthink.

      And thanks for the compliments and comment….

  2. Anonymous

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