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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Gonzaga (15-6) (NET: 27)
0-5 (Q1), 3-1 (Q2), 3-0 (Q3), 9-0 (Q4)

Without any Quad 1 wins, it’s clear that Gonzaga’s resume is significantly weaker than in recent seasons for this program. The best wins they can currently boast are Syracuse in Maui, USC in Las Vegas, and San Francisco at home just a couple weeks ago. It’s not an ideal situation, especially with WCC play continuing.

Losing by one point at Santa Clara back on January 11th was a bit unexpected and currently stands as this program’s worst loss. Double-digit defeats to Connecticut, Purdue, and San Diego State were all Quad 1 games, as was this past Saturday’s controversial and dreadful ending against Saint Mary’s.

As mentioned earlier, the WCC is not exactly the strongest basketball league in the world and the Bulldogs have already blown their early chances in the conference. They get a unique opportunity at Kentucky this weekend but after that will have to wait until the final week of the season for Quad 1 chances in rematches against the Dons and Gaels.

Memphis (16-6) (NET: 80)
1-2 (Q1), 4-2 (Q2), 6-1 (Q3), 9-0 (Q4)

A few weeks ago, Memphis was firmly in the field for the NCAA Tournament. A strong nonconference schedule included a Quad 1 win at Texas A&M and a slew of other performances, including Quad 2 victories over VCU, Clemson, and Virginia during a hot December.

These last few weeks have been abysmal for the Tigers, who first lost at home to South Florida (a Quad 3 loss) to kick start a despicable 4-game losing streak. The most painful part of that streak was its final game, as the Tigers managed to lose at home to Rice for a Quad 4 loss that will be a massive stain on this resume.

This team doesn’t deserve to be in the NCAA Tournament field with how they are playing right now. If the Tigers can turn things around, there are Quad 1 opportunities down the stretch, with two late-season games against Florida Atlantic looming large. Right now, they need some sort of miracle.