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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Boise State (17-8) (NET: 32)
5-5 (Q1), 2-2 (Q2), 4-1 (Q3), 6-0 (Q4)

Part of a group of successful MWC teams, Boise State has stayed out of trouble in recent weeks, winning all three games they’ve played the last two weeks. None of those were great wins, though they already owned five against Quad 1 opposition, with the most recent coming at New Mexico at the end of January.

That downer of a Quad 3 loss came at home against a UNLV team that’s actually creepy into contention. The Broncos were swept by Utah State within the last month, but didn’t have any terrible losses in the nonconference slate, most notably falling to Washington State, Butler, and a few other bubble teams.

What Boise State has done this past week has been important in avoiding the upset loss, something at least one of their league rivals couldn’t do in the last seven days. That record against top competition is impressive and the Broncos look good for another trip to the Dance, especially if they can take advantage of a few more Quad 1 opportunities before the postseason.

Butler (15-12) (NET: 62)
3-11 (Q1), 4-1 (Q2), 2-0 (Q3), 6-0 (Q4)

It’s fair to say things have not been going Butler’s way in recent weeks. The Bulldogs still have those three Quad 1 wins, though the total has decreased due to NET fluidity. A win at Creighton opened up February in a major way, coming just a few weeks after a win at Marquette, but it’s been rough ever since.

Butler hasn’t had any bad losses, with the lone Quad 2 loss coming against Seton Hall several weeks back. What’s stung for the Bulldogs has been missed opportunities. Obviously, 11 losses against Quad 1 is a lot of wasted opportunities, including in all four games in their current four-game losing streak.

The Bulldogs have worked their way out of the field with this recent skid, but is it too late to fix things? They clearly need to avert this recent trend and have three winnable games to finish the regular season. Beating St. John’s, DePaul, and Xavier in order won’t push the needle too much but the opposite would be disaster in Indianapolis.