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
6 of 15

Kansas State (16-11) (NET: 73)
3-6 (Q1), 4-4 (Q2), 3-1 (Q3), 7-0 (Q4)

It’s almost hard to be a Big 12 team and to not have a stockpile of Quad 1 wins. The most impressive performance of the season for these Wildcats came when they beat Kansas three weeks ago in Manhattan, though they’ve added other wins against Baylor and most recently BYU.

An opening night loss to USC has aged terribly and is now a Quad 3 loss. Further losses to Miami, Nebraska, and Oklahoma State sat as Quad 2 defeats. It’s also hard to say that Kansas State is earning their way into the field as they’ve now lost seven of their last nine games.

Are we wasting our breath talking about these Wildcats? This weekend’s double-digit win against BYU was a great launching point, but that NET is still in rough shape and there’s a lot of work ahead. We’re talking about needing to win at least two against Cincinnati, Kansas, and Iowa State and then doing work in the Big 12 Tournament.

Michigan State (17-11) (NET: 24)
3-7 (Q1), 5-4 (Q2), 5-0 (Q3), 4-0 (Q4)

Expected to be a national contender in the preseason, a rough start to the season was turned around by a big Quad 1 win against Baylor. The Spartans added more to their resume with wins over Illinois and a sweep over Maryland, though they’d clearly like to add to that Quad 1 win total.

Their opening night loss to James Madison was horrific but aged nicely and is still just Quad 2. What’s really stung for the Spartans has been their more recent play. Michigan State picked up a pair of dreadful home losses this past week alone, falling to Iowa and Ohio State in East Lansing.

It’s fair to say that Michigan State is not trending in the right direction here at the end of February. They’ve lost both games since an impressive win against Illinois and only have limited opportunities left. Do we really expect this team to win at Purdue this weekend? If not, they better take care of Northwestern and Indiana and not fall flat in the Big Ten Tournament.