Busting Brackets

Bracketology 2024: Bubble Watch Updates for each conference in early March

Michigan State's Malik Hall, right, scores as Iowa's Tony Perkins defends during the first half on
Michigan State's Malik Hall, right, scores as Iowa's Tony Perkins defends during the first half on / Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA
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Locks: Duke, North Carolina

For basically the entire season, Duke and North Carolina have been markedly better than the rest of the ACC. Both teams are 24-6, with a decent amount of Quad 1 and 2 wins, and will face off in Durham on Saturday, with Top 3 seeds likely for both teams. There’s no drama here when it comes to making the Big Dance, but plenty of drama if they play twice in the next seven days.

Should Be In: Clemson

Clemson is virtually a lock at this point, but certainly are not in the same position as Duke or North Carolina. The Tigers’ NET is 24 and they have five Quad 1 wins, but they’ve struggled a bit more in conference play, sitting at just 11-8 in league play. Recent losses to NC State and Notre Dame won’t keep the Tigers out of the field but have hurt their potential seed.

Bubble: Pittsburgh, Virginia, Wake Forest

There’s a mixed bag of status here. Pittsburgh has played their way into consideration in recent weeks, including with a double-digit road win at Virginia. Those Cavaliers are trending in a terrible direction and have looked rough in losses, but have a few decent wins despite a NET down at 50. Wake Forest looked like they were getting secure a few weeks ago but have dropped three straight games against teams outside the field and might be in trouble.

Work to Do: Syracuse, Virginia Tech

This isn’t the strongest year for the ACC, and only a few other teams even have a snowball’s chance, minus a crazy run at the conference tournament. Syracuse has played great to end the season, even getting a nice win against North Carolina, but finished up with a loss at Clemson this week and need to make an impression next week. Virginia Tech still has Notre Dame to get to .500 in ACC play but likewise have work to do, with a NET of just 54 and some tough losses on the resume.