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February 5, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Joe Lunardi

Joe Lunardi
  (2:10 PM)

A few airport issues, but I made it. Thanks for waiting...

Caleb (Wisconsin)

Do u see Indiana being overall #1 seed

Joe Lunardi
  (2:11 PM)

Any clear cut winner of the Big Ten is going to have an inside track to No. 1 overall. Split champions (regular season and tourney) could open the door for Florida or maybe Kansas.

Andy W. (Bloomington, IN)

What seed do you think Gonzaga will be in March? It seems like it can only get worse, if anything.

Joe Lunardi
  (2:12 PM)

Disagree, Andy. Gonzaga's non-conference profile is strong enough to hold a 2-3 type seed so long as the Bulldogs avoid any truly bad losses or an early WCC tourney exit.

Ben (Circleville, OH)

Let's look at Illinois for a minute. They currently sit at 2-7 in the Big Ten. They have nine remaining Big Ten games, 4 of which are against ranked teams. What does their record need to be down the stretch to get on the right side of the bubble? I think that if they can get to 8-10 with maybe one win in the Big Ten tourney, they will be ok. Your thoughts?

Joe Lunardi
  (2:14 PM)

I think that would do it, Ben, but losing at home the last game could be a killer. Can the Illini really go 6-3 (+one more) in that league given its depth and the bad vibes that must be surrounding that team. It's a tall order.

Sean (Los Angeles)

Where do you have MTSU right now? Will they still have to win conference tourney to get in?

Joe Lunardi
  (2:16 PM)

Great question, Sean. I actually have Middle Tennessee a sliver on the good side of the at-large cut line. The dilemma in such cases is that any loss (or losses) which would eliminate MTSU from an auto bid are almost by definition "bad" losses, and thus very hurtful on the at-large side. My gut tells me they would miss the NCAAs in that case.

Michael (Wisconsin)

Do you think because of Baylor messing up that they might not make the ncaa tournment/

Joe Lunardi
  (2:17 PM)

It wouldn't surprise me if one of the BIg 12 "middle" teams -- Baylor, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State -- eventually missed the tourney. If I had to bet, it would be Oklahoma. I think Baylor will make it.

G. Dillard (Crestline Park)

Can Bama make the tourney at 21-9 with losses to both UF and Ole Miss, or do they need to beat one of those two on the road to have a chance?

Joe Lunardi
  (2:19 PM)

The outcome of this scenario would then likely depend on Alabama's performance in the SEC tournament. The Tide needs at least one more NCAA-level win on its resume, wherever or whenever it comes.

UC (Atlanta)

Will the selection committee take Andrew Steele's injury into account when evaluating the Tide? Bama went 2-5 in the 7 games he missed, but is 12-2 with him in the lineup.

Joe Lunardi
  (2:19 PM)

Yes (as am I...).

Travis (Houston, TX)

Joe, I have to ask how Florida can be the top overall seed and Arizona is a 2 when they have a head-to-head loss to Arizona, the same number of losses, not as many top 25 RPI wins, and a similar RPI?

Joe Lunardi
  (2:20 PM)

There's more to it than that, Travis. For instance, the head-to-head game wasn't a neutral site. For another, Florida doesn't have a loss anywhere near as bad as what UCLA did to Arizona. Just sayin'...

Alex (Anaheim)

How big a hit did Oregon take with that disastrous Bay Area trip?

Joe Lunardi
  (2:22 PM)

Not as big as you might think, especially if Stanford and Cal both end up as legitimate bubble teams (which I believe they will).

Lee (PA)

Currently you have 11 conferences with multiple bids. Which current one-bid conference could get an extra bid with a tourney upset? Which teams are building back-up at large profiles?

Joe Lunardi
  (2:22 PM)

Belmont has the best chance, but it's a pretty thin group after that.

Matt (Charlottesville, VA)

It's kind of crazy that a team on pace for 10 ACC wins that beat Wisconsin on the road isn't even close to being in your current bracket.

Joe Lunardi
  (2:23 PM)

Not when you look at the losses. The CAA is flat-out terrible this year, and UVa has lost to three of their teams.

Andrew (Philly)

What does Villanova need to do the rest of the way to make the tourney? Will 10-8 in the league do it?

Joe Lunardi
  (2:24 PM)

With the two big wins thrown in, yes, I think that would do it provided the 'Cats don't suffer a truly bad loss in New York.

Joe (Austin, TX)

If the Billikens continue to play the way the have this past week, how high can they climb by March?

Joe Lunardi
  (2:25 PM)

I am very high on Saint Louis, Joe, especially now that the offense is coming together. The Billikens can score from every position on the floor and we all know how hard they make it on the other guys. Coach Majerus would be proud!

Francesco buffalo [via mobile]

If gonzaga can finish unbeaten in their conference and also win their conf tournament , do they have a realistic shot at a 1 seed?

Joe Lunardi
  (2:27 PM)

I think there are too many teams ahead of them for it to happen, Francesco. Outside shot, but No. 2 in the West (Salt Lake City/Los Angeles) is a more likely best-case scenario.

