Villanova’s Road to the Final Four & Championship

On Monday we looked at Kentucky’s path to the 2015 NCAA Championship.

Now let’s take a look at the Selection Committee’s overall 2 seed, Villanova, using the projections we generate while calculating our optimized bracket picks.

Not surprisingly, Nova’s chances to cut down the nets are much lower than Kentucky, and not just because Kentucky is their most likely opponent in the Championship Game.

Villanova’s Odds To Win Each Round

With the 2015 bracket now out, we’ve released round by round survival odds for each team that made the tournament. We can use that data to determine the chances Villanova wins in each round, if they make it there:

Villanova's Odds to Win By Round

Some indications from the chart above:

  • Villanova is strongly favored through their Sweet 16 game
  • They are likely to be slight favorites overall in both the Elite 8 and Final Four game, but a few opponents would be favored to beat them
  • If they make the NCAA championship game, the Villanova is likely to be an underdog

Villanova’s Odds against the East

Using our matchup tool, we can examine the odds of a team to win against any other opponent. Charting Villanova’s odds against their opponents in the East shows:

Villanova's Odds Against East Region Opponents

Key points of note here:

  • Villanova’s toughest game would be in the Regional Final against Virginia, which would be close to a toss-up
  • 7 seed Michigan State and 3 seed Oklahoma are tied for the second toughest opponents in the region
  • Thanks to the structure of the bracket, Villanova would only have to face one of those three teams
  • Villanova’s odds against the rest of the region are 73% or better

Villanova’s Odds against the Top Seeds

We can also look at Villanova’s odds against the top seeds in the tournament:

Villanova's Odds to Win Against Top Seeds

The highlights:

  • The committee eased Villanova’s path by not placing their most challenging 2, 3, or 4 seed in the East
  • Villanova is also fortunate that they wouldn’t have to play Kentucky until the final game.
  • Of all the teams on Villanova’s side of the bracket, Duke is the only one that would be favored against them, and it is by a very slim margin

The real question, though, is this: How far should you pick Villanova in your bracket pool, given your scoring system and other details? Here’s how to find out.