Joe Lundardi's Updated Mock Bracket

In his latest updated mock bracket, Joe Lunardi has the following rundown of teams

as the #1 overall seed in the Washington, DC(East) bracket
Louisville as the second #1 seed in the Arlington, Texas(South) bracket
Indiana as the third #1 seed in the Indianapolis (Midwest) bracket
Gonzaga (vomit) as the final #1 seed in the Los Angeles (West) bracket.

[Edit: This bracket was listed as March 13 at the time I posted this. He has updated it since.]
The most recent teams put in Indiana's way on the road to the Final Four by Lunardi are:

Western Kentucky (#16)
Winner of
North Carolina State (#8) and Oregon (#9)

survivor between
Syracuse (#5) vs Davidson (#12)
Oklahoma State (#4) vs Valparaiso (#13)

Winner from the other half of the quadrant that includes the following matchups:
Butler (#6) vs Wichita St (#11)
New Mexico (#3) vs Stephen F. Austin (#14)
North Carolina (#7) vs Saint Mary's (#10)
Georgetown (#2) vs Vermont (#15)

[Edit: Lunardi update has us playing the play-in winner between Liberty and LIU, winner of NC State (8) v Oregon (9), and the only other swap outs being Saint Mary's seed dropping to 11 and the 10 seed in the region being replaced by Oklahoma (Wichita St moved to Duke's bracket as the 11....not sure for the motive behind that lateral move.)]

Assuming this bracket were to be locked in as official, my guess at the matchups for Indiana in Dayton would be
Western Kentucky North Carolina State

Syracuse, then New Mexico

in Indianapolis.

The only matchup against the Hoosiers that stands out in that bracket as particularly "iffy" is Georgetown, if only for as improved as their play has been over the course of the season and as tough as they played the Hoosiers very early on in the season. I'd honestly prefer if the Indianapolis region had Miami or Kansas in it as a 2(Lundardi has Georgetown, Ohio State, Miami, and Kansas as the #2 seeds) just to prevent that early of a high seed rematch of a regular season game. The Selection Committee has stated in the past that avoiding rematches in the regions is one of their primary motivators for placing teams, while admitting that it can't always be avoided.

I think a #1 vs #2 Indiana-Georgetown in the Elite Eight would be one of the rematches they could easily avoid by placing Georgetown in the Eastern Region, sliding Ohio State to the South (Lunardi currently has them East, playing through Dayton) and rotating Miami up to the Midwest (Lunardi has them West)


Lunardi's current 1-2 "happy path" Elite Eight match ups are as follows:

Duke vs Ohio State (rematch)
Louisville vs Kansas
Indiana vs Georgetown (rematch)
Gonzaga vs Miami

Assuming that these seeds were locked in and focusing only on placement, I would prefer:
Duke vs Georgetown (Washington, D.C.)
Louisville vs Ohio State (Arlington, Texas)
Indiana vs Miami (Indianapolis, Indiana)
Gonzaga vs Kansas (Los Angeles, California)

None of these games are rematches and sets up the following Final Four possibilities:
Duke rematch with either Louisville or Ohio State (Duke beat Louisville without Deng and OSU on a horrendous shooting night in Cameron)
Georgetown rematch with Louisville (Georgetown won 53-51)
Georgetown against Ohio State

Indiana against Gonzaga (Gonzaga puts up or shuts up)
Indiana against Kansas (If Kentucky is our Sauron, Kansas is our Smaug)

Those are much better Final Four possibilities than Lunardi could come up with.

(Rival Note: Lunardi has Kentucky as a play-in 12 seed in Duke's region)
[Edit: Lunardi now has Kentucky as a play-in 12 seed in Gonzaga's West Region)

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