March Madness Continues

I imagined that I would be finished with posts about this March Madness thing. However, the New Yorker released its own bracket system that interested me—again, with the giant caveat that I know nothing about basketball.

To be an interactive bracket, clearly the piece needs to function as a means of following results. However, the New Yorker offers additional layers as part of the graphic: the programme’s expenses, revenues, and geographical location. Here is the expected bracket of actual results.

Current and actual results
Current and actual results

But the first thing I realised when looking at the map is that none of the groupings make any sense. How are schools from within the same city all in separate regions?

How is LaSalle in North Philly in the West?
How is LaSalle in North Philly in the West?

Second, the list shows you the schools ranked, again by either expenses or revenues. The encouraging thing is when you compare this to the results thus far, teams that spend very little money (comparatively) can defeat the big spenders, e.g. Florida Gulf Coast defeated Georgetown.

Show me the money! (At least who's spending it.)
Show me the money! (At least who's spending it.)

And that point of course proves that the most interesting view, the money bracket, does not necessarily hold true. Those teams that spend the most will not necessarily be victorious.

The bracket, if the team spending the most money won each game
The bracket, if the team spending the most money won each game

Credit for the piece goes to the New Yorker.

Author: Brendan Barry

I am a graphic designer who focuses on information design. My day job? I am the data visualisation manager for the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. (This blog is my something I do on my own time and does not represent the views of the Fed, blah blah blah legal stuff.) And with my main interest in information design—be it in the shape of clear charts, maps, diagrams, or wayfinding systems—I am fortunate that my day job focuses on data visualisation. Outside of work, I try to stay busy with personal design work. Away from the world of design, I enjoy cooking and reading and am interested in various subjects from history and geography to politics to science to the arts. And I allow all of them to influence my work.

Leave a Reply