One of the most respected bracket predictors in the game is ESPN’s Joe Lunardi. Every year, well before March Madness is set to ensue, Lunardi weekly projects what the field of 68 teams could look like if the season were to end at the time the projections are made.
Louisville basketball was included in his latest “Bracketology” report that released on Friday.
After a very up and down couple of weeks, Louisville has been one of the toughest teams to project a spot for in the NCAA tournament. So what did Lunardi do? Well, he plopped them right in the middle.
Louisville slotted as an 8-seed by Lunardi
With a 10-4 record and a rocky road to start ACC play, the Cardinals still earn the 8-seed from Lunardi as he has them in “Region 3”. There is no geographical regions for the 2021 tournament as the NCAA already announced that every game will be played in Indianapolis.
He has Louisville matching up with 9-seed BYU who is a West Coast Conference team with not a lot to show for their resume. That would be a dream scenario for the Cardinals as they would play a team from a weak conference.
In this bracket, Louisville would draw Michigan in the Round of 32 which is a much better matchup than playing the likes of Gonzaga or Baylor. While the Wolverines are a very good team, they would be the preferred one-seed to match up with.
Potential resume builders to improve their seed
Feb. 3 Syracuse (Next Four Out)
Feb. 6 Virginia (3-seed)
Feb. 10 Pitt (Next Four Out)
Feb. 13 Virginia Tech (7-seed)
Feb. 17 Syracuse (Next Four Out)
Feb. 20 North Carolina (10-seed)
Mar. 6 Virginia (3-seed)
That’s seven of Louisville’s last 10 regular season games that are against teams who still are in contention for NCAA Tournament at-large bids. So this is a huge stretch for the team to prove that they are not just worthy of a spot in the “big dance”; but also that they are able to move up seeding wise.
If Louisville wins, say, five of these seven games, the Cardinals would be sitting pretty with a potential four or five seed to their name just in time for the ACC tournament.
An eight seed is fine. But it’s not good enough.