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Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology correctly picked 67 of 68 NCAA Tournament teams

I’ve often called “Bracketology” a farce because automatic qualifiers and overall records make it easy enough for most sports fans to correctly predict at least 60 of the 68 NCAA Tournament teams. Even though that is the case, ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi did an excellent job with his predictions, and we must recognize that.

Lunardi correctly picked 67 of the 68 tournament teams, missing only by picking Seton Hall instead of Iona.

He got the seed right for 35 of the 68 teams (51%).

He either got the seed or was off by one for 61 of the 68 teams (90%). That may be where the real expertise lies. Of the seven he missed, he was only off by two seeds for six. Seton Hall he missed because he had them in the tournament.

Teams Lunardi overvalued
Florida as a 5, they were a 7
Memphis as 6, they were 8
Harvard as 10, they were 12
BYU as 12, they were 14

Teams Lunardi undervalued
Cincinnati as 8, they were 6
NC St. as 13, they were 11

Below is a seed-by-seed breakdown of how accurate his picks were:

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Rick Pitino may be the biggest Joe Lunardi fan in America (Video)

Louisville beat Seton Hall 61-55 in the second round of the Big East tournament Wednesday, hurting the Pirates’ chances of making the NCAA Tournament. Rick Pitino was asked about Seton Hall’s tournament chances after the game, and he said he’d go along with ESPN “bracketologist” Joe Lunardi, who, prior to the game, had the Pirates in the draw.

“I go by Joe Lunardi. Just listen to Lunardi, you’ll know who’s in and who’s out. He’s never wrong, he doesn’t have a life … that’s all he does with his life. On his tombstone, ‘I was a bracketologist, the best in America,’” Pitino said.

Speaking with other reporters after the game, it was more of the same praise from Pitino.

“I say this joking around. This guy Joe Lunardi has no agenda. How would you like to wake up in the morning and all you do is bracketology all day long? Can you imagine that? He doesn’t pay attention to his wife, he doesn’t pay attention to his children, all he does all night long is bracketology. So just follow him because his batting average is incredible.”

If Pitino goes along with whatever Lunardi says, then Seton Hall won’t make the tourney. In his updated brackets Wednesday, Lunardi listed the Hall among his first four teams out of the dance.