Busting Brackets

Bracketology 2024: Bubble Watch Updates of key teams in early March

Mar 2, 2024; Blacksburg, Virginia, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies forward Mylyjael Poteat (34) dunks the
Mar 2, 2024; Blacksburg, Virginia, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies forward Mylyjael Poteat (34) dunks the / Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
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Villanova (17-12) (NET: 26)
4-8 (Q1), 6-1 (Q2), 2-3 (Q3), 5-0 (Q4)

While their record isn’t exactly inspiring, Villanova’s NET is in great shape and they’ve now won five of their last six games, playing solid basketball to finish the season. Notably, the Wildcats got a great win at Providence on Saturday, beating the Friars by 11 in Rhode Island.

That was the fourth Quad 1 win but the first in more than two months. Villanova made waves with their performance at the Battle 4 Atlantis, with great wins over North Carolina and Texas Tech. Other impressive wins include Creighton (on the road) and Memphis (also in the Bahamas).

The Wildcats have been digging themselves out of an early hole, as they dropped Quad 3 games to Penn, Saint Joseph’s, and Drexel as part of Philadelphia’s Big 5 faceoffs. The positive here is that a home loss to St. John’s is the only other real blemish on the resume.

How do you balance a Battle 4 Atlantis title with that awful performance against their rivals? We don’t have the answer to that question, but the Wildcats have two Quad 1 opportunities in the final week, heading to Seton Hall before a home date with Creighton this weekend.

Virginia (21-9) (NET: 49)
2-6 (Q1), 6-3 (Q2), 7-0 (Q3), 6-0 (Q4)

Less than a month ago, Virginia looked like a certainty for March Madness and one of the ACC’s top squads. Now, they’ve lost four of their last six and continue to lose these abysmally ugly games, falling by 25 points at Duke this past Saturday.

As for the wins, the Cavaliers scored an early Quad 1 win over Florida way back in the opening week of the season and added to that total by winning at Clemson during that hot streak in early February. Wins over Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest sit at Quad 2.

When the Cavaliers lose, it gets ugly, as all nine of their losses have come by double digits. The good news it that they haven’t had any truly terrible defeats, with Quad 2 losses against Pittsburgh, NC State, and Notre Dame; though there are some really bad performances on this resume.

Would Virginia actually do anything if they were chosen for the NCAA Tournament? They’ve proven that they can win close games and should do the same this weekend against Georgia Tech. They’ve also shown that things go south fast, as this Virginia squad has scored less than 50 points in four of their last five games.