January 6, 2020 - by Jason Lisk
We do the mental acrobatics to figure out which conferences should get the most bids in 2020 (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)
Conference basketball season takes over as we move into 2020. If you want to see our current predictions for who gets into the tournament, check out our Bracketology page. While those are the best estimates of each team’s chances, the ordering of teams within conferences can certainly change. Bubble team identities are still to be decided.
One thing is more certain, though. Overall conference strengths (and thus available future “quality wins”) are largely set based on what has happened. Conferences rated higher are generally going to have a higher percentage of teams get into the tournament. Almost every game from here until Selection Sunday is a conference game, with the Big 12/SEC Challenge being one of the few exceptions. Because of that, we can largely assess on a broader basis and predict tournament bids by conference with some accuracy.
Last season, at the same point, we correctly predicted the number of bids within one tournament bid of the final result for every conference. As one example, the Pac-12 had a rough non-conference season a year ago. We projected only three tournament teams from the Pac-12. That’s exactly how many the conference ended up getting in after Oregon claimed the automatic bid.
For 2020, ten conferences project as more likely than not to have multiple bids and get at least one at-large. Here are those ten conferences with the projected number of bids. These numbers are the result of adding each individual team’s odds in our Bracketology projections.
|Conference||Predicted No. of Teams||No. of Teams with 50% or greater odds||No. of Teams with 10% or greater odds|
If you add all of those up, you get 45.7 bids. Subtracting out the 10 automatic bids leaves 35.7. With 36 at-large selections, all, or almost all, of the at-large bids will come from these conferences.
Some other notes:
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