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
4 of 15

Florida Atlantic (21-7) (NET: 37)
1-1 (Q1), 6-4 (Q2), 7-0 (Q3), 7-2 (Q4)

Things haven’t quite gone as planned for the Owls coming off last season’s Final Four. Their massive double-overtime win over Arizona remains their only Quad 1 victory, as wins over Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, Butler, and several others haven’t aged as well as expected.

Unfortunately for the Owls, their November loss to Bryant is back down to Quad 4, pairing not-so-nicely with December’s loss at Florida Gulf Coast. Florida Atlantic has since dropped four road games in conference play, though at least all of them were Quad 2 games.

Florida Atlantic looked good earlier this week against SMU but fell on the road against Memphis, dulling what could have been a week to cement their place in the field. The Owls are three games back in the AAC race and still have tricky games against North Texas and Memphis that won’t even be Quad 1 games. Simply put, the Owls have to get on a winning roll to feel safe.

Gonzaga (21-6) (NET: 21)
1-5 (Q1), 2-1 (Q2), 7-0 (Q3), 11-0 (Q4)

By no means should Gonzaga feel safe, even with an impressive NET figure. Despite their recent history, Gonzaga hasn’t been the same this season. That lone Quad 1 win came at Kentucky just two weeks ago after blowing all of their chances in nonconference play.

The good news is that the Bulldogs remain in the thick of things because of a lack of bad losses. A one-point loss at Santa Clara wasn’t idea, but is still Quad 2 and not a resume-sinker by any means. Similarly, it’s hard to find too much fault in their nonconference defeats, even with double-digit losses against Connecticut, Purdue, and San Diego State.

The good news for Gonzaga is that they’ve looked impressive in recent weeks. Yes, they’re beating up on weak WCC teams, but at least they’re not slipping up and are riding a 6-game winning streak. This will be the most important week for the Bulldogs, who have potential Quad 1 opportunities at San Francisco and at Saint Mary’s in the final week of the regular season.