Busting Brackets

Bracketology 2024: Drake, Grand Canyon among mid-majors under at-large consideration

Dec 30, 2023; East Lansing, Michigan, USA; Indiana State Sycamores head coach Josh Schertz disputes
Dec 30, 2023; East Lansing, Michigan, USA; Indiana State Sycamores head coach Josh Schertz disputes / Dale Young-USA TODAY Sports
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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 particular 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.

January is nearly over and conference tournaments are just over a month away. By now we know there are games every night with bracketology implications, so far this week’s edition of the Weekend Watchlist we are going to forgo looking at some of those games. Instead, let’s look at some teams from traditionally one or two-bid leagues that could be in line for at-large consideration should they not win their conference tournament. I’m not saying these teams will be in the at-large conversation no matter what happens to them. On the contrary, the margin of error for these teams is still razor-thin, they would likely have to have a stellar conference record, at least make the semifinals of their conference tournament, and lose to another favorite.