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Basketball: Streaking Bears climb to No. 9 seed in Lunardi’s latest NCAA tournament projection

Winners of seven in a row and eight of nine, the Golden Bears seemingly have played their way off the NCAA bubble.

ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi has Cal projected as a No. 9 seed in his latest tournament bracket. That’s a far cry for barely a week ago, when the Bears were projected to play in one of the “First Four” games at Dayton, Ohio, with a chance to secure a No. 12 seed.

My read: The Bears probably can afford to lose Wednesday to Stanford and maybe even their quarterfinal Pac-12 tournament game and still get in. They probably wouldn’t feel comfortable waiting for Selection Sunday under those cicumstances, but I think they’re on that much more solid ground now.

Lunardi has Cal facing North Carolina State in Philadelphia, with the winner advancing to a potential matchup with No. 1 seed Georgetown.

Five Pac-12 teams are part of Lunardi’s latest bracket, led by Arizona, which he envisions as a No. 5 seed even though the Wildcats have slipped to fourth place in the conference standings. Lunardi predicts a first-round matchup in San Jose against La Salle.

Oregon is seeded No. 6, UCLA No. 7 and Colorado No. 11. The Bruins would square off against No. 10 Saint Mary’s at Lexington, Ky., according to Lunardi.

The four No. 1 seeds: Georgetown, Gonzaga, Indiana and Kansas.

Here is Lunardi’s latest full bracket.

Jeff Faraudo

  • milo

    Great stuff…but man why does Cal always get stuck with 3 time zones away?

  • joey

    Why does cal always seem to play NC State?

  • rollonubears

    Lunardi gets paid to state the obvious, based on past results. Amazing! In reality, we have a 15% chance of being a 9 seed in the tournament. I wouldn’t put $ on that, or anything Lunardi “predicts.” Is there a professional prognosticator out there who is actually going to make a prediction about the Bears, and everyone else, based on how he thinks the season will play out from here? If so, he deserves Lunardi’s salary, and status. Until then, I’ll put my $ on my monkey Bobo, and his dartboard.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    LOL rollon! Bobo!

    Playing NC State for the 3rd time in a decade seems overkill, should not happen. And should Cal (co)win the reg season title and get to the champ game of the p12 tourney I think they deserve to play in San Jose. Thats what I am hoping for at least…

    It WILL be loud tomorrow night, promise. Go Bears!

  • Kevin

    Why does Cal always seem to have to travel much farther than their opponent?

  • jabes

    Only top seeds, 1-5 maybe, get geographic consideration — and even then not if it clashes with a higher seed. Two out of eight sites in the west, then closest is midwest.

  • Eric

    Even the Lady Bears get screwed according to the latest brcketology. Even though a 2 seed, they would likely play the 7 seed LSU…in Baton Rouge!!!

    Please don’t be an 8 or 9 seed. Please!!!!!

  • BlakeStreetBear

    Not true about geographic location and seeds having to be low; Washington recently got to play in San Jose (same timezone) as an 11 or 12 seed after winning a weak pac12 and I think they went to the sweet 16, was that last year or the year before? I am sure there are other similar examples of low seeds playing “close to home”. Hoping for similar treatment for Cal if they can win 2, 3 (or 4!) more games before selection. Go Bears!

  • rob bear

    I concur with the above; these fortune tellers are rarely correct as to who gets in and who doesn’t when it comes to bubble teams, much less the ridiculous attempt at picking who will be playing whom and where. Too funny. With that said, MAY STANFORD, OREGON AND UCLA ALL LOSE WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE! GO BEARS!

  • ConcordBear

    All this projection stuff is just for fun and to draw web traffic and get casual fans juiced for ncaa’s
    Bears keep winning our seed will be higher and better than 9
    Big game tomorrow
    Haas will be rocking behind our Bears
    I think our team has a big performance ready to explode tomorrow, should be a strong show

  • Raf

    Jeff you meant… “and nine of ten” plus just sounds way better

  • 1brsfan

    Let’s just keep winning and get out of that 8/9 matchup. It starts tonight! Go Bears!