Final Score: Jerry Palm 1, Joe Lunardi 0

Jerry Palm had the Hoosiers in the NCAA Tournament. Joe Lunardi did not. When it came to post bracketology results, that was the only prediction that mattered to Indiana basketball fans on Sunday.

Jerry Palm 1, Joe Lunardi 0.

That would be the scorecard from the Indiana point of view.

Palm, the resident bracketologist for CBS, had Indiana in the NCAA Tournament. Granted, he had the Hoosiers playing Colorado State in Dayton this week in a play-in game to get a No. 11 seed. But he still had the Hoosiers dancing.

Lunardi, the acclaimed bracketologist for ESPN, didn’t have Indiana in his 68-team field. In fact, he had the Hoosiers as the first team out.

With the bracketologists differing in their opinions on the Hoosiers, IU fans weren’t sure what to believe when they tuned in to the Selection Sunday Show at 6 p.m. ET.

Most had their eyes and attention focused on when the No. 11 seeds would show up and what potential No. 6 seed could they play.

But it was a dream scenario for Indiana fans on Sunday. Not only did IU avoid the play-in game by securing a No. 10 seed (which proved that IU wasn’t even on the bubble) but the Hoosiers were one of the first 12 teams that were revealed in the bracket. That was significant because IU fans didn’t have to sweat out wondering where they might end up (if at all) in the tournament field.

Lunardi did have most of the field correct in terms of what schools he thought would make it. His misses: Temple and Colorado State. The two he didn’t think would get in: Indiana and UCLA.

But I will give Lunardi credit where it was due. He correctly picked all four No. 1 and No. 2 seeds. He also had three of the four No. 3 seeds. His only mistake there was he had Maryland as a No. 3 and the Terrapins garnered a No. 4 seed. He had a Baylor as a No. 4 and it was a 3.

In all though, for the first eight seed lines, Lunardi correctly picked 23 of the 32 teams with their correct seed.

Palm’s record wasn’t quite as good overall although he only missed on one team in terms of inclusion in the field. He had Colorado State playing a play-in game and he didn’t have UCLA in the field.

That seemed to be a common theme with Steve Alford’s Bruins.

Palm got three of the four top seeds correct. He thought Virginia would get a No. 1 and not Duke. He had two of the No. 2 seeds correct. There, he thought Iowa State would get the No. 2 seed and Kansas would be No. 3 but they were flip-flopped.

Overall, out of 32 possible seeds on the first eight lines, Palm had 15 that he projected in their correct position.

So if you were looking at it in terms of picking the right seed on the top eight lines, Lunardi would have taken a 23-15 victory.

But there’s only one score that mattered to Indiana fans.

Jerry Palm 1, Joe Lunardi 0. Top Stories