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ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi says UK’s NCAA resume “is average at best”


ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi spoke with media Wednesday about his latest bracket predictions heading into Championship Week and what teams need to do to close out the season.  Lunardi has been projecting the NCAA Tournament field for ESPN.com since its inception.

He was asked about what the ceiling seed-wise could be for Kentucky after UK coach John Calipari earlier in the week noted that some power indexes could project UK as a NO. 1 seed despite already having six losses.

So what would be the best possible seed for Kentucky?

“I think a 3.  Their résumé on paper, for a good team, is average at best,” Lunardi said. “Like I can name 10 to 12 teams that, if they stopped playing the sport now, Kentucky can’t pass.  That’s not a knock.  I picked them to win the national championship.  My job is to tell you what is today.”

It doesn’t help UK that the Southeastern Conference is 8-40 against ranked teams.

“Well, it’s certainly not at the level that the PAC-12 was a couple of years ago when the outright regular-season champion, I believe it was Washington, was 13-3 and didn’t get an at-large bid because the entire league had won RPI top 25 win that year.  It’s not that bad, if you want to go truly historic.  But it’s not that good,” Lunardi said.

“It’s going to hurt Kentucky’s seed.  That’s another unpopular opinion of mine in certain social media circles.  But I think it’s completely justified.  Kentucky, by its own standards, has been inconsistent.  It has not been dominant even in a poor SEC.  It has lost, I think, every game to the three or four best teams on its schedule.  To me that does not scream, you know, 2 or 3 seed.  It screams more like 5 or 6 unless they beat Florida to end the regular season or in Atlanta.”

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  1. Mick Murrell

    Hard to argue with Joe. i don’t like it. but I think his comments are on the mark.

    1. larryvaught

      Tend to agree Mick. Joe is usually pretty blunt honest. Has no agendas

  2. larry clemons

    Fine, we’ll just send a few top seeds packing early….

  3. ruppsrunt

    So, Joe ignores the RPI, claimed to be the REASON UK is so often pushed into some seed lower than otherwise expected–see 2011 team after beating fla TWICE in a matter of 2 weeks.

    So This season the UK RPI is a wonderful #10–so of course the RPI cannot matter for UK.


    Or, how about the ESPN system–BPI- that is used to rank teams, with UK presently #4.

    Joe ignores his own system(ESPN), to degrade UK and provide false reasoning for another screw job on UK at ncaaT seeding time.

    Based on the 2 systems, UK is a legit 2 seed, certainly no lower than a 3 seed. But, we all know those “popularity” polls created by envious coaches and idiot media must be used when UK is deemed unworthy.


    1. larry clemons

      Today, we are a 3 seed…imo

  4. ruppsrunt

    And–wonder how unccheaters are included in any post season discussion, with the bogus classes, cheating, altered grades, free cars and all sorts of ncaa VIOLATIONS. Well, guess we all know why–the media fails to investigate and DISCUSS the cheating, and the ncaa hides from the responsibility they are suppose to hold.

    WHY no discussion in the Lexington media(UK locals) about the CHEATING at unccheaters and/or puke?


  5. TrueBlueJohn

    Other than the eight-nine seeds which have to play the no. 1 in the second round, the seeding doesn’t matter all that much. You are playing good teams from that point on. Joe is probably right at this point, but if we win out, beating Florida, and winning the SEC tournament, we might be in line for a number two seed.

  6. Keith peel

    I don’t think seeding will matter for this team. Location will matter because it limits UK fans attendance if we end up on the west coast. If this team is playing its best basketball at NCAA time they can beat anyone; if they are not they could lose in the first round to a 14 seed if they are seeded as a 3. We need to get all the players playing well at the same time for 7 games straight and brush up on our zone offense because we will see a lot if zone

    1. larryvaught

      Good points Keith and location will all depend on how bracket falls because at a 4 or 5 seed, UK is a little bit at the mercy of where seeds 1-3 go in the various sites. Still hoping maybe Orlando for Cats

  7. Jim

    Cats need to run deep in the SEC tourney. Not sure if they will play well enough to win it, but they have the talent to do so. Go Cats!

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