This Rush the Court post links to an interesting and simple analysis of wins and NCAA Tournament appearances. Author Steve Greenwell complies a list of all teams of the last three years with 18+ win seasons and whether or not the team made the NCAA Tournament. He then tweaked his findings to adjust for post-season play and automatic bids from weak conferences.
The results and Steve’s summary:
27 wins or more - 100 percent (54/54) 26 wins - 71.43 percent (10/14) 25 wins - 86.96 percent (20/23) 24 wins - 65.22 percent (15/23) 23 wins - 55.88 percent (19/34) 22 wins - 47.62 percent (20/42) 21 wins - 23.81 percent (10/42) 20 wins - 15.91 percent (7/44) 19 wins - 11.36 percent (5/44) 18 wins - 11.11 percent (5/45)
25 wins guarantees you a spot in the NCAA tournament, and 24 wins gives you at least a 65 percent chance, and higher once you subtract automatic bids from weak conferences. Anything lower than 24, and the conference you play in becomes substantially more important.
The bad news: the SEC has the worst RPI out of the BCS conferences. Good news: SEC moved ahead of the Mountain West and every other mid-major conference. The Bracket Matrix currently projects 5 SEC teams getting bids — including Butt-Head‘s Gator team as the highest seeded SEC team (#8).