Predicting the 2024 NCAA Tournament Bracket, Championship Week Part 5

Is your team in the field of 68 in the latest Bracketology projections at ClutchPoints?

Welcome to another edition of Bracketology here at ClutchPoints, friends! We’re up to 14 tickets that have been officially punched to the Big Dance, and while none can be secured on Thursday, it’s still a loaded slate of games that have all kinds of bubble implications. As you’ll soon see, we’ve got an extended Examining The Bubble section below, and I don’t see why I should waste any more time rambling up here. Let’s get to it!

Bracketology Bracket 

NCAA Tournament Bracketology Bracket

Bracketology Breakdown 

Top Seeds: Purdue Boilermakers (Midwest Region), Connecticut Huskies (East Region), Houston Cougars (South Region), Tennessee Volunteers (West Region)

Multi-Bid Leagues: AAC (2), ACC (4), Atlantic 10 (2), Big 12 (9), Big East (5), Big Ten (6), Mountain West (5), Missouri Valley (2), Pac-12 (3), SEC (7), WCC (2)

Last Four Byes: Colorado State, Mississippi State, Seton Hall, Oklahoma

Last Four In: St. John’s, Colorado, Indiana State, Virginia

First Four Out: Villanova, New Mexico, Wake Forest, Texas A&M

Next Four Out: Providence, Pittsburgh, Kansas State, Iowa

Still Alive: Memphis, UNLV, Ohio State, Utah

Examining Thursday’s Bubble Matchups

Mississippi State vs. LSU (SEC Tournament, 1 PM EST, SEC Network)
-Mississippi State is likely to secure a bid as long as they can get past LSU and advance to the SEC Tournament quarterfinals. An upset win over Tennessee probably wouldn’t even be required.

Wichita State vs. Memphis (AAC Tournament, 2:30 PM EST, ESPNU)
-Memphis can keep their slim at-large hopes alive with a win over Wichita State. Of course, the Tigers could take the decision out of the hands of the Selection Committee by going all the way and winning the AAC Tournament.

St. John’s vs. Seton Hall (Big East Tournament, 2:30 PM EST, FS1)
-Our first Win and You’re In matchup of the day. Though there is no guarantee that either team could be given short of winning the Big East Tournament, both the Johnnie’s and the Pirates take a big step in the right direction by advancing to the Big East Tournament semifinals. For St. John’s, it’s especially critical, considering Seton Hall swept the two regular season meetings between these two teams.

Wake Forest vs. Pittsburgh (ACC Tournament, 2:30 PM EST,  ESPN2)
-At the same time as our first Win and You’re In matchup of the day, we also have a Lose and You’re Out matchup in the ACC Tournament. Right now, Wake Forest and Pittsburgh are both on the outside of the bubble looking in, and while a win in the ACC quarterfinals wouldn’t clinch a bid, a loss would certainly ensure that either the Demon Deacons or the Panthers will remain on the wrong side of the bubble on Selection Sunday.

San Diego State vs. UNLV (Mountain West Tournament, 5:30 PM EST, CBS Sports)
-San Diego State has already done plenty to feel great on Selection Sunday, but the surging Runnin’ Rebels of UNLV still have some work to do. UNLV is 5-5 in Quad 1 games and 7-3 on the road, impressive marks that the Committee will be fond of. A 5-3 record in Quad 4 games is a totally different story. But improving their Quad 1 record to 6-5 with another win over San Diego State suddenly makes their at-large hopes very realistic.

Ohio State vs. Iowa (Big Ten Tournament, 6:30 PM EST, Big Ten Network)
-Our second Lose and You’re Out matchup of the day is in the Big Ten, where the Buckeyes and Hawkeyes will look to advance to the quarterfinals, where an all-important Quad 1 matchup with Illinois awaits. Neither Ohio State or Iowa can secure an at-large berth today, but it’s possible they could with a win tomorrow.

Kansas State vs. Iowa State (Big 12 Tournament, 7:00 PM EST, ESPN2)
-Kansas State kept their slim bubble hopes alive with a win over the Texas Longhorns in opening round action in the Big 12 Tournament. Now the Wildcats look to upset the Iowa State Cyclones for the second time in five days.

