SEC Tourney (03/10/15)

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! 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 11-15

Where: Nashville, TN

The automatic bid goes to: Kentucky (74.9%)

Kentucky or the field, can anyone beat the Wildcats? Coach Cal's team started SEC play with back-to-back overtime wins, since then only three teams managed to keep a game within ten points. The Wildcats are staggering favorites and it would be a surprise, with their depth and talent, if they excited the tournament early.

And if they lose: Arkansas (5.1%)

Arkansas is firmly in the field of 68 but Mike Anderson's team is looking to improve its seeding. The Razorbacks led the SEC in scoring (79.0 ppg). With an up-tempo offense, Arkansas could find itself in the championship game on Sunday.

Bid Thief:

LSU: the Tigers have been wildly inconsistent this year, they beat West Virginia and Ole Miss on the road but lost to the likes of Missouri. LSU is a top 30 team in our Power Rankings and has one of the best defenses in the country; don't be surprised if the Tigers make a run in the conference tournament.

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

Seed Team Quarterfinals Semifinals Title Game Champ.
1 Kentucky 100.0 90.6 82.8 74.9
2 Arkansas 100.0 53.2 26.8 5.1
4 LSU 100.0 57.6 7.8 4.3
3 Georgia 100.0 48.4 25.2 3.4
6 Mississippi 59.1 32.1 17.3 2.9
7 Vanderbilt 64.8 32.2 16.5 2.9
5 Texas A&M 71.2 34.3 4.1 2.4
8 Florida 55.5 5.6 3.0 1.2
11 South Carolina 29.4 14.1 7.0 1.1
9 Alabama 44.5 3.8 1.8 0.8
10 Tennessee 35.2 14.5 4.8 0.5
14 Missouri 11.5 5.5 2.4 0.3
13 Auburn 15.0 4.2 0.3 0.1
12 Miss. State 13.8 3.9 0.2 0.1