Busting Brackets

Bracketology 2024: Cincinnati, Northwestern, and St. John's highlight big Bubble Saturday

The Cincinnati Bearcats mascot crowd surfs after the students rushed the court at the conclusion of
The Cincinnati Bearcats mascot crowd surfs after the students rushed the court at the conclusion of / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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Welcome to the weekend watchlist. Each week I will take a look at five games or storylines that should be on everyone's radar for the upcoming weekend. Sometimes these games will be some of the most high-profile ones but sometimes they will be some games that have a big impact on a team's season as they look toward March. Every Selection Sunday, we as fans and members of the media alike often have immediate questions when it comes to the final bracket. Such as, why is Team X seeded above Team Y? Or why did Team A get sent to a particularly region over Team B?

Over the last few seasons college basketball has put more of an emphasis on having some marquee matchups early in the year to try and generate more interest in the midst of college football season. It has worked two-fold for the sport, it has gotten the sport more early exposure without having to wait until January for more eyes to turn towards them. It also has begun to debunk the myth that the regular season in college basketball is meaningless, especially with more high-profile matchups early in the year that are looked at in March as games that can highly impact seeding.

Games from the first tip in early November until the last conference tournament champion is crowned, every game has ramifications in one way or another when it comes to a team’s chances to play in March. That is why, every week the weekend watchlist will look at the most important games from a bracketology standpoint and how they will impact the teams playing.

It is now January which means the bubble is coming more into focus as the days and weeks go by. If you’re a team that is near or on either side of the cutline, those resume-building opportunities become more and more magnified and important. With that in mind, this Saturday is loaded with such games for teams currently in the bubble conversation. Here are five bubble games for teams looking to make a stronger case to be put into the field.