College basketball’s first official games are still over two months away, but with roster churn winding down it is time to start really looking at what seeding might look like in the 2023 NCAA Tournament.
Okay, it’s probably still a little (a lot) too early to take bracketology reports seriously, but that hasn’t stopped ESPN’s resident bracketologist – Joe Lunardi – from releasing a mid-August update to his March Madness bracket.
The August 9 update from Lunardi features the Gonzaga Bulldogs once again securing the No. 1 overall seed for March Madness, which would be an absolutely incredible accomplishment after losing two key starters, Chet Holmgren and Andrew Nembhard, to the NBA draft.
Of course, Gonzaga returns All-American Drew Timme as well as key veterans Rasir Bolton, Julian Strawther, and Anton Watson, while adding transfers Malachi Smith and Efton Reid into the mix.
That’s not even mentioning the two sophomore guards, Hunter Sallis and Nolan Hickman, who each figure to play a prominent role on Mark Few’s team this upcoming season.
The other No. 1 seeds are North Carolina, Houston, and Gonzaga’s November 20 opponent Kentucky. Other Gonzaga non-conference opponents on Lunardi’s bracket include Baylor (No. 2 seed) Texas (No. 3 seed) Alabama (No. 6 seed) and Michigan State (No. 8 seed).
Saint Mary’s is included among Lunardi’s last four in, making them the only other WCC school on the list after the conference had three teams (and nearly four) in the tournament last year.
Other teams of interest to Gonzaga include Arizona (No. 4 seed) Duke (No. 3 seed) Auburn (No. 4 seed) and UCLA (No. 2 seed).
The full bracket and Lunardi’s explanation can be found here.
Andy hosts the Locked on Zags and Locked on College Basketball podcasts, and serves Locked On in a marketing/digital content creator role as well. He lives just outside Portland with his wife Jenna and dog, Tillie.