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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Seton Hall (14-8) (NET: 66)
4-4 (Q1), 1-3 (Q2), 2-1 (Q3), 7-0 (Q4)

What has put Seton Hall in this position is those four Quad 1 wins, all of which have come in Big East play. After an unimpressive nonconference slate, the Pirates have picked up wins against Connecticut and Marquette at home and against Providence and Butler on the road, with that win over the Huskies especially impressive right now.

The Quad 3 loss was at home to Rutgers and was just one part of a tough stretch before conference play began. The Pirates lost to both USC and Iowa in their holiday tournament and got a third Quad 2 loss when losing the rematch against Providence. They also lost by 20 at Xavier right before Christmas.

How many bubble teams can boast about four Quad 1 wins? Their win against Connecticut might be one of the most impressive performances among any of these teams, but they can’t ride forward on that alone. Some tricky road games await for a Pirates team whose only win in the last three weeks was against DePaul.

St. John’s (13-9) (NET: 43)
2-7 (Q1), 5-1 (Q2), 2-1 (Q3), 4-0 (Q4)

St. John’s finished off a 3rd place finish at the Charleston Classic with a Quad 1 win over Utah. They’ve had some solid performances in Big East play, including a sweep over Villanova; the road game being that other Quad 1 victory. They also took care of Xavier, Butler, and Providence at home while both wins over Villanova were by double-digits.

A 16-point loss to Michigan back in early November looks abysmal now and sits as a Quad 3 defeat. While the Red Storm later lost to Boston College in New York, their other losses (albeit numerous) have all been to Quad 1 opposition and mostly inside conference play.

While there have been a few close calls, St. John’s has now lost five of their last six contests after a great start to Big East play. That trajectory obviously cannot continue. The Red Storm can pick up a bevy of wins over DePaul and Georgetown in the weeks ahead and have road trips to Marquette and Providence looming soon.