March Madness 2024 Bubble Watch: Last Four In, First Four Out, more on Feb. 20

The bubble is soft this year, leaving plenty of room for teams to make their case to play in the NCAA Tournament. Who's in and who's out in the latest edition of FanSided's Bubble Watch?

Pacific v Gonzaga
Pacific v Gonzaga / William Mancebo/GettyImages
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Bubble Watch: First Four Out

Team

Conference

Record

NET

Last Game

Next Game

Utah

Pac-12

16-10 (7-8)

49

W 70-69 At UCLA

At Colorado 2/24

Providence

Big East

17-9 (8-7)

60

W 81-70 Vs. DePaul

At Xavier 2/21

Villanova

Big East

14-11 (7-7)

35

W 70-54 Vs. Georgetown

Vs. Butler 2/20

Wake Forest

ACC

16-9 (8-6)

40

L 49-47 At No. 21 Virginia

Vs. Pittsburgh 2/20

Splitting the Southern California trip in 2024 is not good enough for Utah, which lost to a middling USC team before barely surviving a bottom-feeding UCLA squad. The Utes are 8-9 against the top two quadrants, with three of those wins in Quad 1, and need to win at Colorado on Saturday to stay ahead of the Buffaloes in the bubble hierarchy.

The Friars have stabilized nicely now without Bryce Hopkins and have a solid 4-6 mark in Quad 1 that was bolstered with a key victory over fellow Big East bubble team St. John's last week. Going to Xavier (who beat the Friars by 21 last month in Rhode Island) on Wednesday isn't a gimme but Providence really needs that game to ensure a split on a two-game trip with the back leg coming at Marquette on Saturday.

Villanova is just 3-6 in Quad 1 but those wins are of the massive variety (North Carolina and Texas Tech on a neutral floor to go along with a road win at Creighton), but this resume needs win accumulation to offset three Quad 3 losses from Big 5 play and a five-game losing streak in Big East play. Avenging a double-overtime loss against Butler on Tuesday is important since the Wildcats' next game is at UCONN, which will be very difficult to get.

The metrics say that Wake Forest is a bubble team but their poor results in Quad 1 (1-6) and away from home (3-9 in road/neutral games) are a big reason why they're on the outside looking in right now. Two home games this week have become must-wins for the Demon Deacons, with Saturday's rematch against Duke being their last chance to prove they can beat a top team in the NCAA Tournament.