Let the madness begin! It’s time to fill out those March Madness brackets. The data geek part of me wants to statistically analyze each and every team trying to get that perfect bracket. Realistically, I go the route of which schools have hockey teams and where would I rather play golf. This year I thought I would fill out a bracket the way you might conduct a college search. So here it is, each round based on different factors and all ties are broken by a coin flip. I’m calling this The Most Epic College Planning March Madness Men’s Basketball Bracket.

Round of 64

For the first round of the tournament I am going to keep this simple, or so I thought. The farther the school is from Nebraska the less likely they are to win their matchup. Makes sense, right?! It created some very interesting matchups.

Duke vs. UNC Wilmington

Two teams in the same state, you knew this one will be close. Luckily, I did not have to go all the way to the coast to pick Duke to win.

Oregon State vs. VCU

East verses West, Pacific verses Atlantic, and only three miles separated these teams from the round of 32. Sorry Oregon State, maybe next year you’ll get Hawaii.

Purdue vs. University of Arkansas – Little Rock

The 12 seed put up a valiant fight but Purdue edges them out by just seven miles. Proof you have to watch out for those 12 seeds.

Since four teams have yet to be determined I had to pick the team that was already in the tournament.

Round of 32

Now that proximity to Nebraska has taken its toll, it is time to look at some serious data. To make the Sweet 16 schools are going to want to have some good athletes. The more students you have the better your odds are in finding that star athlete. So to make my Sweet 16 you’ll need a large undergraduate student population because I need some new friends.

The UNC vs. USC matchup is the one to watch! Two schools separated by only 389 undergrads!

March Madness College Basketball rd32

Sweet 16

To make the Elite 8 a school is going to need the best athletes, and the best athletes are the best students. According to those that make standardized tests the Act and SAT are the best ways to determine intelligence. So our Elite 8 will be the schools with the highest ACT or SAT scores at the 75th percentile. I like hanging out with smart people, not sure why.

One school did not require students to take entrance exams. A noble cause, but here we have to take that which we know. #SorrynotSorry

The Michigan Sate vs. Utah matchup came down to the buzzer. MSU gets the edge because of their ACT Math score!
March Madness College Backetball dr16

Elite 8

Our first subjective criteria! Here is the formula: Red wins, Blue beats Green, Green beats Gold, Gold beats Black. Primary color ties are decided by the schools secondary color.

This round is pretty straight forward, no close calls but no blowouts either. Cal gets the easiest win. Meanwhile, Michigan State and USC have the biggest scares.

March Madness College Basketball rd8

Final Four

I’m going to have to listen to the fight song of the winning school a lot. This criteria is simple, which song do I like better and which lyrics are better. I did a simple Google search for this, so if the school doesn’t like it they should get better at SEO. 😉

Cal vs. Oklahoma

I was leaning towards OK after listening, but wanted to check the lyrics before a final decision was made. The line, “and when I die, I’ll be a Sooner dead” wins it for OK.

USC vs. Michigan State

This one was close. I liked the music for both, leaned a bit towards USC. So I took to the lyrics… seriously USC, is that all you have? Not very creative in my book, victory to MSU!

March Madness College Baketball Final Four


A Spartan verses a Sooner, one is a person from ancient Greece and the other is a person who was given preferential treatment during the land runs in the late 1800s. Given that Sparta was known for its military prowess I say that the Sooners would put up a valiant fight but in the end Sparta wins again. Let’s face it, I would rather be called a Spartan than a Sooner.

Go Michigan State!
March Madness Bracket


There you have it, my picks for the tournament. Who do you have winning the tournament? How did you pick teams? I’ll update the comments section with how this bracket is doing, let me know how your bracket is doing.

*Data on school was obtained at http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/ and university websites.