Busting Brackets

Bracketology 2024: Bubble Watch of key teams in early February

Notre Dame v Virginia
Notre Dame v Virginia / Ryan M. Kelly/GettyImages
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Virginia Tech (13-9) (NET: 53)
2-7 (Q1), 2-2 (Q2), 3-0 (Q3), 6-0 (Q4)

The Hokies were at their best early in the season, getting Quad 1 victories over Boise State and Iowa State at the ESPN Events Invitational. That was the highlight of the nonconference schedule, with their best performances in ACC play (at NC State, and against Clemson at home) being just Quad 2.

Those two Quad 2 losses were against Florida State and Miami back in early January, but it’s hard to ignore a 34-point loss to Florida Atlantic in the finals of that holiday tournament. The Hokies should apparently avoid schools from Florida, though they also lost by 23 to Wake Forest.

Nine losses, including two straight at the moment, is a tough pill to swallow for a resume that isn’t filled with greatness. It doesn’t help Virginia Tech that their two biggest wins came nearly three months ago. Their upcoming schedule won’t help a ton, though road tests at North Carolina and Pittsburgh on upcoming Saturdays will be important for their cause.

Wake Forest (14-7) (NET: 41)
0-3 (Q1), 5-4 (Q2), 3-0 (Q3), 6-0 (Q4)

Lacking a Quad 1 victory looks bad for the metrics, though the Demon Deacons have picked up some nice performances elsewhere. They’ve beat Florida as big underdogs and won additional home games over Miami, Virginia, and Virginia Tech early on in ACC play.

None of Wake Forest’s losses have exactly been horrific, and that’s a big reason why their NET is still in decent shape. Close losses to Georgia, LSU, Florida State, and NC State all could’ve gone the other way. The recent 21-point loss at North Carolina might be a little more telling.

The Demon Deacons beat Syracuse by nearly 30 this past Saturday, stopping a mini-skid and getting themselves back in the win column. There’s still a path here to get safely into the NCAA Tournament, especially with a pair of games against Duke before February is over. They absolutely must win at Georgia Tech and avenge that loss to NC State this weekend.