Big East Tourney (03/07/16)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
Villanova is more likely to win the Big East tourney than the rest of the league combined.

Conference tournaments are the unofficial start of March Madness. The NCAA awards 32 automatic bids to the Big Dance and 31 of those (the Ivy League does not hold a tournament) will be determined through each conference's tournament.

With automatic bids at stake, we have simulated each conference tournament using our Bracket Simulator to predict which teams will punch their ticket to March Madness. 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 113-84-1 (57% ATS and O/U), through 2015. For access to conference tournament picks, click here.

When: March 9-12

Where: New York, NY

The automatic bid goes to: Villanova (56.4%)

Poor Villanova. Jay Wright's club has owned the Big East. The Wildcats are the three-time defending regular season champions but all anyone wants to talk about is the team's shortcomings in the NCAA tournament. A deep run in March changes all of that and it begins with a Big East Tournament title.

Villanova is more likely to win the Big East tourney than the rest of the teams combined.

And if they lose: Xavier (20.0%)

The Musketeers are the only team to have beaten Nova in the last month. While we don't believe in them as much as the public (or the members of the Associated Press), this is still a top 25 team that could leave Madison Square Garden with a title.

Bid Thief

Let's lump Seton Hall and Butler together. They have similar odds to win the tournament, but they have different strengths. The Bulldogs have a top 25 offense while the Pirates a top 15 defense, but both struggle to do much on the other side of the ball (respectively). Stranger things have happened but with less than a ten percent chance to win, it would be surprising to see either team cut down the nets.

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

Seed Team Tournament Win%
1 Villanova Wildcats 56.4
2 Xavier Musketeers 20.0
3 Seton Hall Pirates 9.3
5 Butler Bulldogs 8.3
6 Creighton Bluejays 2.2
8 Georgetown Hoyas 1.7
7 Marquette Golden Eagles 1.0
4 Providence Friars 1.0
9 DePaul Blue Demons 0.0
10 St. John's Red Storm 0.0