Lunardi is the director of marketing and broadcast services at Saint Joseph’s and is in his 28th season as a color analyst for the Saint Joseph’s Sports Network. He still finds time to update his bracket twice a week at this point in the season.
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Despite worries around the conference the A-10 will receive only one bid this season for the first time since 2005, ending an 11-year streak of earning at least three bids, Lunardi's latest prediction has the A-10 receiving two bids. He has George Mason earning the automatic berth as a No. 15 seed in the East Region and Virginia Commonwealth as a No. 11 seed in the First Four as one of the last four teams in the field.
Brief contribution: Dayton freshman Frankie Policelli saw just over two minutes of action in the second half but made the most of the brief stint, assisting Toppin on back-to-back baskets during Dayton's 13-2 run in the second half.
“You want to try to get him more of a rhythm there,” Grant said. “The first half, I thought the guys who were on the floor — the guys who allowed us to make that run to build a lead in the first half — were doing a good job so I stayed with them a little longer. Frankie came in, and I thought he did a good job of being able to understand, ‘Here’s what’s available in the game.’”
Looking ahead: Dayton plays Duquesne at 2 p.m. Saturday at UD Arena. The Dukes (14-6, 5-2) have lost only to two of the top teams in the conference: 65-61 at Davidson and 80-74 at home to Virginia Commonwealth.
In between those losses, Duquesne won five straight games. It beat preseason favorite Saint Louis 77-73 in Pittsburgh on Jan. 23.