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Basketball: Lunardi doesn’t see Cal at-large

By Jeff Faraudo
Monday, March 7th, 2011 at 9:01 pm in Basketball, NCAA Tournament.

ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi, in an online chat today, said he’s not optimistic about Cal’s chances of getting an NCAA Tournament bid, regardless of what the Bears accomplish at the Pac-10 tournament, short of winning the event.

Here’s the exchange: 

Roll On (California)

“Does Cal have any chance of getting into the Dance f they do well in the conference tourney? Let’s say 2 wins (against USC, then Arizona) in the tourney, which brings them to 19 wins I believe.”

Joe Lunardi

“Possible for Cal, at-large, but unlikely. Think the Pac-10 tourney will be full of surprises, though.”

Lunardi has USC among the “first four out” in his latest bracket projection and Washington State among the “next four out.”

According to RealTimeRPI.com, Cal is No. 66, USC is No. 69 and WSU is No. 75.

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  • Paul Thomas

    I’m trying to fathom why Cal would be behind WSU in anyone’s projection, given that Cal has better RPI, better SOS, a better conference record in a true round-robin, the best two wins of either of the two teams (Temple and UCLA– clearly superior to Washington, Baylor, or Gonzaga at this point), and WSU has the worst loss.

    So far, I’ve yet to come up with any explanations other than people are lazy and haven’t thought it through.

  • discdude

    Or Gonzaga, for that matter…yes, they earned their trip tonight, good win. But come on, 22-9/11-3 in the ridiculously weak WCC. They have losses to SDSU and Notre Dame, just like Cal, they also have losses to K State, Illinois and WSU. Not to mention Santa Clara and USF. Cal’s similar losses are to BC, Kansas and So Miss. They did beat Baylor, who turned out not to be very good, Cal beat Temple. They beat mighty Wake, who finished 8-23, Cal beat WSU. Gonzaga RPI = 62. Cal’s RPI = 66…and yet, Gonzaga had a 10-seed locked up in Bracketology before tonight’s win. Lundari is great, but he’s starting to buy-in to all this “hype” magic too. I mean, Klay Thompson is a great player, but WSU’s resume isn’t much better than Cal’s, if as good (they have two good wins against UW).

    I don’t think Cal gets the bid either with 2 more wins, a couple of losses loom large, but this team is certainly as worthy as some others.

  • SteveNTexas

    We just need to win the tourney to extinguish all doubt. Our young players have had all season to mature -even some OT games. We are not especially injured as with some teams I follow.

    If we win the tourney and we pretty much have to, we won’t have to worry about anyone’s projections.

  • Yoda

    Oh Steve, you aren’t making excuses for Indiana’s pathetic 3-15 conference record, are you? Rather shocking for such a paradigm of basketball recruiting.

    Cal’s problem is depth, which makes winning this tourney a real longshot. Give them a day’s rest between games and I’d say they have a good shot.

    Let’s get USC and then worry about it though.

  • Mitchie V

    Yoda, I’m on the floor. Keep’em coming!

  • discdude

    Steve…we agree. Win out and there no discussion! Go Bears!

  • discdude

    Steve…we agree. Win out and there’s no discussion! Go Bears!

  • Esquire Joe

    I have to say I’m in Yoda’s camp. I just can’t see Cal winning the P10 tourney. They just don’t have the horses. I think they can get to the final, but that 3rd game in 3 days is a killer.

    And while Cal might look as good as or better than Wazzu on paper, and has outplayed USC twice on the court, even two more quality wins (only one of which would be over an RPI top 50 team, making the Bears 3-10 against the top 50), I don’t think that gets them in as an at-large.

    Next year will be a different story. Provided the Bears can find anyone to help Harper out on the low post, this team will be talented, experienced, deep, and ready to make a run.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    I think it is a result of Cal’s poor start. Sure, we beat Temple, then had a near historical pathetic half of basketball the next day, making it way to easy to write off the Temple win as a fluke. Remember, just before the 4 game losing streak, Cal was on the radar, edging their way back into the NCAA talk. Then, we lost four in a row.

