AAC Tourney (03/11/15)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
Championship Week – which teams will win automatic bids to the NCAA tournament? We simulated each conference tournament to find out.

Conference tournaments are the unofficial start of March Madness. In the last week before Selection Sunday, single-elimination tournaments will be played with automatic bids to the NCAA tournament at stake.

We have simulated each conference tournament using our Bracket Simulator to predict which teams will punch their ticket to the Big Dance. The Bracket Simulator is a free tool that gives you the power to simulate the postseason for any sport. Create your own bracket now!

PredictionMachine.com has been very profitable in conference tournaments. All-time on the site, "normal" or better conference tournament picks are 97-70 (58% ATS and O/U), through 2014. For access to conference tournament picks, click here.

When: March 12-15

Where: Hartford, CT

The automatic bid goes to: SMU (34.1%)

It has been an up and down year (player suspensions and academic improprieties) for SMU but the Mustangs won its first regular season conference title since it was part of the Southwest Conference twenty-two years ago. Larry Brown's team is also in line for its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1993.

And if they lose: Cincinnati (20.9%)

The Bearcats finished the season with five straight wins and swept the regular season series with SMU all without Head Coach Mick Cronin on the sidelines. The AAC title might be enough to move Cincy out of an 8-seed or at least out of Kentucky's region, a reward in itself.

Bid Thief:

Temple: the Owls are likely in the NCAA Tournament with a marquee win over Kansas but an early exit in the AAC Tournament could change all of that. Temple needs at least one win and a good showing against SMU in the semifinals to secure an at-large bid.

UConn: the defending champions finished tied for fifth in the league. The Huskies are a longshot to win the AAC Tournament and return to the Big Dance. Connecticut had worse odds last year to capture the NCAA title and that worked out for them.

Odds to win the AAC Tournament (based on 50,000 simulations of the conference tournament)

Seed Team Quarterfinals Semifinals Title Game Champ.
1 SMU 100.0 80.8 52.7 34.1
3 Cincinnati 100.0 60.6 40.6 20.9
4 Temple 100.0 59.4 26.5 14.1
2 Tulsa 100.0 69.4 30.7 12.7
6 UCONN 79.6 35.5 20.3 8.7
5 Memphis 100.0 40.6 15.4 6.7
7 Tulane 52.4 16.9 4.9 1.0
8 ECU 59.6 12.8 3.7 0.7
10 Houston 47.6 13.8 2.7 0.7
9 UCF 40.4 6.4 1.5 0.3
11 S. Florida 20.4 3.8 1.0 0.1