Saturday, February 14, 2009

Determining the NCAA tourney teams

TPS mid-major supporter Rob Holub sends along this interesting read, a mock-NCAA tourney selection run by the NCAA that gives some insight into a process that few seem to have a good amount of knowledge about yet everyone criticizes endlessly.

I was thinking about the issue of collective decision making the whole time, and the author-- who may or may not have any (public) economics background-- hits it right on the head at the end:

I think it's an error in human wiring that we're capable of putting the acts of collectives on par with those of individuals; many are comfortable considering the decisions of groups as coming from a single granular point, and not from the complex internal-debate engines they really are. 'Congress,' for instance, or the 'shareholders of Ford,' or the 'Pawtucket City Council.'"
It's an interesting read as a college basketball fan, and equally as much so as a student of the trials and tribulations of the process of making group decisions.

Interesting fact from the reading: It takes roughly as long to produce the brackets as time to play all 64 tourney games, as scheduled by the NCAA.

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