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
14 of 15

Villanova (15-12) (NET: 38)
3-8 (Q1), 6-1 (Q2), 2-3 (Q3), 4-0 (Q4)

Back in November, Villanova got their season started off in style as they won the Battle 4 Atlantis, getting Quad 1 wins against Texas Tech and North Carolina. They’d win at Creighton a few weeks later but shockingly have had zero Quad 1 wins the last two months, though plenty of Quad 2 victories have come their way.

One thing we cannot stop talking about is how dreadful things went for the Wildcats in the nonconference. Playing as part of the Big 5, Villanova picked up Quad 3 losses to Penn, Saint Joseph’s, and Drexel, somehow faltering against all three of those local rivals.

The Wildcats lost by 24 at UConn this past weekend but had won four of five games before that point. The program had a really tough stretch in earlier weeks but have at least been playing better ball as of late. After hosting Georgetown on Tuesday, Villanova has three more Quad 1 chances and need to take advantage of these opportunities; they aren’t getting into the dance if they’re barely above .500.

Virginia (20-8) (NET: 49)
3-4 (Q1), 3-3 (Q2), 8-1 (Q3), 6-0 (Q4)

Virginia had an 8-game winning streak earlier in the season that really elevated them, even if just one of those wins came against a Quad 1 opponent. Their notable wins include Florida back in early November, a road win at Clemson during that streak, and a home date with Wake Forest just over a week ago.

Unfortunately, the Cavaliers have lost three of their last four games, including home opportunities against Pittsburgh and North Carolina. The bad loss was a Quad 3 clunker at Notre Dame several weeks back, but things go south quick when the Cavaliers have an off-day, losing all eight of their games by double figures.

If you look at the resume, the Cavaliers have some nice wins and have won plenty of games. They might not have the same level of quality wins as some other teams, but it’s a decent resume all-around. Unfortunately, Virginia plays a rough style of basketball and are susceptible to some pretty bad losses as we’ve seen. Can they avoid that kind of performance at Duke this weekend?