Joe Lunardi sucks

Submitted by mgofro on March 11th, 2016 at 2:34 PM

how the F does Lunardi *still* have a 19-13 SEC team with zero good nonconference wins in over M?

— mgoblog (@mgoblog) March 11, 2016


— Abraham May (@Smoothitron) March 11, 2016

Add St. Mary's and its zero nonconf road wins & and Syracuse at 19-13 with a 9-10 conf record losing 4 of last 5.

— MGoBlueBD (@MGoBlueBD) March 11, 2016

St Mary's is in the WCC. They played one noncon game against a team better than 89th in Kenpom, and lost that game.

— mgoblog (@mgoblog) March 11, 2016

That is all...



March 11th, 2016 at 5:42 PM ^

Among people with three or more years of predictions on record, Lunardi ranks #36. He's had two straight good years to get that high--he was solidly in the bottom quarter of the rankings before.

Among people you've heard of, Lunardi's probably as good as any. But there are a few dozen people on the internet who have been consistently better.


March 11th, 2016 at 3:44 PM ^

Huh?? Historically worst predictors? Where do you get that from? 

2008 - Missed 0 out of 65 

2009 - Missed 1 out of 65 

2010 - Missed 1 out of 65 

2011 - Missed 3 out of 68 

2012 - Missed 1 out of 68 

2013 - Missed zero out of 68 

2014 - Missed zero out of 68

2015 - Missed 2 out of 68 


Look I know we are all routing for Michigan but to act like Lunardi is just making things up or doesn't at the least have a good feel for his predictions, most importantly his final predictions for the field just doesn't make sense. 


March 11th, 2016 at 4:02 PM ^

Bracketmatrix has a nice little breakdown of the various prognosticators.  Maybe "worst" is relative, but he's about average amongst people who have been doing this for a long time.  And let's be fair; most of the bracket participants are given and auto-bids.  So it's not like anyone doesn't have MSU or Duke in the field, for example.  And he constantly updates his projections, and I've read elsewhere (I forget the article) that he might have some inside knowledge within the committee, so that's why you'll see some sudden shifts on his part a couple hours before the final bracket comes out.

I just think he is paid to push ESPN eyeballs, not necessarily make the best picks based on empirical facts.


March 11th, 2016 at 4:19 PM ^

I guess, but then all of these other people get the seeding AND the participants correct, so my general argument stands.

It's not that I think Lunardi is terrible; I overreacted a bit there.  But he's just not great at the one thing he is paid millions to be good at, at least as information has become more readily available and more people get involved in the prediction part of the tournament.  And you listen to some of his discussion points and they are just naked attempts to drum up controversy because nobody is going to pay attention to Selection Sunday to see if Monmouth makes it in, but they sure will if UM is on the bubble.  So that's what annoys me about him.


March 11th, 2016 at 5:28 PM ^

I think you are mistaken on what he is paid to do... His job is predict the field and give real time updates on who he sees making it in. That is what WE ask of him... I say we because I work for ESPN. We updates that become more frequent as the year goes on, weekly, daily, and then following every critical game such as today. 

It's not to drum up controversy, I've been here 8+ years and never once been in a meeting where he changed his predictions to make it more interesting. 

Everyone thinks different. Joe, Bilas, Seth, Jay, etc... They have their own thoughts and often don't agree. 

My point is his job is to predict the field all season. The seeds and then game picks are just extra and frankely never discussed outside of the #1 seeds and the "Last four in". 


March 11th, 2016 at 5:54 PM ^

What he does is not very hard and he's not particularly good at it. ESPN will proudly announce that Joe "correctly picked 65 teams out of the 68-team field" but never acknowledge that 90% of the blogging world did as well or better.

The funny thing is that he's actually had a couple of good years, but since they set the bar so low for him they can't acknowledge that either. They have to pretend he's the only guy out there or the schtick is up. Same goes for Jerry Palm.


March 11th, 2016 at 7:11 PM ^

But seriously, out of the 68 team field, how many teams are seriously in doubt?  It can't be more than 6-8 that are truly on the bubble as of Saturday afternoon.  Its like projecting the football playoffs on the final sunday after the 1pm games


March 12th, 2016 at 5:44 AM ^

I don't think anyone's tracked it; 90% might be hyperbole--or it might not. In a typical year there'd be a small fraction with a perfect 68 and then a very large tie at 67. You could easily end up with half the field doing "as well or worse" than 80-90% of the rest.

