In an excerpt from this article on ESPN.com (FYI: You must be an ESPN Insider to access the full text), a panel of ESPN college basketball analysts are asked which, of the three double-digit seeds left in the NCAA Tournament, has the best chance of winning their Sweet 16 matchup. The three-double digit seeds in question include Washington, Cornell, and Saint Mary’s. The panel of analysts includes game analysts Jay Bilas and Fran Fraschilla; “bracketologist” Joe Lunardi; and studio analyst Jay Williams.
Bilas and Williams make legitimate arguments for Saint Mary’s to triumph over Baylor. Fraschilla and Lunardi trumpet the Huskies over West Virginia. Lunardi, however, doesn’t respect the Huskies without the proper caveats.
Side note: For those who don’t know, Lunardi has been the subject of much ire from Husky fans (including this post and this post) throughout the season. He has spent the year bagging on the Pac-10, with special consideration for Washington.
Up until that fateful Saturday afternoon when the Dawgs won the Pac-10 Tournament Championship and earned the league’s automatic bid to the Dance, Lunardi insisted that Washington would not make the NCAA Tournament.
The walking definition of East Coast Bias, Lunardi, who makes his home in the Northeast, filled out his bracket with certain partiality towards the teams that play in his general vicinity. As of today, he is in the 12th percentile of all brackets entered into ESPN’s Tournament Challenge. And yet this man considers himself a doctor. And has a job. Disgraceful. End Side Note.
In typical cowardly form, Lunardi gets in a parting shot at Husky fans before completing his assessment of Washington. His quote is as follows:
“Washington is by far the most talented of the double-digit seeds, so you’d have to go with the Huskies. But I am getting tired of hearing how much UW has been disrespected. Washington was no worse than the co-favorite in the Pac-10 and did next to nothing all year long to live up to that status. Good for the Huskies that they are playing well now, but it doesn’t excuse three months of mediocrity.”
Now you can take away whatever you like from Lunardi’s comments. Me, I figure the guy is just fed up after having his inbox spammed by us. My guess is he might be on the verge of losing his job, simply because he’s proven incapable of doing that job. And if we haven’t made that clear to ESPN yet, then I urge all of you to continue doing so.
Similarly, if you’d like to get in touch with Lunardi directly, you can do that here.
As of right now, we are six hours, thirty-nine minutes from tip-off.