Monday night was supposed to be when the championship game of the 2020 NCAA men’s basketball tournament was held, but with it canceled, ESPN chief bracketologist Joe Lunardi is already looking forward to 2021.
Lunardi on Monday released a “way too early” bracket for next year. After Utah State had received an automatic bid this year and BYU was a lock to get an at-large bid, will any team from the Beehive State make it next year?
According to Lunardi’s guesses Monday, no local team will. Lunardi wrote that his methodology is based on an algorithm of returning minutes per team, the “established level” of those minutes and “guesstimates” of how a team’s nonreturning minutes will be replaced.
Lunardi noted that the NBA draft process and transfer portal create a bunch of unknowns for every team.
From the Pac-12 where the Utah Runnin’ Utes compete, Lunardi has seven teams making the field (Oregon, Colorado, Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA, Stanford, USC). He projects just one team each from the West Coast Conference, Mountain West Conference, Big Sky Conference and Western Athletic Conference where the other in-state schools compete.