ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi is projecting — at least today — a matchup lots of Bay Area basketball fans have long anticipated: Cal vs. Saint Mary’s in the NCAA tournament.
Lunardi has the seventh-seeded Gaels facing the No. 10 Bears in a first-round matchup at Omaha, Neb. Looming in the second round would be No. 2 Missouri.
By the way, Cal vs. SMC in the NCAAs is not unprecedented: On the way to winning their 1959 national title, the Bears beat the Gaels 66-46 in the regional final at San Francisco.