ESPN’s Joe Lunardi responds to criticism from Buzz Williams
ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi has jumped into the debate over whether or not Texas A&M should have made the NCAA Tournament field.
Aggies coach Buzz Williams gave an emotional statement after Tuesday’s NIT win summarizing his frustrations with the team’s exclusion from the NCAA Tournament. In the nearly eight-minute statement, which Texas A&M shared on social media, Williams said it “defies logic” that Texas A&M was excluded from the field of 68. The Aggies coach added that he had lost “all respect and faith in the system and those that are in it” after trying and failing to receive some sort of explanation for his team’s omission.
That did not sit well with Lunardi, who criticized Williams and questioned why the coach had been allowed to make such a statement.
Love Buzz. Love Gig ‘Em. This is still wrong on many levels. It’s terrible P.R., for one, and it sorely misrepresents a necessarily imperfect process. Shame on A&M for sanctioning. Where is the adult in the room? What’s the upside? #NotMyFirstBracket https://t.co/WqkLIWeWsM
— Joe Lunardi (@ESPNLunardi) March 17, 2022
Williams certainly has a legitimate grievance, though parts of his statement were certainly over-the-top. On the other hand, Lunardi looks like he’s trying a bit too hard to defend the selection committee here, particularly when Williams never mentioned him. Lunardi even had Texas A&M in his projected field, so he’s well aware that there was an argument in their favor.
There is certainly an emotional component here, as the Aggies have been fuming about this since Selection Sunday. Nobody is likely to change the other’s mind here on whether their comments were necessary.
Photo: Jan 26, 2022; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; Texas A&M Aggies head coach Buzz Williams looks on against the LSU Tigers during the first half at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports