Making sense of Madness?

March 16, 2017

Ranging from diligent research to coin flips, pure chalk to cutest mascot, everyone has their own strategy for completing an NCAA college basketball championship bracket. At SSTI, we’ve completed our brackets based on NSF’s university data for R&D expenditures and doctorates produced, as well as the selection committee’s rankings. The chart included with this article displays the data. Stay tuned to ssti.org throughout the men’s and women’s tournaments for updates.

Men's Tournament

We completed the brackets four different strategies.

  1. NSF’s 2015 data for R&D expenditures
    Winner: Michigan
    Cinderella: UC Davis
    See the full bracket (note that NCAA recorded UC Davis as NC Central)
    Performance through 2nd round: 37 points scored and 8 teams remain
  2. NSF’s 2015 data for number of earned doctorates
    Winner: Michigan
    Cinderella(s): Providence, Princeton
    See the full bracket
    Performance through 2nd round: 42 points scored and 9 teams remain
  3. NCAA selection committee’s rankings
    Winner: Villanova
    Cinderella: N/A
    See the full bracket
    Performance through 2nd round: 50 points scored and 10 teams remain
  4. Summary ranking along all three metrics
    Winner: North Carolina
    Cinderella: Providence
    See the full bracket
    Performance through 2nd round: 47 points scored and 12 teams remain

Note: Cinderella is defined as the last remaining double-digit seed(s).

We will be updating this page weekly throughout the tournament to track performance. Stay tuned! The data table for the men’s tournament teams is below.

 

Women's Tournament

We completed the brackets four different strategies.

  1. NSF’s 2015 data for R&D expenditures
    Winner: Washington
    Cinderella: South Florida
    Performance through 2nd round: 6 teams remain
  2. NSF’s 2015 data for number of earned doctorates
    Winner: Texas
    Cinderella: Auburn
    Performance through 2nd round: 8 teams remain
  3. Most recent RPI for each team
    Winner: Connecticut
    Cinderella: N/A
    Performance through 2nd round: 13 teams remain
  4. Summary ranking along all three metrics
    Winner(s): Stanford, UCLA
    Cinderella(s): South Florida, Auburn
    Performance through 2nd round: 11 teams remain

Note: Cinderella is defined as the last remaining double-digit seed(s). The NCAA does not offer an interactive bracket completion tool for the Women’s tournament, so we do not have completed brackets for each strategy.

We will be updating this page weekly throughout the tournament to track performance. Stay tuned! The data table for the men’s tournament teams is below.