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
9 of 9

Other Leagues

Locks: Dayton, Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s

First and foremost, Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s have both secured their place in the field, even as we wait to see which one of them will take home the WCC Tournament title. Both teams have a NET in the Top 20, while Dayton is pretty close at 21 and a number of nice wins. The Flyers stubbed their toes a few times in A-10 play this season, but will be in the Big Dance even without the automatic bid.


Florida Atlantic entered the season with raised expectations but have disappointed, especially during league play. They do have a NET of 33 and a great win over Arizona, but are not a sure thing right now. Joining them on the bubble is a Memphis team that was stunning early, fell apart in January and is playing good ball again. Additionally, South Florida likely needs the AAC Tournament title to dance despite winning the regular season title.


Drake and Indiana State both look great this season, as has Bradley at times, but it’ll be tough for this to be a multi-bid league. If anyone, Indiana State would snag the at-large, sitting here with a NET of 30. Drake has a nice 3-1 mark against Quad 1 foes, though their metrics are less desirable. The MVC semifinals will tell us a lot and a potential final of Indiana State against Drake would be enticing.

Bid Thieves?

Nobody else is really in great position for an at-large, though there is the potential for a bid thief. Grand Canyon, McNeese State, and Princeton have all looked great this year, albeit against schedules that haven’t been full of opportunity. They should be panicking if any of them fall in their league tournaments. James Madison and Appalachian State both have impressive wins but at least one of them will fall in the Sun Belt Tournament and it’s hard to see an at-large falling into their laps.

There are a couple more teams of note, though it’s hard to see anyone else earning one of those coveted at-large slots. Richmond won the A-10 regular season title and most brackets have them slotted into the field right now, but they have just a single Quad 1 win and a NET of 70, so don’t expect they’ll dance if they get upended in the A-10 Tournament. Lastly, it’s worth noting that the number of at-large bids will shrink if someone we didn’t name has a shocking run and wins one of these leagues. After all, it’s happened before with teams like Georgetown and Georgia Tech back in 2021.

Next. Early offseason coaching carousel updates. Early offseason coaching carousel updates. dark

Thus concludes our comprehensive look at the bubble breakdown by conference, with several teams looking great and many more in more dire shape in the final week of the season. Which teams will make the necessary moves to reach the Big Dance? Which will be left out of the field?