Busting Brackets

Bracketology 2024: Bubble Watch Updates of key teams in late February

Feb 24, 2024; Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA;  Wake Forest Demon Deacons forward Efton Reid III
Feb 24, 2024; Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA; Wake Forest Demon Deacons forward Efton Reid III / Cory Knowlton-USA TODAY Sports
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Oregon (18-9) (NET: 63)
2-4 (Q1), 4-4 (Q2), 7-1 (Q3), 5-0 (Q4)

The Pac-12 has two teams certainly in the NCAA Tournament right now but it’s a lot of uncertainty outside of that. Oregon scored their Quad 1 success in one long weekend with road wins at Washington and Washington State but hasn’t really taken advantage of other opportunities to build this resume.

The Ducks have that Quad 3 loss that came against Santa Clara down in Florida in November. There’s a flurry of Quad 2 losses as the Ducks have failed to sustain consistency in the Pac-12 this year. Most recently, they lost at California this past weekend and also lost in February to a UCLA team having its own tough season.

Is there a path forward for the Ducks, especially with a less than stellar mark against highly-rated teams? What hurts Oregon is that they’ve won five of their last 11 games and aren’t exactly thriving, even in a weaker power league like the Pac-12. They’ll be at Arizona this weekend and will need to make a good impression there and the following two weeks if they have any dream of dancing.

Pittsburgh (18-9) (NET: 47)
3-5 (Q1), 2-2 (Q2), 6-2 (Q3), 7-0 (Q4)

Working their way into the bubble scene in recent weeks, Pittsburgh got a big win at Duke back in late January and added further Quad 2 wins over Wake Forest and Virginia in recent weeks. The Panthers have actually won six of their last seven games, with several road upsets in that mix.

They survived nonconference play mostly unblemished, but picked up Quad 3 losses to Missouri back in November and lost at home against Syracuse a few weeks later. The Panthers have been avoiding further mistakes lately, with their most recent ‘bad’ loss coming at Miami at the end of January.

Pittsburgh is only in this position because of those impressive wins, especially with five true road wins in ACC play. Opportunities aren’t exactly aplenty in this year’s version of the ACC, but the Panthers have done what they can to get to this point. A very important road game at Clemson will be their last Quad 1 chance of the regular season and an opportunity to prove they deserve a ticket.