clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bracketology 2024: North Carolina Returns To And Houston Remains On The Top Line

Even with Saturday’s loss at Phog Allen Fieldhouse, the Cougars remain a top seed—while Kansas dropped down to last No. 2 seed following a Big Monday road loss in the Little Apple. As for the Tar Heels, they took care of Duke in the first of the pair’s two meetings of the season.

A throwback look at the top four seeds in each region of the projected bracket for Tuesday, February 6, 2024.
Graphic by Chris Dobbertean using logos (mostly) from SportsLogos.net.

Text-Only Bracket for Screen Readers and Seed List

Key:

  • Conference logos indicate auto bid holders.
  • Colors next to seed numbers represent movement relative to Friday’s bracket: gold (new entrant), green (up 1+ seed line), red (down 1+ seed line)

Graphics by Chris Dobbertean using logos from either SportsLogos.net, Wikimedia Commons, or the institutions’ websites.

Ins and Outs (5)

In: Butler, Louisiana Tech (CUSA), Oakland (Horizon), Virginia, Washington State
Out: Green Bay (Horizon), Providence, Sam Houston (CUSA), Seton Hall, Villanova

Lowest-ranked NET at-large: Ole Miss (61)
Lowest-ranked KenPom at-large: Ole Miss (63)
Highest-ranked NET exclusion: Gonzaga (26)
Highest-ranked KenPom exclusion: Gonzaga (21)

23 single-bid conferences

Three Big East teams—Providence, Seton Hall, and Villanova—all dropped out of today’s field, with just one—Butler—replacing them, after the Bulldogs’ stunning win at Creighton on Friday. Virginia, dominant over Miami in the first Big Monday game last night, and Washington State, who needed OT to defeat archrival Washington on Saturday, are the other two new at-large entrants. Kansas State put itself right back into contention with Monday’s home OT win over Kansas, while Gonzaga remains outside of the “First Eight Out” after Saturday’s home setback to Saint Mary’s.

Looking Ahead

All times are p.m. Eastern. My viewing picks in bold.

Tuesday

DePaul at St. John’s, 6:30 (FS1)
Rutgers at Maryland, 6:30 (BTN)
Ole Miss at South Carolina, 6:30 (SECN)

Clemson at North Carolina, 7 (ESPN)
Oklahoma State at Houston, 7 (ESPN2)
Wake Forest at Georgia Tech, 7 (ESPNU)
Florida State at Boston College, 7 (ACCN)
Indiana at Ohio State, 7 (Peacock ($))
Central Michigan at Akron, 7 (ESPN+ ($))

Dayton at Saint Joseph’s, 8 (CBSSN)
Iowa State at Texas, 8 (LHN)
BYU at Oklahoma, 8 (ESPN+ ($))

Butler at UConn, 8:30 (FS1)
Kentucky at Vanderbilt, 8:30 (SECN)
New Mexico at Wyoming, 8:30 (MWN)

Texas Tech at Baylor, 9 (ESPN)
Charlotte at South Florida, 9 (ESPN2)
Nevada at Utah State, 9 (MWN)
Boise State at Colorado State, 9 (MWN)
Michigan State at Minnesota, 9 (Peacock ($))

San Diego State at Air Force, 10:30 (FS1)

Saint Mary’s at Pacific, 11 (ESPN2)

Tuesday’s key matchups are mostly set for the evening’s late windows, though the early tips include a potentially spicy Ole Miss-South Carolina showdown and yet another Clemson attempt to win in Chapel Hill for the first time.

There are two intriguing Mountain West games streaming at 7 Mountain and a big one in the American—where two of the conference’s three co-leaders, Charlotte and South Florida, meet in Tampa. The Bulls have won seven in a row (for the first time ever) and the 49ers eight straight. As someone whose earliest college basketball on TV experiences included seeing the two teams in the syndicated Sun Belt package back in the 80s, this has been a long time coming.