But the Paymon scores--getting not just the teams but the seeding--are a matter of record. The Bracket Project's been tracking them for a decade.

Lunardi was 15th of 17 in 2007, 12th of 20 in 2008, part of a 5-way tie for 9th out of 28 in 2009, 33rd of 46 in 2010, 35th of 51 in 2011. I'm not sure how his reputation survived it --it was a running gag on blogs, including this one, for years.

He's done better the last few years, especially the last two. He's even done better than the collective consensus the last two years, something he'd never done before. A dozen or so others did it too--maybe part of what's going on is that a lot more people are posting bracket blogs now than before, and the competition is watered down.


March 11th, 2016 at 6:05 PM ^

I think the interesting question is why, with their contacts, he and Palm are so bad at their jobs. Wouldn't you think they'd be able to outperform random Joes on the internet who don't have committee members on their speed dial?

One theory I've been kicking around for a while is that the RPI is really a smokescreen. The committee pretends to take it seriously as a metric because they want to pretend they don't care about margin of victory. Then they get behind closed doors, untie their hands, and start using better tools.

But Lunardi and Palm, with their committee connections, take it seriously. It's interesting to me that the improvement in Lunardi's performance coincided with ESPN's unveiling of their own, apparently better, metric, while Palm's still as bad as ever.


March 11th, 2016 at 6:46 PM ^

Those numbers arent as impressive as they seem on first impression..They are based upon his prediction RIGHT before the field is announced..Thats not all that hard to do...Id like to see  it based upon one week, two week or 3 weeks ago...I mean I could prob have similar numbers based upon waking up Sunday morning and checking out a few sites....on Sunday morning its only a few teams to be decided


March 11th, 2016 at 4:18 PM ^

There are definitely residual problems after what happened this past Sunday. If I open multiple tabs (which I do so I can scan threads), some of them will have the "site off-line" message where others will not. The formatting also shifts sometimes and the body of a thread will sometimes go from edge to edge in my browser, and then a fair number of posts will see username data fail to carry over (hence "Anonymous Coward"). It's a little frustrating.


March 11th, 2016 at 2:58 PM ^

I am not feeling Oregon State. No non-conference wins of any significance; 9-9 in a conference inferior to Michigan; non-conference loss to Valpo; early exit from their tournament. And nobody is quesitioning that they, at 19-13, should be in.

Taking a step back, ESPN seems to always give teams like Syracuse the benefit of the doubt in these comparisons. The Selection Committee is more even-handed, I think. 


March 11th, 2016 at 5:21 PM ^

The RPI is the difference maker. But it is based on beating fringe-tournament type teams with regularity (USC, Colorado, Iona, Tulsa). Michigan's wins against top 100 teams are fewer, but they're better. Maryland, Texas, Indiana, and Purdue are all top 26 RPI.

Colorado is another example that bothers me. Lundari has them as a seven seed. They are 22-11 and 10-8 in their conference. Their big non-conference wins were BYU, Colorado State. 

I think the metric should be wins against top 25, or top 50. Michigan is 4-9 against the top 50. Oregon State and Colorado have more wins against the 51-100 type teams. Which aren't the teams you face in the tournament. (Colorado is 4-9 as well against the top 50, but with a win against Oregon State, and Oregon State is 5-8 with wins against Colorado and a meh USC.)

A Lot of Milk

March 11th, 2016 at 3:05 PM ^

Whatever, I'm tired of hearing we need one more win. We needed one more win then we beat Purdue. Nope. Ok, we beat Northwestern. Nope. Ok, we beat Northwestern again. Nope. Ok, we beat literally the best team in the Big Ten. Nope. We could win the conference championship and they'll say that we needed just one more win.


March 11th, 2016 at 4:52 PM ^

Haaaa. I've been thinking this same thing after every loss. After we beat Purdue, everyone claimed we were a shoe in. After every loss since then, it was always that we needed one additional.

That being said, I did think the Purdue win was a bit overblown as far as NCAA eligibility goes because of the fact that there are always conference tourney winners that beat out at large teams and steal bids.