Tomahawk Nation readers may actually like Joe Lunardi. Well, for a couple of paragraphs, anyway.
Throughout the preseason, ESPN’s resident bracketologist had the Seminoles slated as a 7- or 8-seed, where they remained through his November 15th projection. Meanwhile, the rival Florida Gators alternated between a 1- and 2-seed for Lunardi.
What a difference actually playing the game makes. In Lunardi’s latest projection the other day, FSU is up to a 5-seed. And UF? Well, Lunardi has spanked the Gators, as they’re now down on that 8-line the ’Noles had called home.
The Seminoles are certainly heading in the right direction, and while a bump in ESPN’s projection doesn’t suck, their possible destination may. Notice anything familiar about this?
Yep, just like in the 2019 tourney, this would mean opening against Vermont—and again doing so in the northeast. The last tournament saw the 4-seed Seminoles and 13-seed Catamounts matchup in Hartford, just 235 miles from UVM. Lunardi’s current projection has them playing in Albany, NY. That’s a scant 149 miles from Burlington, home of the Vermont campus.
Furthermore, FSU’s second-round opponent would be either 4-seed Villanova or 13-seed Harvard. Again, both northeastern teams.
Of course, this is super early. So it’s not worth getting too upset over hypotheticals. Advancing in the tourney has always meant surviving away from home. At this point, it’s just nice to see the Seminoles trending in the right direction, as well as Florida getting some blowback for its uninspired early play.