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

By Brian Bennett3h agoSupported By

(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. 6 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.


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 Dayton 16 Stetson 16 Grambling Dayton 11 Virginia 11 Indiana State Dayton 16 Wagner 16 Norfolk State Dayton 11 St. John’s 11 Texas A&M Midwest Region (Detroit) Indianapolis 1 Purdue 16 South Dakota State Indianapolis 8 Nevada 9 Oklahoma Pittsburgh 4 Kentucky 13 Samford Pittsburgh 5 Clemson 12 James Madison Indianapolis 3 Marquette 14 Oakland Indianapolis 6 Saint Mary’s 11 Indiana State Virginia Memphis 2 Baylor 15 Montana Memphis 7 Boise State 10 Mississippi State South Region (Dallas) Memphis 1 Houston 16 Wagner Norfolk State Memphis 8 Northwestern 9 Florida Atlantic Spokane 4 Illinois 13 Toledo Spokane 5 South Carolina 12 McNeese State Pittsburgh 3 Creighton 14 Morehead State Pittsburgh 6 Washington State 11 Richmond Charlotte 2 North Carolina 15 Longwood Charlotte 7 Gonzaga 10 Drake West Region (Los Angeles) Charlotte 1 Tennessee 16 Stetson Grambling Charlotte 8 Wisconsin 9 Colorado State Salt Lake City 4 BYU 13 UC Irvine Salt Lake City 5 Auburn 12 Grand Canyon Omaha 3 Kansas 14 Charleston Omaha 6 San Diego State 11 Texas A&M St. John’s Salt Lake City 2 Arizona 15 Sam Houston State Salt Lake City 7 Texas 10 Seton Hall East Region (Boston) Brooklyn 1 Connecticut 16 Quinnipiac Brooklyn 8 Texas Tech 9 Nebraska Spokane 4 Alabama 13 Princeton Spokane 5 Utah State 12 South Florida Brooklyn 3 Duke 14 Vermont Brooklyn 6 Florida 11 TCU Omaha 2 Iowa State 15 Colgate Omaha 7 Dayton 10 Michigan State

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
Big Ten 6
Big East 5
Mountain West 5
Pac-12 2
A10 2
Missouri Valley 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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Brian Bennett is a senior editor for The Athletic covering college basketball. He previously wrote about college sports for ESPN.com for nine years and The (Louisville) Courier-Journal for nine years prior to that. Follow Brian on Twitter @GBrianBennett