Update: So the most obvious explanation wound up being a correct one. Joe Lunardi has updated his bracket to include Stephen F. Austin in the spot that Louisiana had occupied.
The Lumberjacks won the Southland Tournament on Saturday.
Original: Joe Lunardi may not be the most accurate bracketologist, but he’s the most well-known in the industry. His latest bracket has one really bizarre inclusion, though.
The Louisiana-Lafayette finished first in the Sun Belt regular season. At 27-6, with a 16-2 conference record, the Ragin’ Cajuns were the favorite heading into the conference tournament.
They do not, however, have the resume of an at-large team. Unfortunately for them, that is what they would have to be to make the Big Dance.
Louisiana fell to conference four-seed UT-Arlington on Saturday. The Mavericks are now facing Georgia State for the automatic bid.
Georgia State currently leads by double-digits with just over four minutes to play. Lunardi has the Panthers in as a 14-seed in the West, facing Auburn in the first round.
Confusingly, Joe Lunardi also still has Louisiana basketball in.
UL is slotted in as a 16-seed in a play-in game against Texas Southern. This would be a bizarre inclusion, as 16 seeds have always been the lowest-level conference champions.
It is unclear if Lunardi mistakenly included the Ragin’ Cajuns, forgetting they have lost. That is probably the most logical answer here.
However, if UL was still alive, they would almost definitely be around the 13 or 14 seed range. That is a pretty quality mid-major squad, just not one with the resume to crash the party.
No other bracket at The Bracket Matrix, which is currently aggregating from 84 different bracketologists, Lunardi included, has Louisiana in. The site hasn’t updated for Lunardi yet, but since nothing has changed with Louisiana’s situation, that doesn’t seem like it would matter.
We’ll see if Lunardi addresses it on Twitter, or makes a last second fix. Some have started pointing out the strange inclusion on Twitter.