Southern Tourney (03/06/15)

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 6-9

Where: Asheville, N.C.

The automatic bid goes to: Wofford (33.0%)

Wofford won the SoCon regular season title as the Terriers returned nearly their entire roster from last year's NCAA Tournament team. Wofford is the favorite to represent the Southern Conference again in the Big Dance with league Player of the Year Karl Cochran leading the way. Wofford also benefits from having a top 40 defense in our Power Rankings.

And if they lose: Chattanooga (22.5%)

The Mocs split their two games with Wofford in the regular season and it looks like we are headed for a rubber match in the title game. On a neutral court, Wofford would win 60.1% of the time by an average score of 64.1 – 60.9.

Bid Thief:

Mercer: if you remember the Bears won the Atlantic Sun last year and then knocked off Duke in the first round. Mercer lost most of last year's tournament team but it's not out of the picture that the Bears could make another run in its new conference.

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

Seed Team Semifinals Title Game Champ.
1 Wofford 76.1 52.5 33.0
8/9 UNC-Greensboro/Samford 24.0 9.7 4.5
4 W. Carolina 47.7 18.5 8.8
5 E. Tenn. St. 52.3 19.4 9.1
3 Mercer 64.6 32.4 15.4
6 VMI 35.5 14.9 5.0
2 Chattanooga 74.7 44.9 22.5
7/10 Citadel/Furman 25.4 7.9 1.8