Joe Lunardi released his first 2023 Bracketology last month, prompting a chorus of “Too Soon!” from the college basketball world. Not one to be deterred, Lunardi is back with another set of NCAA Tournament projections. In his May update, your University of Kentucky Wildcats remain the top overall seed. Nipping at the Cats’ heels are the Tar Heels from North Carolina.
“It comes as no surprise that the runner-up for the 2022 national championship, North Carolina, has positioned itself to finish the job in 2023,” Lunardi wrote. “With the confirmation that four starters — Leaky Black, Caleb Love, R.J. Davis and Armando Bacot — are returning for Hubert Davis, the Tar Heels can think seriously about a Final Four repeat and perhaps a second straight title game appearance. The Heels move up to No. 2 overall in this bracket, trailing only Kentucky on the seed list.”
Lunardi also wrote that Kentucky and North Carolina are now tied for second in all-time wins, which is incorrect. Kentucky has 2,353 to North Carolina’s 2,323. Of course, Kansas now holds first place, with 2,357 wins.
Speaking of Kansas, they are the No. 2 seed in Kentucky’s projected region. The Cats’ path to the Final Four in Houston goes through Columbus and Louisville.
The other regional sites are Kansas City (Midwest), New York (East), and Las Vegas (West). The first and second-round sites are Albany, Birmingham, Columbus, Denver, Des Moines, Greensboro, Orlando, and Sacramento.
The SEC has seven teams in this hypothetical field: Kentucky (No. 1 seed), Arkansas (No. 2 seed), Tennessee (No. 3 seed), Alabama (No. 5 seed), Auburn (No. 5 seed), Texas A&M (No. 8 seed), and Florida (No. 9 seed).
Still too soon.