Sunday, February 22, 2009

On Epicycles and the House of Plantagenet

Part 1 March Madness is a Folly

There are 344 teams in D1 basketball with 65 + 32 going to post season tournaments or 28% far below the percentage of teams going to college bowl games. The 65 “best” included first round losers: Mount St. Mary at an RPI of #159, #147 Texas Arlington, #108 Winthrop, #98 Georgia, and #90 Portland St. While #94 San Diego and #66 Siena did win in the first round, their roll as mere March filler came in the second round. Source--

The Big East put seven teams, about 11% of the 65, into the March Folly despite the fact that these teams had already, “decided it on the court”. Worse only one Big East made it to the group of eight with Louisville losing North Carolina. For all the hype the NCCA basketall tournament is a bloated income ditribution vehicle with numerous meaningless games.

If this is the correct way to do things what would a college football playoff look like? Some might say an eight team playoff, others 16, using the same 65 out of 344 of 18.9% we need at least 23 teams or 24 just too even things up. Automatic bids: the six BCS conferences, MAC, WAC, MWC, Sun Belt, C-USA.

The challenge for those that want this is the fill in the brackets in a reasonable manner. You’ll need three play in games and then some gymnastics to avoid repeating games that have already been played.

The answer that will be arrived at will be the equivalent of using epicycle to epicycles to explain planetary retrograde motion in an Earth center solar system. Or paraphrasing Dennis Miller in his brief time on Monday Night Football, “That tournament is more complicated that the House of Plantagenet.” The BCS may not be perfect but the basketball model isn’t either.

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