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Bracketology update for February 5: Is the West Coast Conference a one-bid league?

We’re now six weeks from Selection Sunday, and plenty of brand names have some work to do to avoid the NIT or worse.

Saint Mary’s Gaels guard Aidan Mahaney reacts to a foul during the second half against the Xavier Musketeers at T-Mobile Arena. Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The conference basketball season is about halfway done for most of the bigger leagues, and the field of 68 is starting to take shape for the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

St. Patrick’s Day doubles as Selection Sunday this year, which is the latest possible day on the calendar for The Big Dance to take place. Once again the Big 12 is the best league in the sport, with some bracketologists putting as many as 10 teams from the 14-team conference in the field. Via power ranking, most have it as Big East, SEC, Big Ten, ACC, and Pac-12 rounding out the top six leagues. The Mountain West and Atlantic 10 might be the only other multi-bid leagues, with the American, Missouri Valley, and West Coast lurking as potential bid thieves.

The MVC might be the most interesting of those leagues, with Indiana State and Drake having solid cases for bids even before Arch Madness begins. But it’s a down year for the WCC due to Gonzaga’s continued struggles, with Saint Mary’s the leader in that conference as of now, and the San Francisco Dons not doing enough to garner at-large consideration on their own. And the American might be a one-bid league if Florida Atlantic wins the auto bid, SMU fails to get any Quad 1 wins (0-2 so far), and Memphis continues to implode.

Here are the latest bubbles from four bracketologists:

Last four byes

Joe Lunardi ESPN

Texas
Providence
Texas A&M
Seton Hall

Sonny Giuliano Clutch Points

Boise State
Seton Hall
Nebraska
Florida

Shelby Mast BracketWag.com

Texas
Texas A&M
Michigan State
Gonzaga

Last four in

Joe Lunardi

Memphis
Nebraska
Boise St.
Colorado

Mike DeCourcy, Fox Sports

Memphis
Texas A&M
Washington State
Virginia

Sonny Giuliano

Virginia
Memphis
Colorado
Providence

Shelby Mast

Mississippi State
Washington State
Memphis
Virginia

First four out

Joe Lunardi

Florida
Washington St.
Gonzaga
Butler

Mike DeCourcy

Florida
Nevada
Colorado
Kansas State

Sonny Giuliano

Cincinnati
Washington State
Butler
Villanova

Shelby Mast

Providence
Oregon
Colorado
Nevada

Next four out

Joe Lunardi

Virginia
Cincinnati
Villanova
Oregon

Mike DeCourcy

Wake Forest
Drake
Virginia Tech
Butler

Sonny Giuliano

Gonzaga
Oregon
Nevada
Wake Forest

Shelby Mast

Saint Mary’s
Cincinnati
Richmond
Wake Forest

There are differences in how bracketologists handle teams. For example, even though Saint Mary’s is undefeated in West Coast Conference play with a two-game lead on Gonzaga, who they beat in Spokane on Saturday night, many will still have Gonzaga as the WCC’s automatic bid team because of their better power ranking. Others will go by conference record and give the auto spot to the SMC Gaels and have the Zags as a potential at-large.