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April 17, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Joe Lunardi says UW misses NCAA tourney

ESPN bracket guru Joe Lunardi released his first very early 2013 NCAA tournament projections, which includes four Pac-12 teams.
However, Washington didn’t make his 68-team field.
Lunardi believes Arizona is the top team in the conference, which chimes with many early preseason rankings. He predicts the Wildcats will collect a No. 5 seed.
He gives UCLA a sixth seed followed by No. 10 Stanford and California at No. 12 with an invite to the play-in game.
Four NCAA tourney bids is twice as many as the past year, but it would be a setback if Washington misses the Big Dance for a second straight season.
Lunardi’s projections gives an idea about the preseason rankings. Expect Arizona and UCLA to be considered the class of the conference again after both teams hauled incoming freshmen classes believed to be among the top three in the nation.
Stanford returns the bulk of its players from a team that won the NIT.
My only quibble with Lunardi’s bracket is Cal. The Golden Bears lose Pac-12 MVP Jorge Gutierrez and two-year starter Harper Kamp. Richard Solomon, a 6-10 sophomore forward, returns after missing half of the season due to academic problems, but Cal’s bench was less than impressive and would need to make a serious improvement for the Bears to remain in the upper half of the conference.

— Here’s our story on Washington’s newest signee Perris Blackwell with quotes from the former San Francisco forward.
— Georgia big man Tony Parker will make his college decision Friday and it could be UCLA.
— The Oregonian shot video of incoming UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson who played together on Team USA last week at the 2012 Nike Hoop Summit.
— Former Arizona guard Josiah Turner has been kicked off of teams in the past two years. He left Sacramento High early in January 2011, which should have been a red flag for the Wildcats.
— Arizona’s incoming freshmen Kaleb Tarczewski, Brandon Ashley and Grant Jarrett are bonding at the Jordan Brand Classic.
— Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak told the Salt Lake Tribune Josh Hearlihy, who signed last November, will not report to school after the Utes asked him to rescind his scholarship due to his spotty medical history.
— Here’s a collection of aerial acrobatics from former Oregon State high-flyer Jared Cunningham who declared for the NBA draft.
— Former Arizona standout Kyle Fogg discovered last week at the Portsmouth Invitational that he has to learn how to play point guard if he’s going to make it to the NBA. At 6-2 and 183 pounds, he’s not big enough to play shooting guard in the NBA.
— No link, but Fogg is an interesting case study for someone like Hikeem Stewart. Washington’s freshman guard can carve out minutes and establish a role with the Huskies as a defensive-minded two guard much like Fogg, who established himself as a defensive stalwart and three-point marksman the past four years. Fogg was Arizona’s secondary ball handler, but he had to have known that if he wanted to extend his career beyond college then he needed to become a better distributor.

Comments | Topics: UCLA


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