18 March 2010

March Math Madness

From quomodocumque: what would the NCAA tournament look like if every game were won by the college or university with the better math department? (Berkeley -- excuse me, "California", as they're usually called in athletic contexts -- wins.)

Rather interestingly, 20 out of 32 first-round "games", and 37 out of 63 "games" overall -- more than half -- are won by the team that actually has the better seed in the basketball tournament. I suspect this is because quality of math departments and basketball teams are both correlated with the size of the school. This is especially true because ties were broken by asking how many people they could name at the school., which clearly has a bias towards larger departments.

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