Gators in ‘Next Four Out’ according to ESPN’s bracketology

Despite a slow start to the season, Florida basketball is still a borderline tournament team, according to ESPN’s latest bracketology update.

Florida’s big flop at the Phi Knight Legacy Tournament didn’t lead to the Gators falling out of NCAA Tournament contention entirely, but ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has them on the very edge of the bubble of his latest bracketology update.

Lunardi has Florida in his ‘Next Four Out’ after a 4-3 start that included losses to Florida Atlantic, West Virginia and Xavier. Both the Mountaineers and Musketeers are Tournament-bound teams, according to Lunardi, but there’s no excusing the loss to FAU. Still, [autotag]Todd Golden[/autotag]’s team is considered a borderline Tournament team that could jump into the Last Four In with a quality loss against UConn, which is currently a No. 2 seed, in a week.

For those who don’t follow college hoops closely, bracketology is what the media uses to describe an educated guess at what the field of 68 will look like come Selection Sunday. Lunardi is among the top bracketologists in the nation, and his word is gospel to many. That said, you can only accurately predict so much correctly in a field this large. That means that Florida could wind up in or out if the season ended today. Lunardi’s guess is out, but it’d be a close call.

The “on the bubble” section has four distinct groups: the Last Four Byes, the Last Four In, the First Four Out and the Next Four Out. Obviously, the ins make it into the tournament, and the outs do not, but being in the first four out is much better than being in the next four out. Florida has to play itself into a Tournament spot at this point, whereas a team like Texas A&M could join the field with a loss from a fringe team in the Last Four In.

The SEC is well-represented in Lunardi’s projected field of 68. Tennessee is a No. 3 seed and Auburn is a No. 5 seed in the South; Arkansas is a No. 4 seed in the West; Alabama is a No. 4 seed and Kentucky is a No. 6 seed in the East; and Mississippi State is a No. 7 seed in the Midwest. LSU and Ole Miss would have to win a play-in game to secure the No. 11 seeds in the Midwest and West regions, respectively.

There’s still plenty of time for these projections to change, and trust that they will, but it’s good to keep track of where Florida stands in the grand scheme of things throughout the year. Right now, things don’t look great, but the season isn’t out of reach just yet.

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Here’s where ESPN has Florida in its bracketology after season opener

Take a look at where Lunardi has the Gators in the postseason after just one game.

Florida basketball got a strong start to the [autotag]Todd Golden[/autotag] era on Monday with an authoritative 81-45 victory over the visiting Stony Brook Seawolves in the O’Connell Center. The Gators looked good in all aspects of the game, coming out of the gates firing on all cylinders much to the fanbase’s delight.

While it was just a single win over an overmatched opponent, the 36-point triumph was also the largest margin of victory for a new head coach in their debut game on the sidelines for the Orange and Blue, overtaking the previous record of 34 points set by Tommy Bartlett in 1966.

With just one game in the books, ESPN’s bracketology guru Joe Lunardi already released his first in-season update to his postseason projections with the Gators earning a No. 9 seed in the East bracket against the No. 8 Miami Hurricanes in the opening round. This represents a small improvement over our last update in July which had Florida as a No. 10 seed in the South regional facing the No. 7 Michigan Wolverines.

Florida next faces the Kennesaw State Owls on Friday night in the O’Connell Center for the second game of the 2022-23 schedule. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. EST and the game will be broadcast on the SEC Network+.

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Joe Lunardi gives Notre Dame one of final byes in latest Bracketology

The Irish have to be pretty pleased right now.

While the baseball team has extended Notre Dame’s current athletic season, there’s no reason not to look to the next one. The men’s basketball team already is as it officially began workouts for the 2022-23 season Tuesday morning:

As if being back together wasn’t exciting enough for the players and coaches, there was another reason for them to have an extra pep in their step. Earlier in the day, Joe Lunardi of ESPN unveiled his latest Bracketology, and it was good news for the Irish. Lunardi now projects them as earning one of the final four byes in the 2023 NCAA Tournament and also moving up from where they were previously. The Irish now would be the 11th seed West Regional and face Michigan, which dropped from the previous projections, in the first round.

All of this is combined with [autotag]Blake Wesley[/autotag] only days away now from realizing his NBA dreams. There’s no reason for the Irish not to be all smiles right now. Wouldn’t you agree?

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Latest preseason bracketology update from CBS Sports has Florida here

What kind of results can Florida basketball expect in Todd Golden’s first year as head coach? CBS Sports projects the Gators to make the NCAA Tournament.

The college basketball season is still 74 days away from tipping off, but CBS Sports is already looking ahead to the NCAA Tournament field in March. According to Jerry Palm’s latest bracketology update, the Gators are projected to finish the regular season as a 10-seed in the Midwest Region.

