Pac-12 Tourney (03/08/16)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
Quack, quack, quack. Ducks will win the Pac-12 Tournament.

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: Las Vegas, NV

The automatic bid goes to: Oregon (27.9%)

The Ducks, the Pac-12 regular season champions, are 25-6 overall (14-4 in Pac-12 play) and have won 11 of their last 13 games. Oregon is a Top 15 squad in our Power Rankings that has an efficient seven-man rotation with four players scoring in double figures. If Oregon gets hot in Las Vegas and wins the Pac-12 Tournament, a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament could be in play.

And if they lose: Cal (23.4%)

Cal is No. 16 in our Power Rankings, just behind Oregon. The Golden Bears get it done with defense. The team is Top 15 in defensive field goal percentage and can pound the boards, ranking in the Top 25 in rebounding margin. If the title game features Cal and Oregon, the Bears will be confident after drubbing the Ducks by 20 points in their last outing.

Bid Thief

Stanford: Regardless of what happens in the tournament, Oregon, Cal, Utah and Arizona are in the Big Dance. Combined, the four teams have a 91.6 percent chance to win the Pac-12 Tournament. Stanford on the other hand must win the title to get an invitation to the NCAA Tournament. With a 15-14 record, the Cardinal are an afterthought but this is a fringe Top 25 unit even if the record doesn't reflect the skill level.

Odds to win the Pac-12 Tournament (based on 50,000 simulations of the conference tournament)

Seed Team Tournament Win%
1 Oregon Ducks 27.9
3 California Golden Bears 23.4
2 Utah Runnin' Utes 22.9
4 Arizona Wildcats 17.4
9 Stanford Cardinal 3.2
5 Colorado Buffaloes 2.4
6 Oregon State Beavers 0.8
7 USC Trojans 0.8
10 UCLA Bruins 0.5
8 Washington Huskies 0.5
11 Arizona State Sun Devils 0.2
12 Washington State Cougars 0.0