Bracket nonsense

(Originally posted: Monday, 5:51 p.m.)

We're scratching our heads after looking at Joe Lunardi's latest bracket prediction over on We have no problem with showing Holy Cross up to a 12. But we have a real hard time understanding how he can include Saint Joseph's as a second team from the Atlantic 10, given their 12-9 record with no wins over any ranked teams and a home loss to Bucknell.

Yet Bucknell, with wins over Saint Joes and ranked Pitt, is not even on Lunardi's list of last teams out anymore.

Not saying Bucknell deserves an at-large bid. But if Saint Joes does, then we would have to argue so do the Bison.

The copycats at Bracketology 101 also have Saint Joe's in, as a 13 seed, though they also include Holy Cross and Boston University as 13s.

Boston U? Look at their schedule. What, other than a home win over Vermont, makes them an at-large team?

Sorry, we just don't get it. Vermont and Holy Cross are the only teams they have played that are even in the others receiving votes category of the AP Poll.

Of course it really does not make much sense to put a lot of stock in any of these predictions. Tournament play is still going to determine more about the lower seeds that get in than RPI will. Realistically, teams like Holy Cross, Boston University and Saint Joes are probably going to need to win their tournaments to get in, because somebody, someplace, ranked higher and expected to be a shoe-in to win their league, is going to get upset and the ripple effect will be felt throughout the bottom of the brackets.

In the Monday Musings column that runs on the sites, they don't do the full bracket projection thing, but they do handicap the race for bids conference by conference. Here's two excerpts that seem to reflect a more realistic look than the other bracketeers:
Atlantic 10—St. Joseph’s has the best conference record, but an RPI of 99 means they need to win the league tournament to get in. Ditto for Dayton. If George Washington wins the league tournament that could mean just one bid for this league. Projected bids: 2

Patriot- Holy Cross is the first place team in the league right now, but an upset to underrated Bucknell could create a dilemma for the Selection Committee since the Crusaders are 38th in the RPI. Projected bids: 1

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