FanPost

Lunardi cheats

Because this is a long week that was made even longer by a opening round loss and a Friday evening start time, I decided to waste some time helping prove Mike's point that Lunardi has inside sources.  So here's a nice distraction to pass 3 minutes of your "waiting for Gus Johnson" time.  

I recorded Lunardi's picks on March 11 after all of the Sunday games had been computed, and then again on March 16 at 1:00 a.m. (those are Lunardi's "last updated" times) to compare how the seeds moved and whether those movements had any basis in what actually happened this week.  I think most people know this now, but Lunardi did not have Villanova in either of those brackets, and on the March 16 bracket, he listed Villanova as the 3rd of the "Last 4 out" behind Va. Tech. and UMass.  He also had Ohio State and Ill. St. in at that point, but he changed his bracket just before the pairings were announced to dump Ohio State and Ill. St. but to include Villanova meaning that Villanova leap frogged 4 teams without any of them playing a game.  That's pretty solid evidence, if you ask me.  

But here are some additional aberrations that I don't think are easily explained without Lunardi getting inside information that he was wrong.  I haven't included every change, especially when it seems explainable.  For example, Pitt was an 8 seed that moved up to a 3 seed, but I think we all know why.  

The list is the March 11 seed, the March 16 seed, and the actual NCAA seed.

UNLV went from 11 to 8 to 8 after beating TCU by 1 (14-16), Utah by 6 (17-14), and BYU handily.  The BYU was very nice, but they had already beaten BYU once by 29 points during the season (and lost one), and BYU was only a 6 or 8 seed (see below).  

Vandy moved from a 6 to a 5 to a 4 after beating Auburn (14-16) and losing to 9 seed Arkansas (which moved up to a 9 seed with a win over Vandy and UT).  

BYU dropped from a 6 to an 8 to an 8 after beating Colorado St (bad), SD State (20 wins), and losing to UNLV.  Few of the 6 to 8 seeds didn't end the season with a loss, and not all of them were to NCAA tournament teams.  

Illinois St. from 11 to 12 to out.  They didn't play any games after March 11, and their last was a loss to #14 Drake on March 9.

Now, that's not a long list, so it is not fair to say that Lunardi is a hack or bad at what he does.  It would be interesting to see how well the average "Joe" would do compared to Lunardi overall, but that's not the point here.  And I didn't compare how his last picks measured up with the actual seeds in every case.  What is important is that his changes always seemed to get it right (or closer to right) without a basketball-related reason to do so.  So my conclusion is that he is relatively close on his picks, but he still gets inside information to "correct" where he is off.  

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