That draw puts them up against No. 7 seed Virginia with a likely matchup against Kansas in the second round. Of course, Florida has yet to play a game under Todd Golden. Last year’s club didn’t even make the Tournament, but the addition of several transfers and a new game plan should help the team bounce back under a new head coach.

Conference play will be tough. The SEC has grown into a formidable power in the college basketball world, and Palm projects several teams in the conference to claim high seeds in March. He has Kentucky finishing as the top seed in the South, and Arkansas and Tennessee are both expected to finish as No. 3 seeds. Auburn is a 5-seed, Texas A&M is a 6-seed and Alabama is a 7-seed to round out the group.

Gonzaga, Houston and North Carolina are the other preseason No. 1 seeds, but these lists change drastically throughout the year. However, they are usually a good measure of how teams are expected to perform, and finishing as a 10-seed is a lot better than missing the tournament entirely, as Florida did last year.

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Ohio State basketball tumbles in latest Joe Lunardi Bracketology

Does this seem a bit harsh to you? #GoBucks

I’m not really sure how teams can rise and fall so drastically in the offseason of college basketball, but that is what appears to be happening with the Ohio State basketball team when it comes to one of the most followed NCAA Tournament projections.

Now, to be fair, there are a lot of unknowns about this team as we get closer to the season. But those questions haven’t really changed over the last couple of months.

But I digress. Joe Lunardi released his latest Bracketology projections, and despite Ohio State looking ahead of schedule against a couple of national teams in the Bahamas during an exhibition trip, the Buckeyes have fallen.

How far you ask? How about being squarely on the bubble? Lunardi has OSU as one of the last four teams with a bye, all the way down to the No. 10 seed line — two places down from where it was the last time we checked in with all the buzz Lunardi puts out.

So who does Lunardi have Ohio State playing? He has them facing seventh-seeded Saint Louis in the Midwest Region, where Houston is the No. 1.

Maybe we’re being biased, and maybe we should be thankful if the Buckeyes make the NCAA Tournament in a year with so much turnover, but it sure feels like some of the guys brought in via transfers in combination with the freshman are some pieces that should be able to do some damage.

Only time will tell though. Stay tuned …

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Ohio State basketball with a modest rise in latest NCAA Bracketology

Would you be happy with this result if it’s where Ohio State basketball ends up come March? #GoBucks

OK, OK, we know football season is right around the corner and that’s what typically pays the bills for a college football behemoth like Ohio State, but the Buckeye program can play a little hoops too.

So, from time to time, we like to check in on what ESPN’s resident bracketologist, Joe Lunardi, has to say about where he thinks OSU is with the landscape of NCAA hoops. Clearly, there are a lot of unknowns with Ohio State basketball because of all the new faces that will be a part of the program this winter, but it’s still worth forecasting how good the national media believes the Buckeyes will be.

On that note, there is a little bit of good news, yet still a bit sour. Based on what we last saw from Lunardi, he’s moved Ohio State up modestly in his last Bracketology projection, from the No. 9 seed line up to No. 8. That’s not much of a boost but it does lend one to believe that the freshmen and transfers coming into the program might be talented enough to keep things moving ahead.

So where does Lunardi have the Buckeyes and what team does he have them matching up with this far from March? He has OSU going out west in Las Vegas and matching up with No. 9 seed Virginia Tech. Gonzaga is the No. 1 seed in the region.

Needless to say, it’s way too early to get too excited or depressed about the prognostications of how good the Ohio State basketball team will be this season, but we’ll continue to follow where things go once the season starts.

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Iowa Hawkeyes safely in the 2023 NCAA Tournament in Joe Lunardi’s summer Bracketology

A summer Bracketology? You better believe it, and the Iowa Hawkeyes are safely in the 2023 NCAA Tournament per ESPN’s Joe Lunardi.

It’s never too early to start thinking about next year!

While we are nowhere near the start of the 2022-23 men’s college basketball season, it’s still right in season for ESPN analyst Joe Lunardi to start piecing together his March bracket.

In his most recent version of Bracketology, Iowa is in with one of the last four byes of the tournament, landing as the No. 10 seed in the East region. The Hawkeyes’ opening date would be against seventh-seeded Saint Louis with a likely date against No. 2 seed Texas looming after that.

Iowa is one of seven Big Ten teams that Lunardi currently has making the Big Dance. That’s tied for tops nationally of any conference according to Lunardi’s projections, joining the Big 12, Big East and SEC as seven-bid leagues.

In addition to Iowa, Lunardi has No. 7 seed Purdue and No. 8 seed Ohio State in the West region, No. 6 seed Illinois and No. 8 seed Michigan State in the East region and No. 4 seed Indiana and No. 7 seed Michigan in the South region.

For the Hawkeyes, Lunardi is expecting a bit of regression from the past two seasons. Iowa was a No. 2 seed in the 2021 NCAA Tournament and a No. 5 seed last year entering March Madness after winning the Big Ten Tournament title over Purdue, 75-66.

