Basketball: Lunardi boosts Bears’ NCAA position

ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi released his latest NCAA tournament projections Tuesday morning, and he no longer has Cal playing at Dayton, Ohio, in what once was called the play-in game.

Instead, he has the Bears as a No. 12 seed, facing No. 5 Memphis in Austin, Texas. The winner of that game would face either No. 4 Marquette or No. 13 Louisiana Tech, former home of new Cal football coach Sonny Dykes.

Lunardi predicts the Pac-12 will get five bids, with Arizona leading the way as a No. 3 seed. Also in his field are UCLA (7), Oregon (7) and Colorado (10).

Saint Mary’s is projected as a No. 10 seed, facing UCLA at Auburn Hills, Mich, with the opportunity to take on No. 2 Michigan in the second round.

Lunardi’s No. 1 seeds: Duke, Indiana, Florida and Gonzaga.

Here’s Lunardi’s complete bracket.

Jeff Faraudo

  • 1brsfan

    Feels a little bit soft to be a 12 seed with our numbers. I think we sit around an 11 seed today with a chance to move up to a 10 seed by winning at least 2 of our last 3 games. Have to beat Utah to avoid the bad loss at the end of the season and beating CU would go a long way too based on their high RPI. Winning out and possibly winning the conference could push us into the dreaded 8-9 game. I like our chances at ending up in a 10 or 11 seed come tournament time.

  • Eric

    I would be thrilled with a 10-seed. Just not a dang 8-9.

  • jabes

    Cal needs a story of hot at the end to get out of double-digit seeding. As great as the last 5-8 games have been, any loss in the next three games would be a bad loss.

  • 1brsfan

    @Jabes- a loss to CU would not be a bad loss in the eyes of the committee. CU has a strong resume but I would prefer not to have to worry about it and just win out.

  • MDbear

    The fact that we are talking about tournament seeds at this stage of the year indicates the incredible job Monty has done in turning the team around in the second half of the season. He has an amazing ability to get the most out of his players. I am pretty astounded Cal got this far with so little depth.