Wednesday

Georgetown at Seton Hall, 6:30 (FS2)
High Point at UNC Asheville, 6:30 (ESPN+ ($))

Alabama at Auburn, 7 (ESPN2)
Villanova at Xavier, 7 (FS1)
Wisconsin at Michigan, 7 (BTN)
Pittsburgh at NC State, 7 (ESPNU)
LSU at Tennessee, 7 (SECN)
Louisville at Syracuse, 7 (ACCN)
Western Kentucky at Louisiana Tech, 7 (ESPN+ ($))
Colgate at Boston University, 7 (ESPN+ ($))
Valparaiso at Indiana State, 7 (ESPN+ ($))

Portland at Gonzaga, 8 (CBSSN)
Southern Illinois at Drake, 8 (MC-22/ESPN+ ($))
Bradley at Evansville, 8 (ESPN+ ($))
James Madison at Arkansas State, 8 (ESPN+ ($))
SMU at Rice, 8 (ESPN+ ($))
App State at Texas State, 8 (ESPN+ ($))

Creighton at Providence, 8:30 (FS2)

Texas A&M at Missouri, 9 (ESPN2)
Nebraska at Northwestern, 9 (BTN)
FGCU at Eastern Kentucky, 9 (ESPNU/ESPN+ ($))
Georgia at Mississippi State, 9 (SECN)
Notre Dame at Duke, 9 (ACCN)
UCLA at Stanford, 9 (Pac-12 Networks)

Wednesday’s slate is “mid” as the kids would say. The two highlights of the early tips are Bama’s trip to Auburn—where a season sweep will be on the Tide’s minds—and the Big South showdown between league-leading High Point and 2023 NCAA rep UNC Asheville. The Panthers won their home game by an 84-79 score on January 10th.

In the later tips, Creighton travels to Providence with both teams coming off defeats over the weekend—the Jays to Butler as noted above and the Friars at Villanova in a bubble showdown on Sunday night. Nebraska heads to Evanston coming off a big home win over Wisconsin and OT setback at Illinois—which the Huskers hope won’t turn into a missed opportunity. The Wildcats, however, have dropped consecutive OT decisions to Purdue and Minnesota—and NU has played an extra session in three of their last four contests overall. Meanwhile, in Starkville, the Miss. State Bulldogs welcome their canine rivals from Athens—who have slid down the bubble pecking order thanks to three losses in a row.

Thursday

Milwaukee at Youngstown State, 6:30 (ESPN+ ($))

Memphis at Temple, 7 (ESPN2)
Iowa at Penn State, 7 (BTN)
Samford at UNCG, 7 (ESPNU/ESPN+ ($))
Green Bay at Robert Morris, 7 (Sportsnet Pittsburgh/ESPN+ ($))
Drexel at UNCW, 7 (FloHoops ($))
Merrimack at LIU, 7 (NEC Front Row)
Sacred Heart at Central Connecticut, 7 (NEC Front Row)
Oakland at Northern Kentucky, 7 (ESPN+ ($))
Saint Peter’s at Quinnipiac, 7 (ESPN+ ($))
Vermont at NJIT, 7 (ESPN+ ($))

Arizona State at Colorado, 8 (FS1)
Arizona at Utah, 8 (Pac-12 Networks)

Florida Atlantic at UAB, 9 (ESPN2)
SIUE at Morehead State, 9 (ESPNU/ESPN+ ($))

Washington at Oregon, 10 (FS1)
Washington State at Oregon State, 10 (Pac-12 Networks)
UC Irvine at UC Santa Barbara, 10 (ESPN+ ($))

San Francisco at Pepperdine, 11 (ESPNU/ESPN+ ($))

UC San Diego at Hawai’i, 12 a.m. (Spectrum Sports Hawai’i/ESPN+ ($))

Thursday is highlighted by some key tests for mid-major conference leaders—with the CAA and SoCon taking center stage with top-of-the-table matchups. Both UNC squads—Greensboro and Wilmington—are aiming to avenge road losses to their respective leagues’ current leaders.

Later, there are key bubble tilts in the Pac-12 with four of the conference’s at-large contenders in action—though only Washington-Oregon is a head-to-head showdown within the group. Meanwhile, the third American co-leader, Florida Atlantic, heads to UAB aiming to repeat its 13-point home win from January 14th.

Notable Midweek Byes

  • ACC: Miami (Mon.-L), Virginia (Mon.-W), Virginia Tech
  • A 10: Richmond
  • Big 12: Cincinnati, Kansas (Mon.-L), Kansas State (Mon.-W), TCU, UCF
  • Big East: Marquette
  • Big Ten: Illinois, Purdue
  • MW: UNLV
  • SEC: Florida

Eight teams in today’s projected bracket and six teams on the wrong side of the cut line will sit the midweek window out. Seven of these teams have crucial tilts set for Saturday: Cincinnati (vs. Houston), Florida (vs. Auburn), Kansas (vs. Baylor), Kansas State (at BYU), Illinois (at Michigan State), Miami (vs. North Carolina), and TCU (at Iowa State). I’ll remind you again of those showdowns—and everything else on tap for Super Bowl weekend—alongside Friday’s projection.