2024 NCAA Tournament Bracket Watch: Big night for Saint Mary’s and … Wagner?


(Editor’s note: This is part of the Bracket Central Series, an inside look at the run-up to the men’s and women’s NCAA Tournaments, along with analysis and picks during the tournaments.)

We feel 100 percent confident in at least one of our bracket picks after Tuesday: Wagner is going to Dayton.

The Seahawks, who ended the regular season 13-15 and were the No. 7 seed in the Northeast Conference tournament, upset Merrimack to clinch a bid to the NCAA Tournament. (Please, explain to us again why the tournament needs to be expanded so more teams have “access?”) The NEC ranked second-to-last among conferences this season, and you’d be hard-pressed to find an NCAA Tournament team with worse metrics than Wagner: 303rd in the NET, 293rd in KenPom, 11-10 (!) in Quad 4. That’s a No. 16-seed-play-in-game team if we’ve ever seen one.

What, you were hoping for a more interesting bracket update? Sorry, but Tuesday was relatively calm. We did get five more auto qualifiers, including Wagner and highlighted by Saint Mary’s beating Gonzaga in the WCC. Yes, the Zags really were in trouble of missing the tournament in early February. They aren’t now. We didn’t even change the seeding for either team (Gaels are No. 6 seed, Gonzaga a 7), though you could convince us either side could move up a line or two.

There will be some bubble teams open conference tournament action on Wednesday. Wake Forest plays Notre Dame in a must-win game for the Demon Deacons. TCU is probably getting in no matter what, but a loss to Oklahoma would leave the Horned Frogs on awfully shaky ground. Providence needs to beat Georgetown to keep its hopes alive; same for New Mexico against Air Force and Villanova against DePaul.

Anything can happen. Just ask Wagner.

GO DEEPER

Championship week conference tournament guide, Vol. 2: The Power 6 takes center stage

Bracket Watch will appear daily between now and Sunday, with a short update before the 6 p.m. ET selection show if warranted.

First Four Out Next Four Out Last Four In Last Four Byes

Villanova

Providence

Virginia

Florida Atlantic

New Mexico

Pitt

St. John’s

Seton Hall

Colorado

Kansas State

Indiana State

Michigan State

Wake Forest

Iowa

Texas A&M

TCU

Multi-bid leagues

League Bids

Big 12

9

SEC

8

Big Ten

6

Big East

5

Mountain West

5

ACC

4

Pac-12

2

A10

2

AAC

2

Missouri Valley

2

WCC

2

Seed list

1

Purdue

AQ

2

Houston

AQ

3

UConn

AQ

4

Tennessee

AQ

5

North Carolina

AQ

6

Arizona

AQ

7

Baylor

8

Iowa State

9

Marquette

10

Creighton

11

Kansas

12

Duke

13

Kentucky

14

Illinois

15

BYU

16

Alabama

17

Auburn

18

South Carolina

19

Utah State

AQ

20

Clemson

21

Florida

22

San Diego State

23

Washington State

24

Saint Mary’s

AQ

25

Gonzaga

26

Dayton

27

Boise State

28

Texas

29

Nevada

30

Texas Tech

31

Wisconsin

32

Northwestern

33

Nebraska

34

Colorado State

35

Florida Atlantic

36

Oklahoma

37

Mississippi State

38

Seton Hall

39

Michigan State

40

Drake

AQ

41

TCU

42

Virginia

43

St. John’s

44

Indiana State

45

Texas A&M

46

Richmond

AQ

47

South Florida

AQ

48

James Madison

AQ

49

Grand Canyon

AQ

50

McNeese Sate

AQ

51

Samford

AQ

52

UC Irvine

AQ

53

Princeton

AQ

54

Toledo

AQ

55

Vermont

AQ

56

Charleston

AQ

57

Oakland

AQ

58

Morehead State

AQ

59

Colgate

AQ

60

Sam Houston State

AQ

61

Montana

AQ

62

Longwood

AQ

63

Quinnipiac

AQ

64

South Dakota State

AQ

65

Stetson

AQ

66

Norfolk State

AQ

67

Grambling

AQ

68

Wagner

AQ

The Bracket Central series is part of a partnership with E*TRADE.

The Athletic maintains full editorial independence. Partners have no control over or input into the reporting or editing process and do not review stories before publication.

(Top photo of Mitchell Saxen: Ian Maule / AP)





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