The Long Beach State 49ers are playing like a team poised for their first NCAA Tournament appearance in five years. Long Beach State (16-6, 9-0) is undefeated in the Big West Conference, and has played one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the country. The 49ers are projected by Joe Lunardi of ESPN to be a No. 13 seed in his latest edition of bracketology.
Lunardi has the 49ers playing the No. 4 seed Michigan Wolverwines in the Midwest region, in a pod to be plated in Portland. Also in that pod is the No. 5 seed Saint Mary's Gaels, one of two West Coast Conference teams projected to be tournament teams, along with the Gonzaga Bulldogs, a No. 6 seed in the West region.
The Pac-12 is having its worst college basketball season in recent memory, and as such are projected to have just two teams make the tournament, which would have been unthinkable before the season. Both 7-2 teams are projected by Lunardi to make the 68-team field, with the California Bears a No. 9 seed in the Midwest and the Washington Huskies in a play-in game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish for a No. 12 seed in the West region.