    It’s a form of prejudice because of the initial impressions of the team.

    Now, if Cal does beat U$C and AZ (possible, but not likely – U$C in Staples is tougher than AZ in the Pac 10 tourney, IMO), they will look at everything about Cal’s resume. The departure of Franklin lead to a better team in conference play. Crabbe missed games in the recent four game losing streak, with two of them by less than 4 points. Suddenly, they would have to take Cal’s resume a bit more seriously.

    Don’t forget, however. If Cal beats U$C and AZ, they play in the title game, where the opponent and result (type of loss as we are talking at-large bid) would also have an impact on the committee.

    Personally, the season was a great one in my book, honestly more satisfying then last year. I loved watching Randle do his thing, but it was less TEAM than this squad. For me, everything here on out is gravy. I may even prefer the shot to actually win the NIT over hoping a favorable bracket with a small chance to make the sweet sixteen.

  • discdude

    WC -

    To me, it wasn’t the bad start…the committee often looks toward the end of the season, that’s why it’s possible even the mighty Michigan State doesn’t have a guaranteed bid this year. This team is in right now if they hadn’t lost to WSU and USC about 2 weeks ago, when Crabbe was out. Had they won those games, we wouldn’t be having this discussion, the RPI would be in the 50s, they’d be 12-6, and the team would have won 10 of 12. Just a bad bad break for the Bears.

    But overall, this really has been a fun team, one of my favorites. If they take 2 games, they could win the title depending on who the final game is against. But it’s going to take a “one game at a time” attitude, starting with SC. They can’t even think at all past that game…

  • rollonubears

    at least if we win the first one, our second one is at 6. the other guys play at 8:30. there is also a chance of an upset there. not likely, but who knows (although i’d rather play ucla than washington). also, like happened to us the last time, that second game on friday could go ’till midnight. who knows. could be a triple overtime thriller. we’ll be sleeping by then (if we make it). we have the best possible draw here, not having to face uw until the final, if at all. we have a shot. i’m excited.

  • Paul Thomas

    Can’t say I’d rather see the team in the NIT– first off, the Bears aren’t likely to get a hugely favorable seed there either (the top 8 seeds almost always go to “bubble burst” teams, and as noted, Cal isn’t really even considered on the bubble right now), which means true road games as early as the second round. Making it to MSG is unlikely.

    Second, “we’re #69″ doesn’t have that great of a ring to it, unless you go to Arizona State…

    Speaking of the NIT, a developing story is how many small-conference teams are going to be in it this year. It’s near-certain to set a record for most automatic bids since they started giving those out to regular-season champs of small conferences. I count seven likely auto-bids already (the record is eight), with ELEVEN small-conference title games to go.

  • SteveNTexas

    Yoda I’m not making excuses for IU’s record any more than your parents would make excuses for your lack of reading comprehension.

    I’ve only talked about IU’s recruiting- meaning they have some great classes coming in.
    That is the future.

    You probably can’t discern the difference – even if daddy explained it you – you would babble the same stuff every time you were allowed to use the computer.

  • takeoffthatredshirt

    Steve that’s like the 8th person to make fun of you for being a curmudgeon.

    Ever think the problem might be you?

  • milo

    SteveNTexas…is Mack Brown rubbing off on you down there?

  • SteveNTexas

    Mack Brown? I’m the one who interviewed 2 of the 3 reporters who changed their votes after pressure from UT (Mack Brown). Brown had most likely voted Cal last and his blatant lobbying made him one of the sleaziest coaches in the NCAA. Even the reporters who did change their vote – had the opinion that Brown should have revealed his. I used this info to publish a guest ed in several Texas Papers. Much of the response centered around Cal losing to Texas Tech anyway and that we were over-rated right from the start.

  • SteveNTexas

    As for making excuses for Indiana’s basketball program – Cal fans don’t want to compare the respective history and status of the two. It would be like comparing Yoda’s resume with one of my pets. Indiana has had one probation-one violation since 1970 or so when I started following them, as for us -well. IU also won 5 NCAA Titles since that time. As for Cal …