SEC Tourney (03/08/16)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
Kentucky is going to win the SEC Tournament for a 29th time.

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 9-13

Where: Nashville, TN

The automatic bid goes to: Kentucky (46.6%)

Expectations are always high in Lexington and inconsistent play has taken the shine off of Coach Cal's team. While Kentucky hasn't lived up to the hype of an early season No. 1 ranking, the Wildcats are starting to click. This is a talented team with a long history of success in the SEC Tournament.

And if they lose: Texas A&M (25.4%)

A&M is on a league best six game winning streak and earned a share of the SEC regular season title. Unfortunately, even as the No. 1 seed in the tournament, Texas A&M got a bad draw with a tougher path than Kentucky to the title game. Still, the Aggies are the best team in the SEC. Texas A&M is No. 11 in our Power Rankings and it wouldn't be a surprise if they left Nashville as champions.

Bid Thief

LSU: Which team will show up to play in the SEC Tournament, the one that beat Kentucky by 18 points or the one that lost to Charleston? This might be the last chance to see Ben Simmons play (not counting an invite to the NIT) before he turns pro as LSU probably needs to reach the title game if not win the whole thing for a NCAA bid.

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

Seed Team Tournament Win%
2 Kentucky Wildcats 46.6
1 Texas A&M Aggies 25.4
5 Vanderbilt Commodores 18.6
3 South Carolina Gamecocks 1.6
8 Florida Gators 1.6
4 LSU Tigers 1.5
6 Georgia Bulldogs 1.5
7 Ole Miss Rebels 1.4
9 Arkansas Razorbacks 1.0
11 Mississippi State Bulldogs 0.4
10 Alabama Crimson Tide 0.3
12 Tennessee Volunteers 0.0
13 Auburn Tigers 0.0