Comparing March Madness Schools

If you’re just barely following the NCAA National Basketball Tournament, I am glad to announce that Kentucky defeated #1 seed Wichita State last night to advance to the Sweet 16. But life is more than sports, and college is more than basketball. And there are other tournaments that compare the same schools by parameters other than basketball. This is important when your selecting a college.

MyLife set up a bracket to compare the 68 college towns represented in the NCAA bracket. The crunched with measurements like the school’s ability to fill an arena for a game, graduation rates, and number of restaurants and bars. Each matchup is explained, and one winner is crowned …but many nice college towns advanced far into the tournament.

Those towns may be nice places to live, but can you afford to go to school there? The Awl presents a tuition bracket, featuring the schools of the NCAA tournament. In each matchup, the school with the higher tuition advances, so the whole thing is already filled out. The winner has an annual tuition of $47,290! And I’m pretty sure these figures don’t count room and board, because my daughters have already gotten estimates from some of these schools. The differences between the 64 schools are startling.

The Thomson Reuters Company presents Metrics Mania. The point is to guess which schools have the most research impact on science and technology. We won’t have the winner until April 8 because this is a contest. Entries are closed, but you can follow the bracket as each round of winners is revealed. Each round looks at a different parameter. First and second rounds: which school in each matchup is cited more in scientific publications. In the third and fourth rounds, which school has the higher percentage of their studies cited. The fourth round will reveal which school has the highest normalized citation impact.

These might not be the best comparisons to decide which college to attend, but they give us quite a bit of information, at least about the schools under the spotlight in March.

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