Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Bracketology Transportation Style

The great thing about NCAA bracket contests is that a college basketball expert's bracket can often get bested by someone who picked winners based on which mascots would win in a fight.   There is no surefire way to be successful and so sometimes it's more fun to get creative with your selection criteria. That got us thinking what a bracket might look like if you filled it out by picking teams that come from states with the best highways. And thus, the idea for a highway-performance inspired bracket was born.

Our methodology:
In July, the Reason Foundation released its Annual Report on the Performance of State Highway Systems. The report measures the condition and cost-effectiveness of state-owned roads in 11 categories, including pavement condition, deficient bridges, spending per mile and more. Using these factors, the report ranks all 50 states and so we used those rankings to put all the teams in order.    For example, North Dakota was the top-ranked state in highway performance, therefore North Dakota State was the number one team in our rankings.  For the states that had more than one team competing, we then went by their NCAA seeds to determine the order. We then picked winners solely by which was higher on our list.  Here is the complete bracket using this methodology.

Kansas Rules & Other Observations
Turns out, Kansas is really good at basketball and highway performance. You might say that when our players take it to the rack, they're driving through the well-paved lane.  On second thought, don't say that.  Kansas is number two on Reason's highway performance list.  And since top-listed North Dakota only has only one team competing, that meant all three Kansas teams would be number 1 seeds on our list-- or make up the top four teams.  As a result, Kansas and Wichita State make it to the Final Four in our bracket.  Top-ranked North Dakota beats Wichita State in the semi-finals and then bests Kansas in the championship game.

Since,  K-State had to face off against Wichita State, who is ranked higher on our list, it was unable to make it to the Final Four.  And because none of our top teams were put in the East Region, Coastal Carolina makes a Cinderella-run to the Final Four-- this would be quite a feet considering no 16-seeded team has never even beaten a 1-seed. 

The Complete List a.k.a Highway Seeding
Here is how the teams would be seeded using our methodology.  The team's actual seed is in parenthesis for your reference.  Teams that received the same seed are highlighted.

Number 1 seeds:
North Dakota St. (12)
Wichita St. (1)
Kansas (2)
K-State (9)

Number 2 seeds:
New Mexico (7)
New Mexico St. (13)
Creighton (3)
Nebraska (11)

Number 3 seeds:
Wofford (15)
Coastal Carolina (16)
St. Louis (5)
Baylor (6)

Number 4 seeds:
Texas (7)
Stephen F. Austin (12)
Texas Southern (16)
Mercer (14)

Number 5 seeds:
Oregon (7)
Louisville (4)
Kentucky (8)
Eastern Kentucky (15)

Number 6 seeds:
Virginia (1)
VCU (5)
Duke (3)
North Carolina (6)

Number 7 seeds:
NC State (12)
N.C. Central (14)
Delaware (13)
Memphis (8)

Number 8 seeds:
Tennessee (11)
Arizona (1)
Arizona State (10)
Gonzaga (8)

Number 9 seeds:
Cincinnati (5)
Ohio State (6)
Dayton (11)

Xavier (12)

Number 10 seeds:
BYU (10)
Weber State (16)
Michigan (2)
Michigan State (4)

Number 11 seeds:
Western Michigan (14)
Wisconsin (2)
Milwaukee (15)
Iowa State (3)
Iowa (11)

Number 12 seeds:
Iowa (11)
LA- Lafayette (14)
Florida (1)
Oklahoma (5)
Oklahoma State (9)

Number 13 seeds:
Tulsa (13)
Villanova (2)
Pittsburgh (9)
St. Joseph’s (10)

Number 14 seeds:
Mt. St. Mary’s (16)
Colorado (8)
Massachusetts (6)
Harvard (12)

Number 15 seeds:
Syracuse (3)
Manhattan (13)
Albany (16)

Number 16 seeds:
UCLA (4)
San Diego St. (4)
Stanford (10)
Cal-Poly (16)
Providence (11)
George Washington (9)
American (15)

Will you use transportation as a factor in your bracket ?  Let us know in the comment box below.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great way to pick teams! It will be interesting to see how well this bracket does.