Bracketology in July?
Sure, why not.
Now that rosters are mostly set for the 2023-24 college basketball season, we’ll take a peek at what the game’s best-known bracketologist has to say about the 2024 NCAA Tournament.
The man former IU coach Archie Miller once compared to Sesame Street’s Oscar the Grouch, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi published a new prognostication of the 2024 field of 68 last week.
The good news for Indiana fans — Lunardi sees the Hoosiers making the Tournament for the third straight year after missing out for five consecutive years prior to that, including all four of Miller’s seasons in Bloomington. And yes, we recall they likely would have made the field in 2020, the year Miller had not so kind words for Lunardi — before the event was canceled.
Lunardi’s outlook for IU in 2024 will have Hoosier fans on bubble watch much like they were in 2020 if it holds up. He currently places Indiana as a No. 10 seed in Brooklyn N.Y. against No. 7 Mississippi State. Awaiting the winner of that matchup would likely be defending national champion UConn, a team the Hoosiers may face in November.
Lunardi’s top overall seed Kansas will make a visit to Bloomington in December. That’s a similar story to a year ago, when popular preseason No. 1 pick North Carolina was slated to come to IU. And it serves as a good cautionary tale for all of this preseason talk, as the Tar Heels began to fizzle out before they faced Indiana, and ended up completely missing the NCAA Tournament.
Other teams from Indiana’s non-conference schedule Lunardi has slotted into the field include Auburn as a No. 8, No. 15 seed Wright State, and No. 16 seed Morehead State. It isn’t clear yet who Indiana will face in the November Empire Classic, but possible foe UConn is a No. 2 seed, and Texas is a No. 3. The fourth team in that event, Louisville is not part of Lunardi’s field.
From the Big Ten, Lunardi has Purdue and Michigan State both as a No. 1s, Illinois a No. 5, Wisconsin a No. 7, Maryland a No. 8, and Northwestern as a No. 9 seed. He says Ohio State, Rutgers and Iowa will all be among the first eight teams out. Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and Penn State are completely out of the picture.
IU basketball opens the 2023-24 season on Nov. 7 when they host Florida Gulf Coast.
In case you’re interested, here are the dates and sites for the 2024 NCAA Tournament.
- Selection Sunday: Sunday, March 17
- First Four: March 19-20
- First round: March 21-22
- Second round: March 23-24
- Sweet 16: March 28-29
- Elite Eight: March 30-31
- Final Four: April 6 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
- NCAA championship game: April 8 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
|First Four||Dayton, Ohio||UD Arena||March 19 – 20||University of Dayton|
|First/Second||Brooklyn. N.Y.||Barclays Center||March 22 -24||Atlantic 10 Conference|
|First/Second||Charlotte, N.C.||Spectrum Center||March 21 – 23||University of North Carolina at Charlotte|
|First/Second||Indianapolis||Gainbridge Fieldhouse||March 22 – 24||IUPUI / Horizon League|
|First/Second||Omaha, Neb.||CHI Health Center||March 21 – 23||Creighton University|
|First/Second||Pittsburgh||PPG Paints Arena||March 21 -23||Duquesne University|
|First/Second||Salt Lake City||Vivint Smart Home Arena||March 21 – 23||University of Utah|
|First/Second||Spokane, Wash.||Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena||March 22 – 24||University of Idaho|
|First/Second||Memphis, Tenn.||FedExForum||March 22 – 24||University of Memphis|
|East Regional||Boston||TD Garden||March 28 – 30||Boston College|
|South Regional||Dallas||American Airlines Center||March 29 -31||Big 12 Conference|
|Midwest Regional||Detroit||Little Caesars Arena||March 29 – 31||University of Detroit Mercy / Oakland University|
|West Regional||Los Angeles||Crypto dot com Arena||March 28 – 30||Pepperdine|
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