Providence vs. Creighton (Big East Tournament, 7:00 PM EST, FS1)
-If Big East Player of the Year Devin Carter wants to go dancing in March, the Friars are going to have to win outright as 7.5 point underdogs against Creighton, who is playing to potentially wrap up a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Ole Miss vs. Texas A&M (SEC Tournament, 7:00 PM EST, SEC Network)
-Apologies to Ole Miss, but an uninspiring run in SEC play and a subpar NET Ranking (92) have put the Rebels in the position where in order to feel good on Selection Sunday, they’ll need to have the SEC Tournament trophy in their locker room with them. Texas A&M may be in the same boat, though their bubble prospects are admittedly better. An impressive 11-9 record in Quad 1 and Quad 2 games have the Aggies in the First Four Out, but avoiding a stumble against Ole Miss is required.

Duquesne vs. Dayton (Atlantic 10 Tournament, 7:30 PM EST, USA Network)
-Dayton is safely off the bubble, but the rest of the teams on the bubble will still be keeping a close eye on the Atlantic 10 Tournament. If Dayton can run the gauntlet, the Atlantic 10 becomes a one-bid league, which opens up a bubble berth.

Colorado State vs. Nevada (Mountain West Tournament, 9:00 PM EST, CBS Sports)
-For context, I’m slightly lower on Colorado State than most of the other Bracketologists out there. A rough two-week stretch in mid-February where the Rams lost games to San Diego State, New Mexico, UNLV and Nevada has me a little shook. Yes, three of those four were on the road, and a home win over Utah State is sandwiched between those losses. But in order to be removed from the bubble entirely, the Rams need to find a way to win against a Nevada squad that has already beaten Colorado State twice this season.

Villanova vs. Marquette (Big East Tournament, 9:30 PM EST, FS1)
-Nova narrowly avoided an unprecedented and embarrassing loss at the hands of DePaul on Wednesday night. If anything, the eye test indicated that Nova is a questionable inclusion, but the Wildcats can make their one-point win against the Big East’s basement dweller a distant memory if they can upset the Tyler Kolek-less Marquette Golden Eagles.

Boston College vs. Virginia (ACC Tournament, 9:30 PM EST, ESPN)
-Boston College already dashed the bubble hopes of one team from the state of Virginia when they upset the Hokies on Wednesday afternoon. Now the 11th-seeded Eagles turn their attention to the Virginia Cavaliers, who are currently the last team in the field of 68 according to my projections. A win over Boston College likely wouldn’t move the needle all that much for Virginia, but a loss — plus some ground-gaining wins from other teams on the bubble, and the Cavaliers could be in trouble on Selection Sunday.

New Mexico vs. Boise State (Mountain West Tournament, 11:30 PM EST, CBS Sports)
-New Mexico has an impressive NET (25) and home wins over some of the top competition in the Mountain West (SDSU, Utah State, Nevada, and Colorado State). But after starting the season 18-3, the Lobos have gone just 4-6 since, dropping nearly every road game of note, plus a particularly ugly home loss at the hands of Air Force. A win against Boise State keeps New Mexico very much in the running for an at-large bid, but a loss could be a deathblow to their March Madness hopes.

Utah vs. Colorado (Pac-12 Tournament, 11:30 PM EST, FS1)
-Utah is barely clinging to hope, but Colorado’s bubble hopes are looking solid after winning six consecutive games to close out the regular season. A win against Utah could be all the Buffaloes need to move from Last Four In to First Four Byes, but if Utah can win the third Rumble In The Rockies matchup of the season, Colorado’s at-large chances are officially on the rocks.

Stetson (Atlantic Sun)

Montana State (Big Sky)

Longwood (Big South)

Charleston (CAA)

Oakland (Horizon)

Drake (Missouri Valley)

Wagner (NEC)

Morehead State (Ohio Valley)

Colgate (Patriot League)

Samford (Southern Conference)

McNeese State (Southland)

South Dakota State (Summit)

James Madison (Sun Belt)

Saint Mary’s (WCC)

Remaining Bracketology Schedule

Saturday March 16th – Championship Week Part 6
-The Championship Saturday Entertainment Index

Sunday March 17th (AM) – Selection Sunday Part 1
-Sorting Through Championship Saturday

Sunday March 17th (PM) – Selection Sunday Part 2
-The Final Bracketology Projections

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