MVC Tourney (03/05/15)

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. Over the next two weeks, 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!

When: March 5-8

Where: St. Louis, MO

The automatic bid goes to: Wichita State (42.7%)

The Shockers are a lock to make the NCAA Tournament, however an early exit from the MVC could impact Wichita State's seeding for the Big Dance. That is unlikely as Gregg Marshall's team is a big 4/7 favorite (per to win the conference tournament. There is no value in placing that bet but the Shockers are, and rightfully so, the most likely champions.

And if they lose: Northern Iowa (40.8%)

The Panthers handed Wichita State their only loss of the Missouri Valley season and it looks like we are headed for a rubber match (Wichita State defeated UNI in the season finale) in the conference title game. Northern Iowa actually has a more favorable draw and is more likely to reach the title game than the Shockers. However, in a rematch on a neutral floor, Wichita State wins 54.6% of the time by an average score of 63.1 – 61.5.

Bid Thief:

Illinois State: this is a two horse race, it would be shocking if any team besides Wichita State and Northern Iowa won. However, the Redbirds are the best of the rest, crazier things have happened.

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

Seed Team Semifinals Title Game Champ.
1 Wichita St. 89.0 68.9 42.7
8/9 Missouri St./So. Illinois 11.1 3.0 0.7
4 Illinois St. 64.3 19.5 7.9
5 Evansville 35.7 8.7 2.2
3 Indiana St. 50.6 12.2 2.5
6 Loyola (IL) 49.4 11.3 2.4
2 N. Iowa 86.9 72.3 40.8
7/10 Drake/Bradley 13.1 4.1 0.8