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Pat Connaughton #24 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish celebrates during overtime of their 67-64 win over the Butler Bulldogs during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Consol Energy Center on March 21, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. | Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Notre Dame a 5 seed in first ESPN Bracketology; Big Ten gets six teams in

SHARE Notre Dame a 5 seed in first ESPN Bracketology; Big Ten gets six teams in
SHARE Notre Dame a 5 seed in first ESPN Bracketology; Big Ten gets six teams in

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi unveiled his first Bracketology on Wednesday, roughly seven months before the start of the NCAA tournament.

A year after giving Kentucky a run for its money in the Elite Eight, Notre Dame received a five seed in Lunardi’s bracket. He’s got the Irish playing 12-seeded Old Dominion.

Six Big Ten teams made the cut, including Maryland (1 seed), Indiana (3 seed), Michigan State (4 seed), Wisconsin (4 seed) Michigan (6 seed) and Purdue (8 seed).

Ohio State was listed as “First Four Out,” while Illinois and Iowa were in the next group of four that didn’t make it.

The ACC led the way with nine teams in.

In his companion column, Lunardi addresses the question of which conference is best:

I always find the which conference is the best debate to be rather tiresome. First, there are several ways to define best. Second, who cares? I’m pretty sure they don’t give out any league-wide trophies at the Final Four. Having said that, it’s hard to miss that six of the top eight teams in this projection are from two conferences. The ACC (North Carolina, Virginia and Duke) and Big 12 (Kansas, Iowa State and Oklahoma) each have a No. 1 seed and a pair of No. 2 seeds. So if I were to rate conferences, the criteria of who has the most legitimate national championship contenders would start and probably end with these two leagues.

You can view the complete bracket here and read Lunardi’s column here (subscription required).

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