Liberty basketball is a 13-seed in ESPN’s Joe Lunardi’s post NBA Draft declaration bracketology. Lunardi’s bracket has Liberty facing Tennessee in the first round with No. 5 seed Michigan State and No. 12 seed UAB across from the Flames in the East Region.
Ritchie McKay’s Flames are coming off a 23-6 season that saw Liberty earn a 13-seed in the NCAA Tournament before losing to No. 4 seed Oklahoma State in the first round.
The Flames are pegged as the ASUN’s automatic qualifier. LSU, who Liberty is scheduled to face in Baton Rouge on Nov. 15, is in the field as an 8-seed. A team the Flames could end up playing in the Diamond Head Classic, BYU, is projected as one of the last four teams in the field as a 12-seed.
Lunardi predicts the No. 1 seeds to be UCLA (East, Philadelphia), Michigan (South, San Antonio), Gonzaga (West, San Francisco), and Kansas (Midwest, Chicago).
Liberty finished the 2020-21 season at 23-6 overall and 11-2 in conference play. The Flames won the ASUN regular season title and the ASUN Tournament title for a third consecutive season.
The Flames will be the heavy favorite to repeat for what would be an ASUN record fourth straight time in a new look conference which will feature the additions of three teams in Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State, and Central Arkansas. Liberty returns three starters including ASUN Player of the Year and Tournament MVP Darius McGhee. The Flames will welcome four freshmen in DJ Moore, Brody Peebles, Bryson Spell, and Joseph Venzant.