March Madness

Joe Lunardi sees Arkansas as this seed in way-too-early 2025 NCAA Tournament projection

Joe Lunardi sees Arkansas as this seed in way-too-early 2025 NCAA Tournament projection

The 2024-25 college basketball season is over four months away, and the NCAA Tournament is nine months away. That hasn’t stopped ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi from projecting his way-too-early 2025 March Madness bracket.

A lot of eyes and national interest will be on the Razorbacks and new coach John Calipari when Arkansas opens the regular season. The Hogs’ non-conference schedule is still being finalized, but they have a “guaranteed matchup” with Miami in the 2024 ACC-SEC Challenge on December 3 in Coral Gables.

Arkansas will reportedly face Michigan in the annual Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden in December, as well as the Oakland Grizzlies at Bud Walton Arena at the end of the month.

On Thursday, Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman said that the Fighting Illini would play the Razorbacks on Thanksgiving Day in Kansas City, a reported nationally televised game on CBS.

In Lunardi’s latest off-season projections for the 2025 NCAA Tournament, the veteran bracketologist forecasts a record 10 SEC teams to make the Dance, with Alabama earning a No. 1 seed as the league’s top team. Auburn was a projected No. 2 seed with Tennessee and SEC newcomer Texas as No. 4 seeds.

As for Arkansas, the Razorbacks were projected as a No. 5 seed in the Midwest Region by Lunardi. The Hogs currently have nine players on their roster for 2024-25. Three former Kentucky players have joined Calipari in Fayetteville: stretch big man Zvonimir Ivisic, forward Adou Thiero and point guard D.J. Wagner.

Combo guard Johnell Davis and forward Jonas Aidoo also transferred to Arkansas from Florida Atlantic and Tennessee, respectively. Incoming high school recruits Karter Knox, Boogie Fland and Billy Richmond committed to the Razorbacks, who recently learned that forward Trevon Brazile would return for another season after exploring NBA Draft options.

RELATED: Calipari’s first transfer class ranked No. 1 in the nation

In conference play, Arkansas will welcome Alabama, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Texas, LSU, Oklahoma, Missouri, Florida and Georgia to Bud Walton Arena in 2024-25. They’ll also travel to Missouri, Texas and LSU, in addition to Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, and a highly anticipated matchup with Kentucky at Rupp Arena when Calipari returns to Lexington.

Other SEC teams who made Lunardi’s NCAA Tournament field of 68 are Kentucky, Mississippi State and Texas A&M, plus Ole Miss and Florida. Alabama, Kansas, UConn and Houston were projected No. 1 seeds.

Follow us @RazorbacksWire on Twitter/X and on Facebook for ongoing coverage of Arkansas Razorbacks news, notes and opinions.

Story originally appeared on Razorbacks Wire

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