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Cincinnati in Familiar Territory in ESPN's Latest Bracketology

ESPN's Joe Lunardi has the Bearcats pegged as a No. 8 seed for the 2017 NCAA Tournament.

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

This is June.

Perhaps there is still a whole nine months until we drink in the sweet syrup of March Madness, but college basketball junkies never tire of looking at brackets, projected or otherwise. ESPN's Joe Lunardi knows all about those brackets and in his first look at the 2017 NCAA Tournament, he has Cincinnati as a No. 8 seed in the West region. If Lunardi's predictions somehow hold up, the Bearcats would play the Dayton Flyers out of the Atlantic 10 Conference.

The Bearcats are one of three American Athletic Conference teams in Lunardi's field of 64 with SMU (6) and Connecticut (7) also getting some love. Houston didn't make the cut, but was included in the last four out.

Cincinnati has gotten used to being in that middle tier of seeds. In 2016, the Bearcats were a No. 9 seed and since 2011, they have risen no higher than a No. 5 ranking. They have averaged a seeding of 7.33 during that time, with a low of No. 10 in 2013.