Jay (Nebraska)

The Mountain West is the third rated league but only getting four bids. What's the deal?!

Joe Lunardi
  (2:27 PM)

Repeat after me: Teams, not conferences, are what receive bids.

James (California)

Personally what is the best you have ever done on bracketology (obviously it might be hard to pair exact matchups and locations) but as far as getting teams right with seeding?

Joe Lunardi
  (2:28 PM)

Last year had 67 of 68 teams, and 60 of them on or within one line of actual seed. That's overachieving in my book...

Eric (DC)

Joe where do you have my hoyas right now and can we play in the DC Regionals

Joe Lunardi
  (2:29 PM)

Cannot play in the East, no, as Georgetown is the host institution.

Joe Lunardi
  (2:29 PM)

My battery is running low, so let's go rapid fire for as long as it lasts...

Sean R. (California )

Can St Mary's lose either the Gonzaga or Creighton home games and still make the tournament?

Joe Lunardi
  (2:30 PM)

I believe so, yes, but they'd better not have any more bad losses if that happens.

Peter (Atlanta, GA)

Give us a top three bracket busters matchups to watch for with at-large implications on the line?

Joe Lunardi
  (2:31 PM)

There are really only two: St. Mary's (vs. Creighton) and Indiana State (vs. Iona). It's not a great field, unfortunately.

john david (trinity)

computer battery or personal battery?

Joe Lunardi
  (2:31 PM)

Both!

JB (Hattiesburg)

Does Southern Miss make the NCAA'S GO!

Joe Lunardi
  (2:32 PM)

Not without some quality win(s) or a C-USA title.

patrick (portland)

highest seeded big east team will be?

Joe Lunardi
  (2:32 PM)

Louisville (No. 2).

James T. (TX)

How cloce is VCU to being on the bubble?

Joe Lunardi
  (2:32 PM)

Not very...

Justin (Ohio)

Ohio State or Michigan tonigiht?

Joe Lunardi
  (2:32 PM)

Have to like Michigan to rebound at home.

Justin (FL)

Can Miami be a 1 seed? What will it take?

Joe Lunardi
  (2:33 PM)

It's closer than you might think. Win the ACC outright (likely) and conference tourney (very possible), and it would happen.

Brennan (Wisconsin)

As of right now you have 5 A-10 teams making the tourney and only 4 ACC do you see that changing in the next couple of weeks or do you think LaSalle is for real in the A-10

Joe Lunardi
  (2:36 PM)

The two things aren't really connected. Someone in the ACC (Maryland, UVA, Florida State?!?) needs to step forward beyond the current top four. As for the A-10, this is going to fluctuate as Saint Louis, La Salle and Temple are all too close to call just yet. And there are others like Charlotte, Saint Joseph's, Xavier and UMass still in range.

Andy (Orlando)

Colorado State's experience and toughness gets them by New Mexico for MWC title? True/False

Joe Lunardi
  (2:36 PM)

False, New Mexico is better (but CSU has really been impressive).

lute (scottsdale)

If the Arizona Wildcats win the conference and win the conference tourney are they a #1 seed?

Joe Lunardi
  (2:37 PM)

Probably.

Peter (Atlanta, GA)

Is this the best A-10 ever?

Joe Lunardi
  (2:37 PM)

Yes (for one year, at least).

Justin F (Rochester, NY)

What does UNC have to do to get a 7 seed or higher?

Joe Lunardi
  (2:37 PM)

Two words: "Winning streak."

jason (indiana)

can indiana st. get an at large if they can win one more over creighton or wichita st.. or do they need more?

Joe Lunardi
  (2:38 PM)

Definitely need BracketBuster win over Iona, plus one of the big league home games. That and a berth in the MVC championship game should do it.

Tim F. (TX)

Prediction time! End of the year the 1 seeds are?

Joe Lunardi
  (2:38 PM)

Florida, Kansas, Indiana and Michigan.

John R. (Texas)

Most overrated and underrated teams in the field relative to their current seeds?

Joe Lunardi
  (2:40 PM)

Overrated: New Mexico (good, but not this good). Underrated: Louisville (definitely not a 3-seed).

ryan (nyc)

will committee take into account cuse's personnel issues in their losses?

Joe Lunardi
  (2:41 PM)

Not unless those guy(s) come back and the teams play up to its former level.

Adam (Chicago)

I don't see how anyone can say that Florida is better than IU. Florida doesn't play anyone. Yes, there have been times this year when IU hasn't played well, but their talent and depth is rediculous. The only team that I think you could say is better than IU is Michigan. Thoughts?

Joe Lunardi
  (2:42 PM)

Bo Ryan and Wisconsin might disagree.

Grant (Memphis)

If Memphis wins out, where do you see them getting placed? Last year they were 16 in the RPI and received an 8 seed. If they win out, their RPI will likely be similar.

Joe Lunardi
  (2:43 PM)

And this year's team has even fewer quality wins, so prepare to be disappointed.

Joe Lunardi
  (2:43 PM)

Gotta' run, gang. Time for another flight. Happy hoops!!