March Madness is upon us so I thought the following may be appropriate:
The official selection committee of the NCAA Division I Men’s
basketball tournament will convene this weekend to choose and seed the teams for this year’s
contest. Researchers at the University of Alabama have developed a new method for placing chosen teams into
brackets that could decrease team travel costs and increase attendance.
According to a recent article from Inside Science
researchers Sharif Melouk
have developed a model that, unlike most
previous research, only focuses on the first full weekend of the tournament.
researchers' model uses the selection committee's seeding and disperses the games over the eight locations
where the second and third round games are played,” wrote Chris Gorski for
. “They weigh the priority of
the teams, giving the highest seeded teams the best chance to play close to home, and attempt to minimize the
amount of miles traveled by the tournament teams.”
Operations researcher Michael Fry (University of Cinncinnaty
) was also interviewed for the
article saying, “Melouk [and Keskin] demonstrxate that the NCAA could greatly benefit from using
mathematical modeling.” Fry also added that using the model could reduce the cost of transporting
basketball teams by more than $1 million.
Source: Inside Science