Over the past two seasons, Iowa basketball has lost their star player. Luka Garza was possibly the greatest player in Hawkeyes history, a two-time Big Ten Player of the Year and consensus All-American. He graduated on to the NBA at the end of the 2020-21 season.

Then, Keegan Murray broke out and was also a consensus first-team All-American. He also probably should have been won the Big Ten Player of the Year last year. Instead, he goes down as Iowa’s highest-ever draft pick, going fourth to the Sacramento Kings in the 2022 NBA draft.

That’s two straight years that Iowa has to replace a historic player. While that’s routine for a team like Duke that rules the top-10 player recruiting list every year, it is a tough task for a team like Iowa. There are a lot of returning pieces coming back, including potential breakout star Kris Murray.

“Well, first of all, I’m really excited for him. First time in his life that he hasn’t played with his brother. He accepted the challenge of coming back,” Head Coach Fran McCaffrey said in a recent interview about the returning Murray. “As I said before, he bet on himself. A lot of guys, if they have a two-way, they take it. He could’ve gone to a two-way if he wanted, but he wanted to come back. He loves his teammates and he wants the responsibility that’s going to be placed on him. And he’s ready for it, he’s worked hard for it and I’m excited for him.”

The Hawkeyes open their 2022-23 season on Nov. 7 at home against SWAC opponent Bethune-Cookman.

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Florida basketball back in business according to ESPN’s bracketology update

The Gators jumped back into the March Madness field in Lunardi’s latest update.

It’s never too early to come out with an NCAA basketball tournament bracket prediction, at least not for ESPN’s Joe Lunardi.

Lunardi is known as ESPN’s chief college basketball tournament analyst, coining the term “bracketology” to describe the process in which the NCAA decides the 68 teams that will participate in the NCAA tournament. He is back with his latest predictions for the 2023 basketball tournament, with the Florida Gators projected to make the tournament as a No. 10 seed taking on the No. 7 seed Michigan Wolverines in the South regional.

This is an improvement from their previous projection, which had Florida listed in the First Four Out group missing the tournament altogether. If this projection holds, the Gators would make the NCAA tournament in head coach [autotag]Todd Golden[/autotag]’s first year at the helm and would be a quick return to March Madness after playing in the NIT last year.

Lunardi’s current bracket features seven schools from the Big Ten, SEC, Big 12, and Big East, along with six schools from the ACC, four schools from the Pac-12, and two schools each from the Mountain West, WCC, American, and Atlantic 10.

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Way-too-early ESPN NCAA Bracketology not very kind to Ohio State

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has released a very, very early 2023 NCAA Tournament projection. The effort is not very kind to Ohio State.

Yeah, yeah, I know it’s ironically madness to talk about things that won’t happen until next March, but it’s always interesting to see what the national media thinks of Ohio State’s basketball offseason and the prospects of where things might land this upcoming season.

So, we decide to check in from time to time with ESPN’s resident expert in all things Bracketology, Joe Lunardi. And wouldn’t you know it, Joey Brackets recently released a very, very early look at where he thinks things stand for his NCAA Tournament projections for the 2023 version.

And while we’ve seen many brackets have Ohio State safely in despite so many new faces, Lundardi has the Buckeyes all the way down to the No. 9 seed line.

If you’ve watched how these brackets are pieced together over the last few years, a No. 9 seed basically means you’re most likely looking at a year with OSU awfully close to the bubble. Now, the good news is that Lunardi doesn’t have Ohio State as one of the last teams in, but that’s still dangerous territory to be in.

Let’s hope the Buckeyes prove some people wrong and that all the fresh faces mesh and become a unit that surprises folks. And yeah, we’ll continue to check in on how all the NCAA Tournament buzz is going from now to selection Sunday.

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First Bracketology for 2022-23 is out and Arkansas is sitting pretty

Even with 12 new players on the roster, Arkansas is expected to dominant again in 2022-23.

Arkansas coach Eric Musselman has just two players back from last year’s Elite Eight team. But the master of the transfer portal has simply reloaded.

With six players in via the portal and six freshmen who make up the No. 2 recruiting class in the country, the Razorbacks are expected to not only be SEC contenders, but on the short list of potential national champions.

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi put out his first Bracketology of the offseason and he slotted Arkansas as No. 3 seed. That’s tied for second in the SEC tied with Tennessee, which also earned a No. 3, and behind Kentucky, which was a No. 1 seed.

What’s most fun about Arkansas’ seeding is the potential Sweet 16 matchup. Baylor is the second-seed in the region. The two are scheduled to play in January as part of the Big/SEC Challenge and played in the Elite Eight two seasons ago, the year Baylor won the national title.

Lunardi has seven SEC teams tabbed for NCAA Tournament selection: Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Auburn, Alabama, Texas A&M and Florida.

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