UCLA Coach Mick Cronin Crushes ESPN Bracketology Expert

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UCLA coach Mick Cronin doesn’t care one bit where ESPN’s bracketology projections have his squad.

The Bruins are currently slated to be the number one seed in the west region as of Wednesday morning in ESPN’s bracketology.

When presented with the idea Joe Lundardi, ESPN’s bracketology expert, believes UCLA must win the PAC-12 tournament to get a top seed, Cronin wasn’t impressed.

“I’m not sure who that is. I really don’t have any comment on that,” Cronin told Ben Bolch.

There’s no chance Mick Cronin doesn’t know Joe Lunardi.

Mick Cronin first became a college basketball head coach in 2003 with Murray State. By 2006 he was at Cincy and he left for UCLA in 2019. The man has been around the block a time or two. There is nobody involved with college basketball at a high level who doesn’t know Joe Lunardi.

He’s the most famous man in the bracketology game, and has been for years. Say whatever you want about ESPN, but its the leader when it comes to bracketology.

Mick Cronin claims he doesn’t know who Joe Lunardi is. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

I have a reality check for anyone who truly believes coaches don’t check bracketology. They absolutely do, and they absolutely know who Joe Lunardi is. That’s just a fact.

Cronin claiming to be unaware of him is nothing more than a power play. Funny? Sure. Believable? Not even a little bit. Not at all. There’s no scenario where you could convince me Joe Lunardi is a name Mick Cronin has never heard.

The good news for Mick Cronin is that it doesn’t matter. As long as the Bruins take care of business, the rest will be fine. The Bruins have a hell of a team this year, and they are a one seed currently in the latest bracketology projections.

Mick Cronin reacts to ESPN’s bracketology. He said he doesn’t know who Joe Lunardi is. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Just don’t try to convince us you don’t know who Joe Lunardi is. If that’s true, then I have a beachfront property in Lincoln, Nebraska I’d love to sell you at a discount. That’s honestly much more believable.

Written by David Hookstead

David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture.

He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics.

Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.


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  1. I don’t know man, I played college bball and during the season, some of these coaches just plan practices and watch film. In their offices doing meetings and such all day and all night, usually until 9:00 at night (later if you have a late practice). From January to March (the main time Lunardi is on), I can guarantee they don’t watch a lot of TV. And if they do want to take a break and watch some TV, I doubt their first choice is watching other people working the same job. After the tourney is set in early March, Lunardi goes into his hole not to appear again on TV until next winter, so they wouldn’t see him during their off season. Not unplausible.

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